GLIDING in CANADA
Requirements for Foreign Pilots & Aircraft
The purpose of these notes is to provide information on Canadian regulatory requirements for foreign pilots and aircraft. Complying with these requirements is straightforward. Should you have any questions or encounter difficulties, you can contact the office of the Soaring Association of Canada for information or assistance.
Requirements for Pilots
Flying your own (foreign registered) aircraft:
You can fly on the strength of your foreign pilot licence, or permit, and supporting documents (medical certificate), provided that they are from an International Civil Aviation organization (ICAO) member state (most countries are). There are no special Canadian requirements in addition to those of the foreign country.
Flying Canadian registered aircraft:
There are no requirements to hold a Canadian Aviation Document unless you wish to act as pilot-in-command of a Canadian registered aircraft. To fly as pilot-in-command of a Canadian registered air-craft, there are four ways to satisfy the pilot licensing requirements.
- Limited Term Glider Pilot Licence & Medical Certificate (LTP/MC): The LTP/MC is issued on the basis of the applicant holding a valid foreign pilot licence and medical certificate from an ICAO member state. The LTPL is valid for a period of 90 days and you may only apply once in any 12 month period. Unlike the Foreign License Validation Certificate, the LTP/MC permits foreign pilots to act as pilot-in-command for purposes of flight training and testing (for example to obtain an instructor or acrobatics rating). A LTP/MC may be obtained from a Regional or District Personnel Licensing Office of Transport Canada; relevant addresses, telephone and fax numbers appear in Annex 1. Arrangements may be made on site, or in advance, by sending copies of the relevant documents (foreign licence and medical certificate) to a regional or district office listed in the annex. There is neither a flight nor a written examination. At time of writing (April, 1 997 there was no fee.
- Foreign License Validation Certificate (FLVC): The Foreign Licence Validation Certificate is issued on the strength of your foreign licence and is valid for one year from the date of issue. It is not a Canadian licence ‘per se’, so it cannot be used to upgrade your rating. For example, you could not obtain a Canadian instructor rating on the basis of a FLVC. A FLVC can be obtained from a Regional or District Personnel Licensing Office of Transport Canada. At the time of writing (April, 1997) here was a $45 fee.
- Student Permit: This would typically apply if you do not hold a foreign glider pilot license and wish to take glider pilot training in Canada. You may obtain a Student Pilot Permit through a club or commercial gliding operation, providing they have an Authorized Person who had been delegated the authority to issue Student Pilot Permits. Alternatively you may apply at a Regional or District Personnel Licensing Office of Transport Canada. The regulatory requirements for this permit are:
- Successfully complete a pre-solo examination (administered at the club)
- Sign a Civil Aviation Medical Certificate (self-declaration of fitness to fly), thereby meeting Category IV medical standards, or hold a Canadian Category 1, 3, or 4 Medical Certificate; and
- Have a Canadian Glider Flight Instructor certify in your log book that you are safe for solo flight. A Student Pilot Permit is not needed until the solo stage and there Is no fee for a Student Pilot Permit.
- Canadian Glider Pilot Licence: Obtaining a Canadian Glider Pilot Licence mainly would be attractive to a foreign pilot who is a frequent visitor to Canada and intends to fly Canadian registered aircraft while here. Assuming that you have a valid foreign licence from an ICAO contracting state, you can obtain a Canadian licence, providing you:
- Obtain a grade of 90%, or better, on the PSTAR written examination. This is an examination on Canadian air regulations;
- Provide evidence (from your log book) that you have sufficient experience to obtain a Canadian Glider Pilot Licence; and
- Sign a medical declaration, thereby meeting Category 4 medical standards, or hold a Canadian Category 1, 3, or 4 medical certificate
Requirements for Foreign Registered Aircraft
If the aircraft is registered and has a standard Certificate of Airworthiness from an ICAO contracting state, or a country which has entered into a bilateral agreement with Canada, there are no special Canadian document requirements for operating in Canada. If an aircraft is operating under a Flight Authorization, other than a standard Certificate of Airworthiness, it is necessary to obtain a validation of the foreign flight authorization prior to operating in Canada. The process is straightforward and involves providing evidence that the aircraft has a special Certificate of Airworthiness – or equivalent document in the home country. Validations are not unreasonably withheld and may be obtained from a Transport Canada Regional or District Aircraft Licensing Office. Validations may also be obtained from the Aircraft Maintenance and Manufacturing Branch or the Special Flight Operations Branch at Transport Canada’s head office in Ottawa. In order to avoid delays, it is advisable to make arrangements in advance of your trip. It is expected that, effective July 1, 1997, there will be a $100 charge by Transport Canada for a foreign Flight Authorization validation.
Canadian Gliding Operations
For the most part, gliding in Canada is organized on a club basis, with a few commercial operations like the Invermere Soaring Centre. As in your own country, clubs and commercial operations have their own requirements in terms of checkflights, competency levels, etc. before you will be allowed to fly on your own. These requirements are geared to safety considerations; they are probably not much different from those that would apply in your own club and country. The gliding clubs range from large well-equipped organizations, to operations with only a handful of members. The small- and medium-sized operations tend to only fly on weekends and holidays; while the larger operations fly whenever weather permits. Some clubs will waive club membership fees if you are a member of a club in your own country and if you only intend to be at the club a short time; some others have special rates for short stays of one or two weeks. Insofar as membership in the Soaring Association of Canada (SAC) is concerned, membership in a counterpart Organization in your home country (for example, the SSA in the US, the FFW in France, the BGA in the United Kingdom, etc.) is taken as the equivalent of SAC membership while you are in Canada.