Airworthiness Notices - B056, Edition 1 - 14 July 2000

Applicability of Foreign Airworthiness Directives in Canada


The purpose of this notice is to clarify the applicability of airworthiness directives (ADs), issued by foreign aviation authorities, to aircraft registered in Canada.


Within the context of this notice, the following definitions apply:

  1. Aircraft has been certified by Transport Canada or another responsible aviation authority;
  2. Responsible aviation authority - the authority of a state that has jurisdiction over the type design of an aeronautical product; and
  3. Airworthiness directive (AD) - manufacturers' service bulletins declared to be mandatory by the responsible aviation authority.


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the responsible aviation authority for many U.S. aircraft types registered in Canada.  Consistent with the Transport Canada/FAA Bilateral Airworthiness Agreement and Transport Canada (TC) regulations, ADs issued by the FAA against aircraft for which it is the responsible authority, are mandatory in Canada unless superseded by a Transport Canada AD.

Some recent FAA ADs have included statements indicating that the AD is applicable only to U.S. registered aircraft.  For example, the text: "Who must comply with this AD?  Anyone who wishes to operate any of the above airplanes on the U.S. register" could be incorrectly interpreted as meaning that the AD is not applicable to Canadian registered aircraft.

Canadian Regulations

The Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs), Part VI, section 605.84 stipulate that an aircraft shall not be flown unless it is maintained in accordance with the requirements of any ADs issued by Transport Canada or the appropriate foreign aviation authority.

With regard to the applicability of foreign ADs, CAR 625, Appendix H, article 4, states:

"CAR 605.84 recognizes the mandatory status of foreign ADs and equivalent notices issued by the aviation authority that has jurisdiction over the type design of the aeronautical product." 

Note that an AD issued by a foreign aviation authority, which does not have jurisdiction over the type design of the aeronautical product affected, does not apply in Canada.  For example, an FAA AD issued against a non-U.S. product does not apply in Canada; likewise, a French DGAC AD issued against a U.S. or other non-French product does not apply in Canada.

Transport Canada Policy

Transport Canada is encouraging the FAA to return to its previous practice of writing its AD applicability statements as generically as possible; specifically, it is being asked to not make further references to U.S. registered aircraft.  Regardless of the FAA's response to this appeal, the following policy continues to apply:

1. With respect to ADs issued by a foreign responsible aviation authority (see Definition (ii) above), unless superseded or cancelled by a Transport Canada AD or other means:

a. These ADs shall apply to Canadian registered examples of the type, notwithstanding any contained language to the contrary.

b. Any reference to foreign regulations (e.g. the U.S. FARs) shall be interpreted as meaning the equivalent Canadian regulations (e.g. the CARs), which shall take precedence.

c. Regardless of any requirement (or not) for the use of foreign approved facilities (e.g. an FAA approved repair station or other organization) the owner must assess whether the AD requires specialized work (as defined by the CARs) by a suitably qualified Transport Canada approved company (e.g. Approved Maintenance Organization).

d. Applications for an alternative means of compliance (AMOC) can only be submitted to, and granted by, Transport Canada.

e. Transport Canada may authorize an extension of the effective date or compliance times specified in the AD.  Such an extension is granted through either an AMOC or an authorized notation on the AD document.  This notation appears on the copy of the AD sent to the affected owners and on the Transport Canada website; it does not appear on ADs obtained from other sources.

f. When an aircraft is unairworthy because of non-compliance with an AD, current regulations stipulate that a flight permit, authorizing operation to a location where the AD can be accomplished, can only be issued in conjunction with an AMOC (see (d) above).

g. aviation authority (e.g. the FAA), a copy of the report shall also be sent to Transport Canada (Attn: Continuing Airworthiness - AARDG, Ottawa, K1A 0N8).   

2. Foreign ADs, which are determined by Transport Canada to be applicable to Canadian registered aircraft,  are published in official TC lists (see "Availability and Sources of ADs" below).   

3. Canadian owners/operators are responsible for further determining applicability in terms of serial number, product life, modification status or other conditions as may be specified in the AD.

Availability and Sources of ADs

Under ICAO, foreign aviation authorities are required to provide TC with all ADs issued by them in respect of aircraft types which are registered in Canada.  After review by TC's Continuing Airworthiness Division, and when confirmed to be applicable in Canada, TC attempts to individually notify the owners of the affected aircraft.  However, in accordance with Airworthiness Manual Chapter 593 (Appendix B) of the CARS, "owners of foreign manufactured products should ensure that they receive all continuing airworthiness information directly from the state having jurisdiction over the type design", and "...owners are responsible for obtaining directly from their manufacturers all continuing airworthiness information, including service bulletins, be they mandated by the state or not".  Owners should also monitor ADs which may be applicable to certified equipment and appliances installed on their aircraft, as TC is usually unable to identify specific owners or aircraft having these products.

ADs known to be applicable to Canadian registered aircraft can be determined from the following official Transport Canada sources:

1. The TC Internet AD website at

2. The quarterly book "Index of Airworthiness Directives Applicable in Canada" (TP9857), available by subscription from Canada Government Publishing, Ottawa, K1A 0S9, telephone (819) 994-1498.

3. Any Transport Canada Centre, or Continuing Airworthiness Division in Ottawa, telephone (613) 952-4357, facsimile (613) 996-9178.

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