1.0 General Information

1.1  Purpose

The purpose of this staff instruction is to provide Inspectors with the information, procedures and guidelines necessary to process an application and issue a Special Flight Operations Certificate - Parachuting (in or into controlled airspace or an air route) required by Part VI, Subpart 3, Division III of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs).

This staff instruction has been prepared in line with the functional authority and direction given by the Headquarters Special Flight Operations division which 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

1.2  Reference Material

Canadian Aviation Regulations:

  • Part VI, Subpart 2 - Operating and Flight Rules
  • Part VI, Subpart 3 - Special Flight Operations
  • Part VI, Subpart 6 - Miscellaneous - Liability Insurance
  • Part VI, Subpart 5 - Sections 605.23, 605.25 and 605.26 - Safety Belts and Restraint Systems

General Operating and Flight Rules Standards 623 - Special Flight Operations - Division III

Canadian Sport Parachuting Association - Parachute Information Manual (PIM) - Part One

1.3  Policy Information

Parachuting, in a relatively short timeframe has developed and grown to form a significant part of Canada's aviation community. Although parachutes were originally designed to offer airmen an alternative to death or serious injury in an emergency situation, parachuting has developed into a dynamic industry in which an estimated 250,000 parachute descents are made each year in Canada. With improvements in parachute technology, the act of leaving a "serviceable aircraft" to make a parachute descent is no longer regarded as a "guaranteed death wish". Parachutes are no longer simply aerodynamic decelerators, that once open, drift at the whim of the wind and set the parachutist down on the ground with the equivalent impact of jumping off the roof of a one story house. The majority of parachute canopies in use today are airfoil designs which actually meet the definition of an "aircraft". They are very manoeuvrable and can be flown very accurately. In fact, it is not uncommon for first time jumpers who have departed a jump aircraft at 3,500 AGL to land lightly on their toes within ten (10) feet of an intended touch down zone and expert jumpers can exit an aircraft from 30,000 feet and land within five feet of a predetermined point.

The Canadian Sport Parachuting Association and the Canadian Associates of Professional Skydivers through its affiliation with the Federation Aeronautique International (FAI), and with a dedicated group of volunteers has have developed training programs, Basic Safety Regulations and Technical Recommendations which when followed, significantly reduce the risks involved in parachuting.

Transport Canada recognises parachuting as a legitimate segment of the aviation community. As such, it is departmental policy to recognise parachutists as normal airspace users, who upon complying with the requirements of the issue of a Special Flight Operations, have as much right to use and share controlled airspace in Canada as other airspace users.

Landowner and trespass issues have been addressed in the standards by requiring declarations that airport managers, aerodrome operators, landowners and or tenants have been advised of the proposed operation and have no objections. (ref. subparagraphs 623.38(A)(1)(f) and (g) Special Flight Operations Standards. Should "public interest" be perceived as an issue, the procedures outlined in ADMA Directive No. 18 - "Public Interest" Guidelines shall be used to effect a resolution. The Directive states "Public Interest" is "the shared interest of the community at large. It results from an amalgamation of special interest, balanced to the common good. The public interest is not parochial in nature but rather takes account of factors beyond the interests of an immediate locality."

The decision to issue or not to issue a Special Flight Operations Certificate - Parachuting shall be based upon whether the parachute operations can take place safely. The determination shall be made by obtaining knowledge of parachuting; by applying the requirements of the applicable CARs and Standards; by applying the procedures contained in this staff instruction and most importantly, by thoroughly co-ordinating an application with Regional Air Navigation Services and Airspace personnel and Nav Canada the applicable air traffic control agency to develop operating conditions for the operation. to be contained in the Special Flight Operations Certificate.

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