Advisory Circulars

Commercial & Business Aviation


No. 0182


Locking of Cockpit Doors


This Commercial and Business Aviation Advisory Circular (CBAAC) provides air operators with information relating to the amendment of the Air Carrier Security Measures for locking of cockpit doors, which will come into effect March 17, 2001.

In effect, this measure applies to any holder of an Air Operator Certificate operating aircraft where cockpit doors are already installed with a locking mechanism.

This CBAAC also provides air operators with guidance on compliance with the new security measure.



On February 15, 2001, the Minister of Transport signed into effect an amendment to the Air Carrier Security Measures. This amendment is an interim measure requiring air operators to establish procedures for crew members to notify the pilot-in-command when statements or actions of a passenger may pose a risk to the safety of any person onboard.

When, in the opinion of the pilot-in-command, those statements or actions constitute a possible risk to the conduct of flight, the air operator must ensure the flight deck door is locked and remains locked until the risk is past.

This measure was implemented as a result of recent unruly and disruptive passenger incidents where attempts have been made to gain access to the cockpit and during incidents where the unruly and disruptive passenger has been successful in gaining access to the cockpit. These incidents have highlighted the risks to flight safety that can result when unruly and disruptive passengers gain access to the cockpit.

The intent for the measure is to control unauthorized access to the cockpit, and is part of the overall strategy to reduce interference with crew members.

The measure is not applicable where locks are not installed on cockpit doors, nor does the measure apply during situations where there are over-riding flight safety concerns. The measure does not preclude the authority of the pilot-in-command.


CBAAC No. 0166 provides air operators with guidance on developing a program for detecting, preventing and eliminating potential incidents of disruptive and unruly passenger behaviour, and for effectively managing such incidents when they occur.

When establishing procedures for locking the cockpit door, air operators may find it useful to refer to CBAAC No. 0166 on issues such as categorization of incidents.

As required by the Canada Labour Code, Part II, Occupational Safety and Health, the implementation of the security measure must be developed in consultation with the concerned employees.

Procedures for locking cockpit doors must reflect the air operator’s operating environment and take into consideration:

  1. When and how to recognize passenger actions or statements which may pose a "risk to any person onboard";
  2. When and how to determine if there are over-riding flight safety concerns, who is responsible for making this decision and notification to other crew members;
  3. Who is responsible for communicating information on such occurrences to the flight deck. Note: It is expected that on multi-crew aircraft the notification will be made through the normal chain of command. It is not intended that unique chains of communication be established for this purpose if existing methods are suitable;
  4. Special considerations for multi-cabin crew and single cabin crew aircraft;
  5. When the flight crew should be notified of an occurrence. Note: the notification to the pilot-in-command should be made as soon as a crew member becomes aware of a potential situation or as reasonably practicable thereafter;
  6. Primary and secondary methods of communicating with the flight deck when a passenger’s behaviour or statements are considered a threat to the safety of any person onboard;
  7. Content of information to be provided to the flight deck; and
  8. When and how to determine that the risk has passed, who is responsible for this decision and notification to crew members.

Company Manuals and Training Programs

Air operators must have procedures established and in effect on March 17, 2001, and employees must be informed of these procedures on or before that date.

All applicable air operator documents, such as manuals and training programs, must be amended to reflect the new procedures.

Questions concerning compliance with this Security Measure should be directed to the regional cabin safety inspector.


Transport Canada will be conducting a comprehensive review of cockpit access control with the intent to develop more detailed policies and procedures, to be in place by summer 2001.

In the interim, air operators affected by this security measure are required to establish procedures respecting locking of cockpit doors by March 17, 2001.

The measure does not require air operators to install cockpit doors or locks if the aircraft is not already so equipped.


M.R. Preuss
Commercial & Business Aviation

Commercial & Business Aviation Advisory Circulars (CBAAC) are intended to provide information and guidance regarding operational matters. A CBAAC may describe an acceptable, but not the only, means of demonstrating compliance with existing regulations. CBAACs in and of themselves do not change, create any additional, authorize changes in, or permit deviations from regulatory requirements.

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