2.0 Reviewing and Application

2.1  Regulatory Background

Section 602.26 of the CARs prohibits parachute descents from an aircraft in or into controlled airspace or air route; or over or into a built-up area or an open-air assembly of persons except in accordance with section 603.37 of the CARs.

Section 603.37 of the CARs allows the prohibition stated in section 602.26 if the person complies with the provisions of a Special Flight Operations Certificate - Parachuting.

Section 603.38 gives the requirement for an application to be submitted in the form and manner required by the Special Flight Operations Standards.

Sub-section 623.38(A) of the Special Flight Operations Standards outlines the information that constitutes an application for the Special Flight Operations Certificate. An application form specific to this request has not been produced and is not planned. An applicant may submit the required information in any format he or she chooses.

2.2  Applicability

The staff instructions contained in this document apply to all applications made in accordance with section 603.38 of the CARs for a Special Flight Operations Certificate - Parachuting to conduct parachute descents in or into controlled airspace or an air route.

2.3  Procedures

All applications to conduct parachute descents in or into controlled air space must be reviewed to ensure the requirements of the CARs, the Special Flight Operations Standards and the procedures contained in this staff instruction are met and can be adhered to by an applicant. The Standards contain the minimum standards for the conduct of parachute descents in or into controlled airspace. Determination of whether an application meets the minimum standards must be made by cross-reference to the reference material. The requirement for 10 days advance notice is intended to provide Transport Canada officials with sufficient time to review an application and supporting documentation and carry out the required co-ordination early to eliminate the need for last minute action by an applicant to meet requirements. It is not the intent of this staff instruction to direct regional staff not to process an application when an application is received with less than ten days notice. Should an application arrive at a regional office in less than the normal required time frame but can be processed accurately and completely without straining existing resources and work schedules, the service should be provided with a reminder to the client that ten days notice will be required in future.

An application shall be reviewed as follows:

2.4  Application and Supporting Documentation

1.  The information that must be submitted to Transport Canada by an applicant is found in the Special Flight Operations Standards - Division III - Parachute Descents In or Into Controlled Airspace or an Air Route, Section 623.38(A)(1). It must be verified as complete or the applicant notified of any omissions as soon as possible.

2.  Once it is determined the application is complete, a regional 6605 file shall be opened and maintained. The number assigned to the file represents the certificate number.


Nav Canada is amending the MANOPS to instruct and advise their ATS personnel on procedures to work with parachute operators in developing and agreeing to a Procedural Agreement to provide Air Traffic Services for aircraft and hazard separation for the airspace requested directly with a parachute operator. At present, all Nav Canada regional offices have been informally advised of the procedures and have been given the template for the agreement and have been instructed to make use of it. A copy of the template developed by Nav Canada for this purpose is contained in Appendix A of this document.

3.  Upon receipt of a new application or an application for a renewal, the applicant shall be contacted as soon as possible and directed to contact the appropriate ATS unit responsible for the airspace requested to negotiate and obtain a Procedural Agreement with Nav Canada. The Procedural Agreement will contain the conditions that were previously obtained by our contact with the ATS unit and were incorporated into the Special Flight Operations Certificate.


As with any change it takes some time for all personnel to be advised and implement new procedures nationally. Until such time as Nav Canada formally amends MANOPS, it may be possible that some ATS units may not be aware of the policy change. If this situation arises, steps shall be taken to ensure Nav Canada personnel that you are dealing with are advised of the new procedures and direct contact between the applicant and Nav Canada is facilitated.

This may include conditions requiring prior notice by telephone, ATS agencies to be contacted, reporting altitudes, special transponder codes, etc. If the ATS unit controlling agency is unable to accommodate a request, an explanation in writing shall be obtained and placed on the file. Decisions not to issue a certificate are to be based on factual safety issues only, not perceived inconvenience to other airspace users, personal feelings, or lack of familiarity or discomfort with parachute operations. Important points to be taken into consideration are:

  1. Parachuting is a VFR activity, requiring a minimum of 5 miles flight visibility. (ref. 623.38(B)(7))

  2. No part of a parachute descent may be made through cloud. (ref. 623.38(B)(5))

  3. It takes 12 seconds and 1483 feet for a parachutist to reach terminal velocity after leaving an aircraft.

  4. Once reaching terminal velocity, it takes a parachutist 5.7 seconds to travel 1000 feet in freefall.

  5. It takes a parachutist 64 seconds in freefall from an aircraft to travel from 12,500 feet AGL to 2,000 AGL.

  6. Under canopy, it takes a parachutist an average of 48 seconds to travel 1,000 feet.

4.  The regional Air Navigation Services and Airspace branch shall be provided with a copy of the SFOC. In this way, amendments to publications (the Canada Flight Supplement, the Designated Airspace Handbook), modification of circuit procedures at an airport or aerodromes or other need action can be taken.

5.  In the event the decision is made to deny an application based on safety concerns, the applicant shall be notified in writing of the decision. The letter shall contain the justification and explanation for the decision.

6.  For recording purposes, all information, documentation, correspondence (including records of telephone conversations) should be kept together and placed on the appropriate regional files.

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