Scheduled International Air Service: U.S. Applicants

Table of contents

revised March, 2010

Part I: General Information

A. Relevant Acts and Regulations

The issuance of a licence by the Canadian Transportation Agency (the Agency) and the operation of air services are governed by the following:

  1. the Canada Transportation Act (the Act);
  2. the Air Transportation Regulations (the ATR);
  3. the Aeronautics Act and associated regulations.

These documents are available through:

Department of Justice Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0H8

You are encouraged to acquire the aforementioned documents and to familiarize yourself with their contents.

Should there be any discrepancy between what is contained in this document and what is contained in the Act and the ATR, the Act and the ATR shall prevail.

B. Definitions

In this document,

"Air service"
means a service, provided by means of an aircraft, that is publicly available for the transportation of passengers or goods, or both.
"Canadian aviation document"
in this guide, refers to any licence, permit, accreditation, certificate or other document issued by the Minister under Part I to or with respect to any person or in respect of any aeronautical product, aerodrome, facility or service (for the purpose of this guide, Transport Canada refers this document as a "Canadian Foreign Air Operator Certificate").
"Certificated Maximum Carrying Capacity"
means a) the maximum number of passengers specified in the Type Approval Data Sheet or the Type Certificate Data Sheet issued or accepted by the competent Canadian authority for the aircraft type and model, or b) in respect of a particular aircraft that has been modified to allow a higher number of passengers, the maximum number of passengers specified in the Supplemental Type Approval or the Supplemental Type Certificate issued or accepted by the competent Canadian authority.
"International Service"
means an air service between Canada and a point in the territory of another country.
means the maximum certificated take-off weight for aircraft as shown in the aircraft flight manual referred to in the aircraft's Certificate of Airworthiness issued by the competent Canadian or foreign authority.
"Passenger seat"
for publication/insurance purposes, means a seat on board an aircraft that may be permanently occupied by a passenger for the period during which the aircraft is being used for a domestic service or an international service.
"Scheduled International Licence"
means a licence issued under subsection 69(1) of the Act.
"Scheduled International Service"
means an international service that is a scheduled service pursuant to: a) an agreement or arrangement for the provision of that service to which Canada is a party; or b) a determination made under section 70 of the Act.
"Non-scheduled international service"
means an international service other than a scheduled international service.

C. Air Services Excluded From Licensing Requirements

You do not require an Agency licence to operate the following specialty services to which Part II of the Act does not apply, however, you will continue to be required to obtain a Canadian Foreign Air Operator Certificate and to satisfy Transport Canada concerning publication/insurance coverage:

  • aerial advertising services
  • aerial fire-fighting services
  • aerial survey services
  • aerial reconnaissance services
  • aerial sightseeing services
  • aerial spreading services
  • aerial weather altering services
  • air cushion vehicle services
  • transportation services for the retrieval of human organs for human transplants
  • aircraft demonstration services
  • external helitransport services
  • glider towing services
  • hot air balloon services
  • parachute jumping services
  • rocket launching
  • air flight training services
  • aerial inspection services
  • aerial construction services
  • aerial photography services
  • aerial spraying services
  • aerial forest fire management services

In addition, a licence is not required by a person that uses aircraft on behalf of the Canadian Armed Forces or any other armed forces cooperating with the Canadian Armed Forces.

D. Requirements for Licence Issuance

A licence to operate a scheduled international service may be issued by the Agency if it is satisfied that the applicant:

  1. holds a Canadian aviation document  issued by Transport Canada in respect of the service to be provided under the licence;
  2. has filed the prescribed liability publication/insurance coverage in respect of the service to be provided under the licence;
  3. within the preceding twelve months, has not contravened section 59 of the Act in respect of the service to be provided under the licence.  (This section is explained under point G. of this guide);
  4. holds, in respect of the air service, a document issued by the Government of the United States that, in respect of the service to be provided under the document, is equivalent to a scheduled international licence; and
  5. has been designated by the Government of the United States to operate an air service under the terms of an agreement or arrangement between that government and the Government of Canada.Footnote 1

E. Evidence of holding a Canadian Aviation Document

For information regarding Transport Canada's requirements and for procedures to be followed when applying for a Canadian aviation document, contact:

Foreign Inspection Division
Transport Canada (AARJF)
330 Sparks Street, 5th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada  K1A 0N8

A Canadian aviation document issued by Transport Canada is a pre-requisite for licence issuance. A copy of the Canadian aviation document, valid for the proposed service, must be submitted to the Agency before an Agency licence can be issued.

