Pursuant to subsection 5.9(2) of the Aeronautics Act, and after having taken into account that the exemption is both in the public interest and is not likely to affect aviation safety, I hereby exempt persons conducting tethered balloon operations at night, from the requirement set out in paragraph 605.20(b) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs), subject to the following conditions.

Paragraph 605.20(b) requires that no person shall conduct a take-off in a balloon for the purpose of night VFR flight unless it is equipped with position lights.


The purpose of this exemption is to allow the take-off of tethered balloons for night VFR flights, without position lights.


This exemption applies only to persons conducting tethered balloon night VFR flights.


This exemption is subject to the following conditions:

  1. The tethered balloon shall be equipped with the equipment required pursuant to Section 605.19 of the CARs and a means of illuminating all of the instruments used by the flight crew, including a flashlight.
  2. While in tethered flight, the maximum height of the top of the balloon above ground, including the tether lines shall not exceed 300 feet.
  3. The balloon shall be operated in a manner that is not likely to be hazardous to aviation safety.
  4. Notwithstanding condition 2, the maximum height of the top of the balloon above ground (including the tether lines) while in tethered flight may exceed 300 feet provided the balloon is lit in accordance with Chapter 9 of the Standards Obstruction Markings (reproduced in Appendix A to this exemption).


This exemption comes into effect on July 16, 2007 at 00:01 EDT and remains in effect until the earliest of the following

  1. The date on which an amendment to the appropriate provisions of the Canadian Aviation Regulations and related standards comes into effect;
  2. The date on which any condition set out in this exemption is breached; or
  3. The date on which this exemption is cancelled, in writing, by the Minister where he is of the opinion that it is no longer in the public interest or that it is likely to affect aviation safety.

Dated at Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, this 13th day of July 2007, on behalf of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

Original signed by

M. Preuss
Director General
Civil Aviation


CARs Standard 621.19, Chapter 9 – Marking and Lighting of Moored Balloons and Kites

9.1 - Application

This chapter applies to the marking and lighting of any moored balloon 1.8 m (6 feet) in diameter or 3 cubic metres (115 cubic feet) of gas capacity and of any kite weighing more than 2.27 kg (5 lbs.) that are operated at heights greater than 90 m (300 feet) AGL. In exceptional circumstances, as determined by an Aeronautical Evaluation, this Chapter also applies to balloon and kite operations below 90 m (300 feet) AGL.

9.2 – Marking Requirements

During daytime, streamers or similar type markers should be attached to mooring lines of balloons and kites to warn airmen of their presence, that are:

  1. displayed at not more than 15 m (50 feet) intervals along the mooring lines beginning at 45 m (150 feet) above the surface of the earth and visible from at least 1.6 km (1 mile);
  2. rectangular in shape, 150 mm (6 inches) wide and 3 m (10 feet) in length; and
  3. of the following colour patterns:
    1. solid orange; or
    2. alternating orange and white, each colour having triangular shape that combines with the other colour to form a rectangle.

9.3 – Lighting Requirements

At night, moored balloons and kites should be equipped with the following lighting devices to warn pilots of their presence:

  1. for operations below 150 m (500 feet) AGL, red or white flashing lights of 32.5 candela on moored balloons and on the mooring lines of both balloons and kites, or floodlighting as specified in Chapter 4, paragraph 4.2.3;
  2. for operations above 150 m (500 feet) AGL, white flashes of 500 effective candela or steady burning white lights of equivalent intensity, on moored balloons and on the mooring lines of both balloons and kites;
  3. flashing red and white lights, as determined under paragraphs (a) and (b) above, on the top, nose section, tail section, and on the mooring line/tether cable approximately 5 m (15 feet) below the balloon or kite, so as to define its shape and size, with additional lights equally spaced along the mooring cable’s overall length for each 107 m (350 feet), or fraction thereof, commencing at 90 m (300 feet) AGL; and
  4. have an on and off setting of 300 and 600 lux respectively of Northern sky illuminance.
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