Airworthiness Chapter 541 - Airships - Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs)

Table of contents

Content last revised: 2009/12/01

Procurement of Reference Publication

The title of the publication referenced in this Chapter of the Airworthiness Manual is as follows:

FAA-P-8110-2, Change 1, Airship Design Criteria. (July 24, 1992).

Orders for this publication may be sent to the following address, together with the appropriate remittance:

U.S. Department of Transportation
Subsequent Distributing
Section M-49403, 
Washington, DC 20590

FAA-P-8110-2, Change 1, is published only in English. However, Transport Canada has produced a French translation and both of these documents may be consulted at:

Transport Canada Library (AFCHAG)
Transport Canada Building
Place de Ville, Tower C
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N8

Tel.: 1-613-998-5128



The purpose of this Airworthiness Standard is to provide acceptable airworthiness requirements for the type certification of airships in the normal category.

First Edition

Effective: May 1, 1996

Originally, Chapters 541 and 543 were reserved for small and large airships respectively, however, in the interest of simplification and cost reduction, all airship standards have been combined in Chapter 541, with the section for large airship standards reserved for the present.

Change 541-1

Published: December 1, 2005

1. General

This change introduces a new amendment format. This new amendment format was originally introduced in Chapter 529 of the Airworthiness Manual in order to be more consistent with the administrative procedures followed to amend the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs).

The following procedures are introduced in this Change 541-1:

  • the preamble will be the focal point regarding the sections affected by this Change. For the current change only, an amendment tag identifying the coming into force date of the provision will follow the amended text. {example: (amended 2003/09/01)}

  • on the paper version, new or revised text will be highlighted. In the electronic version, new or revised text will not be highlighted but followed by an electronic link to the previous version of the modified text. {example: (amended 2003/09/01; previous version)}

  • the preamble will include a table of change information. This table will include the Notices of Proposed Amendments (NPAs) with the corresponding amended sections.

2. CARAC Proposed Amendment Recommendations

This change implements the amendments to the standard recommended by the CARAC Technical Committee Part V.

Table of Change Information
Notice of Proposed Amendment Amended Sections
  • 2000-337

  • 541.1

This amendment revises the applicability section of the chapter based on recommendations from the Department of Justice to reflect the repeal of the Air Regulations and the introduction of the CARs and the deletion of the "Enabling Authority" statement.

Table of Change Information
Notice of Proposed Amendment Amended Sections
  • 2000-338

  • 541.5

This section has been rewritten for clarity and also to correct metric conversions. The standards of section 541.5 have been reorganized from small to large airships by renumbering the paragraphs. The text of the paragraphs has been rewritten for the purpose of making it more user friendly. There are no changes to the rules.

Table of Change Information
Notice of Proposed Amendment Amended Sections
  • 2000-339

  • 541.5

This amendment revises the requirements of the airship standards section in order to achieve harmonization with the Federal Aviation Administration's airship design standards document number FAA-P-8110-2.

Table of Change Information
Notice of Proposed Amendment Amended Sections
  • 2000-340

  • 541.9

  • 541.11

This amendment deletes the requirements in sections 541.9 and 541.11 since they are addressed in section 541.5 as amended by NPA 2000-339.

Table of Change Information
Notice of Proposed Amendment Amended Sections
  • 2000-341

  • 541.15

This amendment cancels certain unique requirements addressing the use of metric units in the flight manual.

Table of Change Information
Notice of Proposed Amendment Amended Sections
  • 2001-017

  • 541.15

This amendment cancels the remaining requirements that address the use of metric units in the flight manual. This change completes the process of harmonizing the unit requirements in the flight manual for this chapter with that of the other design chapters in Part V.

