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Aeronautics Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. A-2)

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Act current to 2024-06-19 and last amended on 2018-12-18. Previous Versions

Aeronautics Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. A-2

An Act to authorize the control of aeronautics

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Aeronautics Act.

  • R.S., c. A-3, s. 1

Her Majesty

Marginal note:Binding on Her Majesty

 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

  • 1976-77, c. 26, s. 1


Marginal note:Definitions

  •  (1) In this Act,

    ANS Corporation

    ANS Corporation means NAV CANADA, a corporation incorporated on May 26, 1995 under Part II of the Canada Corporations Act; (société)


    aerodrome means any area of land, water (including the frozen surface thereof) or other supporting surface used, designed, prepared, equipped or set apart for use either in whole or in part for the arrival, departure, movement or servicing of aircraft and includes any buildings, installations and equipment situated thereon or associated therewith; (aérodrome)

    aeronautical product

    aeronautical product means any aircraft, aircraft engine, aircraft propeller or aircraft appliance or part or the component parts of any of those things, including any computer system and software; (produits aéronautiques)

    air carrier

    air carrier means any person who operates a commercial air service; (transporteur aérien)


    aircraft means

    • (a) until the day on which paragraph (b) comes into force, any machine capable of deriving support in the atmosphere from reactions of the air, and includes a rocket; (aéronef)

    • (b) [Repealed before coming into force, 2008, c. 20, s. 3]

    air navigation services

    air navigation services has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act; (services de navigation aérienne)


    airport means an aerodrome in respect of which a Canadian aviation document is in force; (aéroport)

    air traffic control services

    air traffic control services has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act; (services de contrôle de la circulation aérienne)

    aviation reservation system

    aviation reservation system means a system that provides the capability to make reservations or issue tickets for air services; (système de réservation de services aériens)

    aviation security regulation

    aviation security regulation means a regulation made under subsection 4.71(1); (règlement sur la sûreté aérienne)


    Canada[Repealed, 1996, c. 31, s. 56]

    Canadian aircraft

    Canadian aircraft means an aircraft registered in Canada; (aéronef canadien)

    Canadian aviation document

    Canadian aviation document means, subject to subsection (3), 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; (document d’aviation canadien)

    civil air navigation services

    civil air navigation services has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act; (services de navigation aérienne civile)

    commercial air service

    commercial air service means any use of aircraft for hire or reward; (service aérien commercial)

    emergency direction

    emergency direction means a direction made under section 4.76 or 4.77; (directive d’urgence)

    hire or reward

    hire or reward means any payment, consideration, gratuity or benefit, directly or indirectly charged, demanded, received or collected by any person for the use of an aircraft; (rémunération)

    interim order

    interim order means an interim order made under subsection 6.41(1) or (1.1); (arrêté d’urgence)


    Minister means

    • (a) subject to paragraph (b), the Minister of Transport or any other Minister that is designated by the Governor in Council as the Minister for the purposes of this Act, and

    • (b) the Minister of National Defence — or, under the direction of the Minister of National Defence, the Chief of the Defence Staff appointed under the National Defence Act — with respect to any matter relating to defence, including any matter relating to any of the following:

      • (i) military personnel, a military aeronautical product, a military aerodrome or military equipment of Canada or a foreign state, or a military facility of Canada or a foreign state relating to aeronautics, and

      • (ii) a service relating to aeronautics provided by such personnel, by means of such an aeronautical product or such equipment or at such an aerodrome or facility; (ministre)


    pilot-in-command means, in relation to an aircraft, the pilot having responsibility and authority for the operation and safety of the aircraft during flight time; (commandant de bord)

    registered owner

    registered owner, in respect of an aircraft, means the person to whom a certificate of registration for the aircraft has been issued by the Minister under Part I or in respect of whom the aircraft has been registered by the Minister under that Part; (propriétaire enregistré)

    security clearance

    security clearance means a security clearance granted under section 4.8 to a person who is considered to be fit from a transportation security perspective; (habilitation de sécurité)

    security measure

    security measure means a measure made under subsection 4.72(1) or 4.73(1); (mesure de sûreté)

    superior court

    superior court means

    • (a) in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Trial Division of the Supreme Court of the Province,

    • (a.1) in the Province of Ontario, the Superior Court of Justice,

    • (b) in the Province of Quebec, the Superior Court of the Province,

    • (c) in the Provinces of New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, the Court of Queen’s Bench for the Province,

    • (d) in the Provinces of Nova Scotia, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island, the Supreme Court of the Province, and

    • (e) the Supreme Court of Yukon, the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories and the Nunavut Court of Justice; (juridiction supérieure)


    Tribunal means the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada established by subsection 2(1) of the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act. (Tribunal)

  • Marginal note:Minister for certain purposes

    (2) Despite the definition Minister in subsection (1), Minister, in relation to any matter referred to in paragraph 4.2(1)(n), 4.9(p), (q) or (r) or 8.7(1)(b), means the Minister of National Defence.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (3) The following documents are deemed not to be a Canadian aviation document for the purposes of sections 6.6 to 7.21:

    • (a) a security clearance;

    • (b) a restricted area pass that is issued by the Minister in respect of an aerodrome that the Minister operates; and

    • (c) a Canadian aviation document specified in an aviation security regulation for the purpose of this subsection.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-2, s. 3
  • R.S., 1985, c. 33 (1st Supp.), s. 1
  • 1992, c. 4, s. 1
  • 1996, c. 20, s. 99, c. 31, s. 56
  • 1999, c. 3, s. 13, c. 31, s. 4
  • 2001, c. 29, s. 33
  • 2002, c. 7, s. 79(E)
  • 2004, c. 15, ss. 2, 111
  • 2014, c. 29, s. 10
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 3

PART IAeronautics

Application of Part

Marginal note:Application of Part

  •  (1) Subject to any regulations made pursuant to paragraph 4.9(w), this Part applies in respect of aeronautics to all persons and to all aeronautical products and other things in Canada, to all persons outside Canada who hold Canadian aviation documents and to all Canadian aircraft and passengers and crew members thereon outside Canada.

