Regulations and You


The Applicability of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) Inside and Outside Canadian Airspace
by Jean-François Mathieu, Chief, Aviation Enforcement, Standards, Civil Aviation, Transport Canada

The Aviation Enforcement Division regularly receives questions regarding the applicability of the CARs relating to possible or alleged contraventions committed under various circumstances. In order to assist those with similar questions, the following is a brief overview of the CARs applicability in Canada and abroad.

The answers to these questions can be found in the Aeronautics Act. Simply stated, the CARs apply not only to all Canadian Aviation Document (CAD) holders in Canada, but to any other person, including foreigners, conducting aviation-related activities here. They also apply to passengers, aeronautical products and other things or activities related to aviation. For instance, the CARs apply not only to Canadian operators, but also to Canadian foreign air operator certificate holders and foreign private aircraft pilots conducting activities in Canadian airspace.

Likewise, the CARs also apply to CAD holders, Canadian aircraft, associated passengers and crew members outside Canadian airspace, except in instances where aviation regulations of the country where operations are being conducted conflict with the Canadian regulations. In all cases, however, operations in foreign airspace must comply with, or be operated in accordance with, the foreign regulations or the CARs, whichever is more restrictive. Therefore, Canadian commercial air operators should not assume that operations specifications issued to them for use in Canada are valid in any foreign country.

Any act or omission committed outside Canadian airspace, where it would be a contravention of a provision under the Aeronautics Act if committed in Canada, may be prosecuted under Canadian aviation legislation, unless that act or omission was conducted in order to comply with the aeronautics laws of the State where the event took place.

Although in most cases it is that simple, it should be understood that this very brief overview about the applicability of the CARs inside and outside Canadian airspace might not address all unique circumstances. Further information on the applicability of the CARs may be found in Part 1, Section 4 of the Aeronautics Act. You may also contact your Regional Aviation Enforcement Division for additional guidance.

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