Canadian Air Carrier Licence Application Guide

Table of Contents

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What is this guide for?

This guide is intended to help Canadian applicants successfully apply for a domestic, a scheduled international or a non-scheduled international licence.

What constitutes a complete application?

The following documents must be provided as part of the licence application.

Mandatory
Application form for Canadian applicants completed; along with all required supporting documents.
Mandatory (when available)
Canadian aviation document (e.g. Air Operator Certificate)
Certificate of insurance
If applicable
Designation by Minister (for scheduled international services only)
Financial requirements form and supporting documents

Note: Applicants that do not currently hold an Agency licence may file the documents marked as "mandatory (when available)" after having submitted their initial application form. In the meantime, the Agency will process the other components of the application. The licence will only be issued once the applicant meets all requirements.

Part 1 – Before applying

Relevant legislation and regulations

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

You are encouraged to become familiar with these acts and regulations.

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

Do I need a licence?

Under most circumstances, a carrier must hold a licence to operate an air service.

An air service is a service provided by means of an aircraft that is publicly available for the transportation of passengers or goods, or both.

Additional information on what constitutes an air service can be found in the Agency's Notice to Industry: Criteria to Determine What Constitutes an Air Service.

Note that the following air services are excluded from licensing requirements (subsection 3(1) of the ATR and subsection 56(1) of the CTA):

  • 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
  • air flight training services
  • aerial inspection services
  • aerial construction services
  • aerial photography services
  • aircraft demonstration services
  • external helitransport services
  • glider towing services
  • hot air balloon services
  • parachute jumping services
  • transportation services for the retrieval of human organs for human transplants
  • rocket launching
  • aerial spraying services
  • aerial forest fire management services
  • a person that uses aircraft on behalf of the Canadian Armed Forces or any other armed forces cooperating with the Canadian Armed Forces

Carriers operating air services that are excluded from the licensing requirement are still required to comply with the requirements of the Aeronautics Act, as administered by Transport Canada.

Confidential information

All financial and commercial information that is filed with the Agency will be treated as confidential.

A licence is required to sell an air service

Section 59 of the CTA prohibits any person from selling, causing to be sold or publicly offering for sale in Canada an air service without holding a licence, and that licence is not suspended.

If there has been a contravention of section 59 of the CTA, the Agency may, under section 79, refuse to issue a licence for a period not exceeding 12 months.

Applicants for a licence to operate an air service must not have contravened section 59 in the preceding 12 months, and must undertake to not contravene section 59 until a licence is issued (see Authorized officer statement).

Meeting the requirements

1. Canadian status

The requirement to be Canadian is a market entry and an ongoing requirement for Canadian carriers to hold a domestic, a scheduled international or a non-scheduled international licence.

"Canadian" is defined in subsection 55.(1) of the CTA as:

i. An individual that is either a:

  1. Canadian citizen or
  2. permanent resident of Canada.

ii. A corporation, partnership, or any other legal entity that meets all three of the following conditions:

  1. It is incorporated or formed under the laws of Canada or a province;
  2. At least 75% of its voting interests are owned and controlled by Canadians; and
  3. It is controlled in fact by Canadians.

Otherwise, the applicant must have been exempted from this requirement by the Minister, pursuant to section 62 of the CTA, which states:

Where the Minister considers it necessary or advisable in the public interest that a domestic licence be issued to a person who is not a Canadian, the Minister may, by order, on such terms and conditions as may be specified in the order, exempt the person from the application of subparagraph 61(a)(i) for the duration of the order.

Additional information on the Canadian status requirement can be found in the following Agency publications:

Interpretation Note: Canadian Ownership Requirement

Interpretation Note: Control in Fact

Applicants must submit evidence of being Canadian (see Canadian ownership information).

2. Canadian aviation document (Air Operator Certificate)

Applicants for a licence to operate a domestic, a scheduled international or a non-scheduled international service must hold a Canadian aviation document valid for the service(s) to be provided under the licence(s).

A Canadian aviation document is usually in the form of an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) issued by Transport Canada.

For information regarding requirements and procedures to be followed when applying for an Air Operator Certificate, see Transport Canada’s website.

3. Certificate of Insurance

Applicants must have the prescribed liability insurance coverage for the service(s) to be provided under the licence(s). In this regard, applicants must file a certificate of insurance as well as a certificate of endorsement.