  • Marginal note:Application of foreign law

    (2) Every person exercising the privileges accorded by a Canadian aviation document in a foreign state and every Canadian aircraft operated in a foreign state shall comply with or be operated in accordance with the applicable aeronautics laws of that state.

  • Marginal note:Conflicts

    (3) Nothing in this Part shall be construed as requiring a person or aircraft to contravene or be operated in contravention of a law of a foreign state that applies to or in respect of the person or aircraft.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-2, s. 4
  • R.S., 1985, c. 33 (1st Supp.), s. 1
  • 1992, c. 4, s. 2

Marginal note:Contraventions outside Canada

 Every person who commits an act or omission outside Canada that if committed in Canada would be a contravention of a provision under this Part shall be deemed to have committed a contravention of the provision under this Part and may be proceeded against and punished in the place in Canada where the person is found as if the contravention had been committed in that place.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 33 (1st Supp.), s. 1
  • 1992, c. 4, s. 3

Responsibilities of Minister

Marginal note:Minister’s responsibilities respecting aeronautics

  •  (1) The Minister is responsible for the development and regulation of aeronautics and the supervision of all matters connected with aeronautics and, in the discharge of those responsibilities, the Minister may

    • (a) promote aeronautics by such means as the Minister considers appropriate;

    • (b) construct, maintain and operate aerodromes and establish and provide other facilities and services relating to aeronautics;

    • (c) establish and provide facilities and services for the collection, publication or dissemination of information relating to aeronautics and enter into arrangements with any person or branch of government for the collection, publication and dissemination of that information;

    • (d) undertake, and cooperate with persons undertaking, such projects, technical research, study or investigation as in the opinion of the Minister will promote the development of aeronautics;

    • (e) control and manage all aircraft and equipment necessary for the conduct of any services of Her Majesty in right of Canada;

    • (f) establish aerial routes;

    • (g) cooperate with officers of Her Majesty in right of Canada and assist them in providing any services under their jurisdiction that may require any aerial work and collaborate with officers employed in aviation services of Her Majesty in such extension of their work as the development of aeronautics may require;

    • (h) take such action as may be necessary to secure by international regulation or otherwise the rights of Her Majesty in right of Canada in international air traffic;

    • (i) cooperate with officers of Her Majesty in right of Canada on all matters relating to defence;

    • (j) cooperate or enter into administrative arrangements with aeronautics authorities of other governments or foreign states with respect to any matter relating to aeronautics;

    • (k) investigate, examine and report on the operation and development of commercial air services in, to or from Canada;

    • (l) provide financial and other assistance to persons, governments and organizations in relation to matters pertaining to aeronautics;

    • (m) for the purposes of providing aviation weather services that will ensure the safety, regularity and efficiency of aircraft operation, enter into arrangements with any branch of the Government of Canada that is capable of and responsible for providing those services or, where those arrangements cannot be made, enter into arrangements with any person or organization with respect to the provision of those services in such form and manner and at such places as the Minister considers necessary;

    • (n) subject to subsection (2), investigate matters relating to aviation safety; and

    • (o) undertake such other activities in relation to aeronautics as the Minister considers appropriate or as the Governor in Council may direct.

  • Marginal note:Exception — investigations of military-civilian occurrences

    (2) Investigations of military-civilian occurrences, as defined in Part II, shall be carried out in accordance with that Part by the Airworthiness Investigative Authority, designated by the Minister under section 12.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 33 (1st Supp.), s. 1
  • 2014, c. 29, s. 11

Marginal note:Delegation by Minister

  •  (1) The Minister may authorize any person or class of persons to exercise or perform, subject to any restrictions or conditions that the Minister may specify, any of the powers, duties or functions of the Minister under this Part, other than the power to make a regulation, an order, a security measure or an emergency direction.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (1.1) Despite subsection (1), the Minister may authorize any person or class of persons to make an order, a security measure or an emergency direction if a provision of this Part specifically authorizes the Minister to do so.

  • Marginal note:Ministerial orders

    (2) The Governor in Council may by regulation authorize the Minister to make orders with respect to any matter in respect of which regulations of the Governor in Council under this Part may be made.

  • Marginal note:Deputy may be authorized to make orders

    (3) The Minister may authorize his deputy to make orders with respect to the matters referred to in paragraph 4.9(l).

  • R.S., 1985, c. 33 (1st Supp.), s. 1
  • 2004, c. 15, s. 3

Marginal note:Authorization by authorized person

 Any person whom the Minister of National Defence has authorized to exercise or perform powers, duties or functions relating to airworthiness may, in accordance with the authorization, authorize another person under their authority to exercise or perform any of those powers, duties or functions.

  • 2014, c. 29, s. 12

Marginal note:Ministerial order

  •  (1) The Minister may make an order prohibiting the development or expansion of a given aerodrome or any change to the operation of a given aerodrome, if, in the Minister’s opinion, the proposed development, expansion or change is likely to adversely affect aviation safety or is not in the public interest.

  • Marginal note:Exemption

    (2) An order under subsection (1) is exempt from examination, registration and publication under the Statutory Instruments Act.

  • 2014, c. 39, s. 143
  • 2017, c. 26, s. 2

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