Section One - General Information


The purpose of this staff instruction is to provide Inspectors with the information, procedures and guidelines necessary to process an application and prepare a Special Flight Operations Certificate - Special Aviation Event required by the Canadian Aviation Regulation 603.01 to conduct a Special Aviation Event - Air Show.

This staff instruction has been prepared in line with the functional authority and direction given by the Headquarters Special Flight Operations division that is the delegated Functional Specialist for Special Flight Operations. It will ensure common application of policies, directives, standards and procedures within Transport Canada. This staff instruction will aid Headquarters and Regional staff by providing guidelines and advice in their activities with regard to national policies, directives and standards. Please ensure that all personnel, directly or indirectly concerned with Special Flight Operations are informed and apply these procedures as contained in this staff instruction.

Recommendations for improvements or questions pertaining to the information contained in this staff instruction should be forwarded to the Special Flight Operations division of the General Aviation branch:

6th Floor, Place de Ville, Tower C
330 Sparks Street,
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0N8

Reference Material

Canadian Aviation Regulations - Part VI, Subpart 3, Division I - Special Aviation Events
Special Flight Operations Standards - Division I - Chapter One (Air Shows)
Special Flight Operations Procedures - Aerobatic Competency Evaluation Program


The Canadian Aviation Regulations Part VI, Subpart 3, Division I and Special Flight Operations Standards - Division I - Chapter One (Air Shows) contain the restrictions, limitations, and spectator safety criteria to be considered when issuing a Special Flight Operations Certificate for the conduct of an air show.

Transport Canada is responsible for the conduct of civil aircraft only. Military aircraft operate under the authority of the Department of National Defence and are not subject to the Canadian Aviation Regulations. At mixed events (civil and military participation) when the certificate holder is a civil agency or person, Transport Canada will concern itself with the civil participants, civil airspace, and the emergency facilities and planning related to spectators. At displays with only military performances, Transport Canada will assist the Department of National Defence in the administration of the airspace and the issue of appropriate NOTAMS.

The Regional Superintendent, General Aviation is delegated the responsibility to issue Special Flight Operations Certificates for the conduct of Special Aviation Events and to specify the conditions to be contained in the certificates.

For a Special Aviation Event to be safe and successful it requires extensive pre-planning by an applicant. A "management organization" for a Special Aviation Event that runs annually or bi-annually may be well acquainted with Transport Canada requirements and procedures, where a first time event may have no knowledge and require more of an Inspector's time. Inspectors should be reminded that committees of volunteers run many annual events and that key personnel may change from year to year. Often with these changes, the knowledge of Transport Canada rules and procedures within an applicants' management organization decreases.

Upon initial contact with an applicant, an Inspector should ensure the applicant:

  1. is in possession of the CARs and Standards applicable to Special Aviation Events and if not, inform the applicant of the procedures to obtain them; and
  2. is made aware of the requirement to submit the application a minimum of 60 days prior to the date of the proposed event.

A first time applicant should be made aware of the International Council of Air Shows and the assistance they can offer in planning, organising and running air shows. The address is:

International Council of Air Shows
751 Miller Drive, SE
Suite F-4
Leesburg, Virginia
Telephone: (703) 779-8510
FAX: (703) 779-8511

It may also be helpful to direct them to contact representatives of the Canadian Forces regarding Canadian or Foreign Military aircraft participation at:

G3 Operations
Westwin, Manitoba
R3J 0T0

Telephone: 204-833-5206 or
FAX: 204-833-6249

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