4. Designation

Canadian applicants for a scheduled international licence (other than for scheduled international services between Canada and the United States of America or the European Union) must provide evidence that they have been designated by the Minister of Transport as eligible to hold such a licence.

5. Financial requirements

Applicants for a licence to operate services using aircraft with 40 or more seats must meet prescribed financial requirements. Information on how to comply with the financial requirements are described in the Agency’s Financial Requirements Guide.

Part 2 – Instructions on filling out the licence application form

Language

Applications and supporting documents must 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.

Completing the form

This form allows you to enter the required information and to save it to your records. Additional details are provided for what is required when you place the computer cursor over the fields.

Section A: Classes of service

Classification of service

  • Domestic service is an air service between points in Canada, from and to the same point in Canada or between Canada and a point outside Canada that is not in the territory of another country (section 55 of the CTA).
  • Scheduled international service is an international service that is a scheduled service pursuant to an agreement or arrangement to which Canada is a party (see bilateral agreements). In the absence of an agreement, the Minister of Transport may determine that an international service is a scheduled international service (section 70 of the CTA).
  • Non-scheduled international service is an international service other than a scheduled international service.

Classification of aircraft

The classes of aircraft that may be operated by a Canadian air carrier under an Agency licence are:

  • small aircraft (aircraft equipped for the carriage of passengers and having a certificated maximum carrying capacity of not more than 39 passengers)
  • medium aircraft (aircraft equipped for the carriage of passengers and having a certificated maximum carrying capacity of more than 39 but not more than 89 passengers)
  • large aircraft (aircraft equipped for the carriage of passengers and having a certificated maximum carrying capacity of more than 89 passengers)
  • all-cargo aircraft (aircraft that is equipped for the carriage of goods only)

Certificated maximum carrying capacity means:

  • 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 (Transport Canada) for the aircraft type and model, or
  • for 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 Transport Canada.

Applicants for a scheduled international licence must specify the country (or countries) to which they propose to operate. The form includes a drop down menu of all the countries with which Canada has an agreement or arrangement. For countries where no bilateral agreement exists, applicants should select Other and provide the name of the country in the appropriate field.

Applicants that propose to operate an international air service on a scheduled basis to a country that has no agreement with Canada must apply in accordance with the Guidelines Respecting Extra-Bilateral Air Service Application to the Agency.

Section B: Applicant information

Legal name

The legal name must correspond exactly with the name indicated on the incorporation/formation documents of the business enterprise, where applicable.

The legal name must also correspond with the name indicated on all documents supporting this application, including:

Current licence holder

The information requirements for existing licensees are different than those for applicants that do not currently hold a licence. In particular, existing licensees will only need to complete a declaration confirming that they continue to be Canadian whereas first time applicants will need to provide additional documentary proof confirming their Canadian status (see Canadian status information).

Trade name

Paragraph 18(c) of the ATR states:

[The licensee] shall not operate an international service, or represent by advertisement or otherwise the licensee as operating such a service, under a name other than that specified in the licence.

If applicable, list all trade names under which the applicant intends to operate its international air service(s).

Section C: Contact information

Head office

List the contact information for the head office of the applicant.

If the contact person for the purposes of this application differs from the contact person at the head office, indicate the name, title, e-mail address, telephone number and fax number for an individual the Agency may contact.

Section D: Proposed aircraft

Provide the following details for the aircraft to be used:

  1. make / model (e.g., Airbus A-300)
  2. Certificated Maximum carrying capacity;

Section E: Canadian status information

Applicants must provide detailed information about their ownership structure to confirm their Canadian status.

The burden of proof rests entirely on the applicant to satisfy the Agency that it is Canadian. The applicant is encouraged to provide the Agency with any information and documentation that relates, in any way, to its Canadian status.

The type of information that the applicant must provide in support of its Canadian status will depend on whether the applicant already holds an Agency licence. The filing requirement is as follows:

  1. Existing licensees that are applying to amend a licence or to obtain a new licence authority must declare to the Agency that they continue to be Canadian (see Authorized officer statement). They are not required to provide any additional information, although the Agency reserves the right to request additional information as required.

