Statutory regulations state that, "no person shall operate an air transport service or aerial work service unless he holds and complies with the provisions of an air operator certificate that authorizes the person to operate that service".

Certification can only be undertaken when the air operator is fully prepared to meet the requirements of the Transport Canada, Civil Aviation (TC). This document provides comprehensive advice on what should be considered when planning to operate a commercial air service and sets out the basic requirements of TC. Prospective air operators are strongly advised to seriously consider all of the information contained in this document before applying for an air operator certificate.

The rapidity with which your operation can be certificated will depend largely upon how well prepared you are. A smaller operation should obviously take less time than a more complex operation. However, regardless of the size of the operation, allow as much lead time as possible since seemingly insignificant details can cause unexpected and expensive delays, especially if you have committed funds prematurely. Allow a lead time of at least 60 days for the operation of small aeroplanes or helicopters, 90 days for the operation of large aeroplanes and possibly more if your operation is complex. The lead time period commences when the Certification Standards Division receives all required applications, manuals etc. in support of your proposed commercial air service.

Michel Gaudreau
Commercial & Business Aviation

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