Change 541-2

Published: December 1, 2009

On December 1, 2009, Part V Subpart 21 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CAR 521) came into force. CAR 521 replaces the following Regulations in Part V - Airworthiness:

Subpart 11 - Approval of the Type Design of an Aeronautical Product
Subpart 13 - Approval of Modification and Repair Designs
Subpart 16 - Aircraft Emissions
Subpart 22 - Gliders and Powered Gliders
Subpart 23 - Normal, Utility, Aerobatic and Commuter Category Aeroplanes
Subpart 25 - Transport Category Aeroplanes
Subpart 27 - Normal Category Rotorcraft
Subpart 29 - Transport Category Rotorcraft
Subpart 31 - Manned Free Balloons
Subpart 33 - Aircraft Engines
Subpart 35 - Aircraft Propellers
Subpart 37 - Aircraft Appliances and Other Aeronautical Products
Subpart 41 - Airships
Subpart 51 - Aircraft Equipment
Subpart 91 - Service Difficulty Reporting
Subpart 93 - Airworthiness Directives

In addition, with publication of CAR 521, the following Chapters of the Airworthiness Manual have been withdrawn:

Chapter 511 - Approval of the Type Design of an Aeronautical Product
Chapter 513 - Approval of Modification and Repair Designs
Standard 591 - Service Difficulty Reporting
Standard 593 - Airworthiness Directives

his change amends section 541.1 to reflect changes in legal drafting style, in terminology and in references introduced because of CAR 521. In addition, subsection 521.31(1) of the CARs is now used to legally enable this Chapter of the AWM.

Subchapter A

541.1 Applicability

  1. (a) This Chapter sets out airworthiness standards for the issuance of type certificates and changes to type certificates for non-rigid, near-equilibrium airships of conventional design and construction in the normal category.
    (amended 2009/12/01)

  2. (b) Reserved.
    (amended 2009/12/01)

541.3 Definitions

For the purpose of this chapter:

An Airship is an engine driven, lighter-than-air aircraft that can be steered.

A Captive-gas Airship is an airship that derives its lift from a captive lighter-than-air gas.

A Hot-air Airship is an airship that derives its lift from heated air.

541.5 Airship Standards

  1. (a) Subject to paragraph (b), airships that have a seating configuration, excluding pilot seats, of up to 9 seats, shall meet the standards set out in the Federal Aviation Administration document FAA-P-8110-2 entitled "Airship Design Criteria" as amended by Change 2, dated February 6, 1995, and where a reference is made to Parts of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), the applicable Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) and chapters of the Airworthiness Manual shall be substituted therefor.
    (amended 2005/12/01)

  2. (b) Airships that have a seating configuration, including pilots seats, of not more than 4 seats with a maximum displacement of 4 250 m3 (150,087 cu. ft.) in the case of a hot-air airship, or 1 840 m3 (64,979 cu. ft.) in the case of a captive-gas airship, may be designed to meet the applicable standards set out in:
    (amended 2005/12/01)

    1. (1) Chapter 531, "Manned Free Balloons" of the Airworthiness Manual provided it can be demonstrated that with the engines shut-off the aircraft may be operated as a free balloon; and
      (amended 2005/12/01)

    2. (2) Chapter 522, "Gliders and Powered Gliders", Subchapter E, for the powerplant unless approved as an integral part of the airship.
      (amended 2005/12/01)

  3. (c) Airships that have a seating configuration, excluding pilot seats, of more than 9 seats shall meet the following standards:
    (amended 2005/12/01)

    1. (1) (Reserved)

541.7 Lifting Gas

Hydrogen is not an acceptable lifting gas for use in airships.

541.9 Reserved
(amended 2005/12/01)

541.11 Reserved
(amended 2005/12/01)

541.13 Markings and Placards - Fuel and Oil Filler Openings

In addition to the requirements of paragraph 7.21(c) of FAA-P-8110-2, where placards and markings at the fuel or oil filler openings include tank capacity, the capacity must be specified in litres. Imperial or U.S. gallons may also be included.

541.15 Reserved
(amended 2005/12/01)