F. Insurance Requirements

The publication/insurance requirements are set out in sections 7 and 8 of the ATR.  For reference purposes, sections 7 and 8 are set out below:


7.(1) No air carrier shall operate a domestic service or an international service unless, for every accident or incident related to the operation of that service, it has:

  1. liability publication/insurance covering risks of injury to or death of passengers in an amount that is not less than the amount determined by multiplying $300,000 by the number of passenger seats on board the aircraft engaged in the service; and
  2. publication/insurance covering risks of public liability in an amount that is not less than

    1. $1,000,000, where the MCTOW of the aircraft engaged in the service is not greater than 7,500 pounds (3, 402 kg),
    2. $2,000,000, where the MCTOW of the aircraft engaged in the service is greater than 7,500 (3, 402 kg) pounds but not greater than 18,000 pounds (8, 165 kg), and
    3. where the MCTOW of the aircraft engaged in the service is greater than 18,000 pounds (8, 165 kg), $2,000,000 plus an amount determined by multiplying $150 by the number of pounds by which the MCTOW of the aircraft exceeds 18,000 pounds (8, 165 kg).

7.(2) The publication/insurance coverage required by paragraph (1)(a) need not extend to any passenger who is an employee of an air carrier if workers' compensation legislation governing a claim for damages against that air carrier by the employee is applicable.

7.(3) No air carrier shall take out liability publication/insurance to comply with subsection (1) that contains an exclusion or waiver provision reducing publication/insurance coverage for any accident or incident below the applicable minima determined pursuant to that subsection, unless that provision

  1. consists of standard exclusion clauses adopted by the international aviation publication/insurance industry dealing with

    1. war, hijacking and other perils,
    2. noise and pollution and other perils, or
    3. aviation radioactive contamination;
  2. is in respect of chemical drift;
  3. is to the effect that the publication/insurance does not apply to liability assumed by the air carrier under any contract or agreement unless such liability would have attached to the air carrier even in the absence of such contract or agreement; or
  4. is to the effect that the entire policy shall be void if the air carrier has concealed or misrepresented any material fact or circumstance concerning the publication/insurance or the subject thereof or if there has been any fraud, attempted fraud or false statement by the air carrier touching any matter relating to the publication/insurance or the subject thereof, whether before or after a loss.

7.(4) An air carrier may have a comprehensive single limit liability coverage where liability risks are covered by a single policy or a combination of primary and excess policies, but no single limit liability coverage of that air carrier shall be for an amount that is less than the applicable combined publication/insurance minima determined pursuant to paragraphs (1)(a) and (b).


8.(1) Every applicant for a licence or for an amendment to or renewal of a licence, and every licensee, shall file with the Agency, in respect of the service to be provided or being provided, as the case may be, a valid Certificate of Insurance in the form set out in Schedule I as well as a Certificate of Endorsement.

G. Prohibition regarding Sale of an Air Service

Section 59 of the Act provides that no person shall sell, cause to be sold or publicly offer for sale in Canada an air service unless, if required under Part II of the Act, a person holds a licence issued under Part II in respect of that service and that licence is not suspended.


Where an individual has contravened section 59 of the Act, the Agency may, for a period not exceeding twelve months after the date of the contravention, refuse to issue a licence in respect of an air service to the individual or to any corporation of which the individual is a principal.

Where a corporation has contravened section 59, the Agency may, for a period not exceeding twelve months after the date of the contravention, refuse to issue a licence in respect of an air service to

  1. the corporation;
  2. any person who, as a principal of the corporation, directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in a contravention that gave rise to the suspension or cancellation; and (section 79 of the Act refers)
  3. any body corporate of which the corporation or the person referred to in paragraph (b) above is a principal.  (section 79 of the Act refers)

H. Licence Not Transferable

Section 58 of the Act provides that a licence issued under Part II of the Act for the operation of an air service is not transferable.

I. Appointment & Notification of Agent Requirement

Subsections 84(1) and (2) of the Act provide that:

84(1) "A licensee who has an agent in Canada shall, in writing, provide the Agency  with the agent's name and address."

84(2) "A licensee who does not have a place of business or an agent in Canada shall  appoint an agent who has a place of business in Canada and, in writing,  provide the Agency with the agent's name and address."

J. Canada Border Services Agency Reporting Requirements

Applicants must report electronically to Canada Border Services Agency (formerly referred to as Customs or Revenue Canada)

  • all goods (whether or not company owned) and
  • all passengers and personnel (including personnel of another air carrier)

Such reporting is required:

  • prior to arrival (per Advance Commercial Information (ACI) and Advance Passenger Information/Passenger Name Record (API/PNR) regulations, and
  • upon arrival at the point of entry in Canada (per the Customs Act)

For more details, contact Canada Border Services Agency at the following numbers:

Inside Canada
1-800-461-9999 (English)
1-800-959-2036 (French)
Outside Canada
204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064 (English)
204-983-3700 or 506-636-5067 (French)

K. Tariff Filing Requirements

Notwithstanding licence issuance, applicants are reminded that appropriate tariffs containing general terms and conditions of carriage which are broadly applicable to all air transportation and are not directly related to the fare, rate or charge are required to be on file and in effect with the Agency prior to commencing respective air services.

