Airworthiness Notices

Policy and Procedures for the Operation of Foreign Military Aircraft in Canadian Airspace

This notice is to clarify the applicable regulations and the role the Government plays in relation to foreign military aircraft operating in Canada.

Department of National Defence (DND) Responsibility

In accordance with the "Aeronautics Act of Canada", aircraft cannot be operated in Canadian airspace without the authority of either the Minister of Transport or the Minister of National Defence. It states that ".with respect to any matter relating to defence, including any matter relating to military personnel or a military aircraft, military aerodrome or military facility of Canada or a foreign state, the Minister of National Defence or, under the direction of the Minister of National Defence, the Chief of the Defence Staff appointed under the National Defence Act." has the authority and responsibility to authorize foreign aircraft with military registration to operate in Canadian airspace.

When foreign military aircraft undergo modification or repair in Canada, DND is required to validate the foreign aircraft certification before flight tests, acceptance flights or ferry flights can be authorized in Canadian airspace. Such a validation can only be given after the DND technical and operational airworthiness authorities have reviewed the circumstances of the request and determined the risk exposure for Canadian citizens. The procedure which DND must follow in exercising its responsibility under the Act is not a routine activity and is demanding both in personnel and time. It involves communications at country to ensure the airworthiness of the aircraft, the information available with respect to each particular aircraft and the extent of the maintenance, repairs and/or modifications to be performed in Canada. In addition, DND must validate the foreign certification of the crew members operating the aircraft.

It is critical that companies understand the foregoing and also recognize that, because of severe resource limitations, DND is unable to provide for the validation of foreign military aircraft airworthiness on a short-notice or fixed time basis. DND can only provide this service on an "as available" basis with full cost recovery. It is therefore highly recommended that companies consult with DND early enough to ensure planning is complete before entering into final contract negotiations with foreign states. In this context, it would be best if contracts were planned in order to minimize or, better still, eliminate the requirement for flight by foreign military aircraft in Canadian airspace.

DND's initial point of contact for these matters is Mr. Gord Crookston, Industry and International Programs, at 613-992-1271 or Email at

Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) Responsibility

The export of all parts and components of aircraft specially designed for military use to a non-USA destination requires a DFAIT export permit, as would any parts or components specially designed for military use mounted on an otherwise civil aircraft. Proof of re-export authorization for USA origin components that are on the US Munitions List must be provided before an export permit may be granted. For further information, refer to the DFAIT website at:

Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) Responsibility

The examination, possession or transfer of certain controlled goods in Canada is regulated by law. Controlled goods are defined by the Defence Production Act to mean certain controlled goods listed in the Export Control List, a regulation pursuant to the Export and Import Permits Act. All persons who examine, possess or transfer these goods must be registered with the Controlled Goods Program (CGP) of Public Works and Government Services Canada, or must be excluded or exempted from registration. For further details, or to register, additional information may be obtained from the CGP website at: 
Telephone: 1-866-333-CGRP (2477) 
Facsimile: (819) 956-2101



For Minister of Transport



M.J. Eley Director, Aircraft Certification