  2. All other applicants, including first time applicants or applicants that, at the time of application, do not hold a licence, are required to provide the additional Canadian ownership information, as detailed below.

Applicants with complex ownership structures, including those that have shares or financial instruments that are traded publicly, are advised to contact the Financial Evaluation Division prior to completing their application.

1. Business structure

This section gathers general information about the applicant, including its business structure and, for corporations and limited partnerships, where they were incorporated or formed. The information is used to determine whether the applicant meets the requirement to be incorporated or formed under the laws of Canada or a province.

Applicants are required to specify whether the applicant is a:

Corporation:
An incorporated business authorized by federal, provincial, or territorial law to act as a separate legal entity.
Limited partnership:
A partnership in which there is at least one general partner (unlimited liability) and at least one limited partner whose liability is limited to the amount of money the limited partner has invested.
Partnership:
An unincorporated business wherein two or more individuals, corporations, trusts or partnerships join together to carry on a trade or business.
Sole proprietorship:
An unincorporated business entirely owned by one person. Also referred to as a proprietorship.
Other:
Any other business form not listed above (must be specified).
Jurisdiction of incorporation or formation (applies to corporations and limited partnerships)

The jurisdiction of incorporation or formation is the province (or Canada if federal) under whose jurisdiction the company was incorporated or formed. As an example, if the business was incorporated under the Business Corporations Act (Quebec), its jurisdiction of incorporation would be Quebec. If the business was incorporated through Corporations Canada under the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA), the jurisdiction of incorporation would be Canada.

Under the laws of Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, persons cannot incorporate for the purpose of carrying on the business of air transportation. Accordingly, any person incorporating to operate an air transport business must do so federally (under the CBCA) or provincially (under the applicable provincial business corporation act).

Incorporation or registration number (applies to corporations and limited partnerships)

Indicate the incorporation or registration number, as provided by the appropriate provincial registrar of companies or Corporations Canada. This is the number that is either on the business incorporation certificate (for corporations), or from the applicable registrar of companies for other ownership forms, such as limited partnerships. The incorporation or registration number is not to be confused with the GST/HST number or municipal business licence number.

2. Ownership information

This section gathers information about the ownership interest in the applicant, including identifying all of its owners. The information is used to determine whether 75% of the voting ownership interests in the applicant are owned and controlled by Canadians. It is also used as a factor in determining whether the applicant is controlled in fact by Canadians.

Where the applicant indicates its business structure to be a "sole proprietorship", the application form will generate a field requesting the applicant to confirm that its "owner is Canadian". For all other business forms, the information listed under (A) to (G) must be provided.

(A) Full legal name of shareholder(s) or partners

Provide the full legal name of each person that has an ownership interest in the applicant.

Where an ownership interest in the applicant is held by a corporation, a limited partnership, a trust, or any other legal entity (collectively referred to as a corporate shareholder), provide the full legal name of the corporate shareholder.

In a situation involving an ownership chain (i.e., where a company is owned by one or more companies that are in turn owned by one or more other companies), the Agency must determine who controls the company up to the top of the ownership chain.

The application form will therefore automatically add a new section for every corporate shareholder in the ownership chain that the applicant declares to be Canadian. Refer to Corporate shareholder information for more details.

(B) Canadian (Yes/No)

If the shareholder or partner is an individual and either a (i) Canadian citizen or (ii) permanent resident of Canada, answer Yes; otherwise, answer No.

If the shareholder or partner is a corporation or limited partnership, answer Yes if the corporation or limited partnership meets all of the following conditions:

  1. it is incorporated or formed under the laws of Canada or a province;
  2. at least 75% of its voting interests are owned and controlled by Canadians; and
  3. it is controlled in fact by Canadians.
(C) Shareholder or partner

Indicate whether the shareholder or partner is an individual, a corporation, a trust or a limited partnership.

(D) Description of share class or other ownership interest

List all ownership interests in the applicant. Provide a clear description of the ownership interest. Where the applicant is a corporation, list all of the issued share classes that are held by each owner. For a limited partnership, list the different types of units that are held by each of the partners. For a general partnership, describe the general partnership interest. Where a person owns several different classes of shares or any other ownership interest, list each ownership interest on a separate line.

