1. It is the responsibility of the Canadian Transportation Agency to issue a Licence to an applicant. The Licence requirements are specified in section 71 of the Canada Transportation Act, as follows:


  1. On application to the Agency and on payment of the specified fee, the Agency shall issue a licence to operate a domestic service to the applicant if:
    1. the applicant establishes in the application to the satisfaction of the Agency that the applicant
    2. is a Canadian,
    3. holds a Canadian aviation document in respect of the service to the provided under the licence,
    4. has the prescribed liability insurance coverage in respect of the service to be provided under the licence, and
    5. meets prescribed financial requirements; and
  2. the Agency is satisfied that the applicant has not contravened section59 in respect of a domestic service within the preceding twelve months.

    If you have not already done so, you should contact the licensing Agency in order to ensure that this aspect does not delay the initiation of your proposed service. Before applying for an air operator certificate, we suggest that you make sure that all requirements have been considered.Your best efforts and those of TC will be of little avail if the certification process cannot be completed because of some overlooked and critical deficiency. If you are unable to undertake a thorough analysis of your proposed service, seek the advice of a civil aviation consultant or other such professional advisor.

2. First of all you should be certain that the operation makes economic sense. For instance, if you are proposing a Scheduled Service, some of the things you should consider are:

  1. what and where is the demand;
  2. what is the competition - air, rail, road, water;
  3. how much traffic - passengers and/or cargo; and
  4. between which points and when does the traffic move.

Assuming that you are convinced that there is an unsatisfied demand, you should then look at ways and means of moving the traffic.

Since you propose to operate an air transportation service, your operation will have to be conducted in accordance with subpart 702, 703, 704 or 705 of the CARs.

All commercial air service operators, designated as air operators under CARs, Part VII, shall, when all regulatory requirements are met, be issued an applicable air operator certificate by the Minister. However, pursuant to subsection 6.71(1) of the Aeronautics Act, the Minister may refuse to issue a Canadian aviation document (air operator certificate), where he is of the opinion that the public's interest and, in particular, the record in relation to aviation of the applicant or of any principal of the applicant warrant it.

3. This is the outline of commercial air services under Part VII:

  • 700 - General
  • 702 - Aerial work operations
  • 703 - Air taxi operations
  • 704 - Commuter operations
  • 705 - Airline operations
  • 706 - Aircraft maintenance requirements for air operators

4. In accordance with the requirements of the appropriate Regulations, consider the following:

  1. Administration
    sales, advertising, fares, accounting and personnel administration;
  2. Aircraft
    type, capacity, number, availability, airworthiness, performance and insurance;
  3. Airports
    adequacy of runways, taxiways and aprons, gates, counterspace, passenger handling in the terminal, between the aircraft and the terminal and vice versa, customs, immigration, surface transportation, hangars, weather service, communication and fire protection and prior written permission from the airport operator or landowner;
  4. A-OSH
    Aviation Occupational Safety and Health Regulations requirements.
  5. Environmental Assessment
    refer to Chapter 5.1 to ascertain whether you require to apply for any assessment;
  6. Environmental Conditions
    terminal and in-flight conditions and appropriate protective clothing;
  7. Liability Insurance
    liability insurance for Domestic or International air services as required by the Canadian Transportation Agency or/and liability insurance as required by TC for aerial work services under section 606.02 of the CAR.
  8. Logistics
    fuel, oil, lubricants, parts, oxygen, ground equipment, safety equipment (ground & air) and food service;
  9. Qualified Crew Members
    in accordance with the requirements of the Canadian Aviation Regulations;
  10. Qualified Managerial and Supervisory Personnel
    in accordance with the Canadian Aviation Regulations;
  11. Transportation of dangerous goods
    As per the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations.
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