Carriers offering international scheduled services are required to file with the Agency, prior to the commencement of service, their service schedule which includes routes operated, the type of equipment used with seating capacity, frequency, departure/arrival times, etc. all pursuant to Part VI of the ATR.  Carriers have the option of electronic filing.

For your information, some samples of tariffs can be found on our internet site at the following link: /eng/tariffs.  If you are unable to download a copy or should you require further assistance with respect to tariffs, contact the Tariffs Division by telephone at 819-953-2124 or by facsimile at 819-953-5686.

L. Statistical Reporting Requirements

Licensees providing domestic or international services touching Canada are required, under regulations stemming from section 50 of the CTA, to report certain operational data to the Government of Canada through Transport Canada’s Electronic Collection of Air Transportation Statistics (ECATS) program.

To join ECATS, contact the ECATS program office 30 days prior to beginning operations to or from Canada:

Transport Canada – ECATS
Attention: Chief, Aviation Statistics
Economic Analysis (ACACE)
Place de Ville Tower C 25th floor
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0N5

Part II: Application Instructions

1. Format

Applications should be typewritten in the format as set out in the Appendices 1 and 2.

2. Language

Applications and supporting documents are to be submitted in either English or French.  All documents filed in another language must be accompanied by a translation in English or French and an affidavit attesting to the accuracy of the translation.  (Section 12 of the General Rules refers)

3. Certificates of Insurance and Endorsement



  • the name of the insured party must correspond exactly with the name that is to appear on the insured party's licence. (Trade names under which the applicant operates or proposes to operate do not need to appear on the Certificates of Insurance and Endorsement.)
  • the effective dates are current and indicated in day, month, year order
  • section 3 of the Certificate of Insurance should be completed by inserting the words "an international" (when completing section 3, the minimum amount of publication/insurance coverage required should be calculated as per section 7 of the ATR which has been reproduced in item F of Part I of this guide)
  • section 4(a) or (b) should be completed by inserting the word "international"
  • Note: "domestic" refers to a domestic service operated within Canada and not a service that is being operated in your own country.
  • either section 6(a) or (b) should be selected (checked)
  • the certificate must be dated and signed by an authorized person or agent of the insurer
  • when publication/insurance is provided through more than one insurer, a listing of insurers must be provided with the percentage of interest of each clearly indicated
  • combined single limit (CSL) coverage, which is the sum of passenger and public liability, may be shown instead of passenger liability and public liability being shown separately

Copies of the Certificates of Insurance and Endorsement can be found at: and

4. Filing Instructions

The application, including all supporting documentation, is to be submitted to the Agency and should be addressed as follows:

By mail:
Canadian Transportation Agency
60 Laval Street, Unit 01
Gatineau, QC, J8X 3G9
By courier:
Canadian Transportation Agency
60 Laval Street, Unit 01
Gatineau, QC
J8X 3G9
Oversize deliveries:
Please use the side loading dock located on Rue de l’Hôtel-de-ville.

The application can also be submitted to the Agency by facsimile at 819-953-5562 or 819-953-8798.

The onus is on the applicant to complete the application in full and to include all supporting documentation requested.

Timeline to receive a licence

Applicants can usually expect to receive a licence within two weeks (14 calendar days) after having satisfied all licence issuance requirements. When an application is not complete, it cannot be processed until the necessary information or documentation is filed. In cases where requirements are not met within a year, applicants will be informed that since their application is incomplete, their file may be closed.

5. Signature

The application should be identified as such and be signed by:

  1. the proprietor, if a proprietorship (i.e. an individual);
  2. each partner, if a partnership;
  3. by an officer or officers of the corporation duly authorized to execute such documents under seal, if any, on behalf of the corporation, if a corporation;
  4. a member, if a limited liability company.


6. Undertaking

All applicants must undertake to not contravene section 59 of the Act prior to the issuance of the applied for licence. This undertaking must be witnessed.


7. Verification

All of the information contained in the application, including the supporting documentation and changes subsequently made thereto, must be verified by an affidavit of the applicant, attesting to its truth, accuracy and completeness. (A sample affidavit form which may be used by applicants is attached as Appendix 2)


8. Amendments

Any changes made to the application are considered to be amendments to the original application and are to be titled and numbered in the same fashion as the corresponding items in the original application.

9. Additional Information

The Agency may request additional information and documentation if it is required or if ambiguities need to be clarified.

It is the responsibility of the licensee to ensure that its Canadian authorizations are kept current and reflect at all times the operations of the licensee into Canada.

In particular, but not limited to the foregoing, the licensee shall notify the Agency of any changes in respect of its liability insurance coverage, the aircraft it intends to operate into Canada, any foreign operating authorizations which may affect operations into Canada, and any changes to the name of the licensee which would result in a difference from the name specified on its Canadian licence(s) or any related Canadian authorizations.

Sensitive or confidential information should be clearly marked as such and should be submitted as separate documents.

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