(E) Number of shares

For each ownership interest identified in (D), indicate the number of shares or units held by each shareholder or partner. For a general partnership, where there are no shares or units, indicate each partner’s percentage ownership interest.

(F) Voting

For each ownership interest identified in (D), indicate whether the ownership interest entitles the shareholder or partner to a vote at shareholder, unit holder, or partner meetings.

(G) Amount paid

For each ownership interest identified in (D), indicate the total amount that each person paid for each of their ownership interests.

3. Officers or senior management (only applies to applicants that are corporations)

The information collected in this section is used to determine whether the applicant is controlled in fact by Canadians. Officers and senior management do not need to be Canadian for the applicant to be considered Canadian. However, control in fact implications could arise if officers or senior management have a relationship with a non-Canadian investor that would allow the non-Canadian to exert their influence over the operations of the air carrier.

Provide the name of all officers, along with their position, and indicate if they are Canadian (i.e., either citizens or permanent residents of Canada). Where the applicant does not have any officers, provide the information for the applicant’s senior management.

4. Corporate directors (only applies to applicants that are corporations)

The information collected in this section is used to determine whether the applicant is controlled in fact by Canadians. For control in fact to reside with Canadians, the majority of the board of directors must be Canadian and must also be nominated by Canadians.

Provide the name of all directors, and indicate if they are Canadian (i.e., either citizens or permanent residents of Canada).

5. Financing

This section gathers information about the applicant’s different sources of financing. The information is used to determine whether the applicant is controlled in fact by Canadians.

An applicant’s dependence on a non-Canadian for the financing of its business will be considered in determining whether the applicant is controlled in fact by Canadians.

(A) Name of creditor, lender or lessor

List the name of each person that has issued debt or provided any financing to the applicant. This includes financing in any form, including any proposed financing.

(B) Canadian (Yes/No)

If the creditor, lender, or lessor is an individual and either a (i) Canadian citizen or (ii) permanent resident of Canada, answer Yes, otherwise answer No.

If the creditor, lender, or lessor is a corporation or limited partnership, answer Yes if the corporation or limited partnership meets all of the following conditions:

  1. it is incorporated or formed under the laws of Canada or a province;
  2. at least 75% of its voting interests are owned and controlled by Canadians; and
  3. it is controlled in fact by Canadians.
(C) Description of financing

Describe the type of financing. Examples of type of financing include operating lines of credit, secured debt, credit card guarantees, personal loans, shareholder loans and aircraft leases.

(D) Guarantor

If the funds are guaranteed by a third party, state their name.

(E) Amount

For each source of financing, indicate the amount of funding that has been, or can be, made available under the agreed upon terms and conditions. For a line of credit or other similar form of debt, indicate the amount of funds that can be borrowed.

6. Canadian status questions

The information collected in this section is used to determine whether the applicant is controlled in fact by Canadians.

a) Does the applicant intend to issue additional shares in the company or to transfer existing shares or other ownership interest to new or existing owners?

Describe any plans or intentions to issue additional shares or an ownership interest in the applicant, including the transfer of shares or an ownership interest from one person to another. If there are any rights, options, or warrants that provide a person with a right to acquire a future ownership interest in the company, provide the terms and conditions, the name of the person holding the right, and indicate whether the person is Canadian.

b) Has the applicant issued or does the applicant plan to issue any convertible or redeemable securities, including debt, shares, and buy-out rights?

Describe the terms and conditions of any convertible or redeemable securities. Provide the name of the person holding the conversion, redemption or buy-out right, whether that person is Canadian, and the circumstances under which the right may be exercised. Examples of convertible instruments include debt that is convertible into shares or any other ownership interest in the applicant, or shares that are convertible into another share class, including any non-voting shares that are convertible to voting shares. Examples of redeemable rights include the ability to force the corporation or another person to buy back the persons securities. A buy-out right provides a person the right to acquire another person’s ownership interest.

c) Does a person hold an interest in the applicant for the benefit of someone else?

List any beneficial owners in the business by providing their full name, indicate whether they are Canadian, and describe the nature of their beneficial ownership interest. A beneficial owner is a person who enjoys the benefits of ownership, even though legal title may be in the name of another person. This may occur by way of contract or agreement whereby a person retains legal title, but another person is entitled to the benefits of ownership, such as the profits from the business.

d) Has any person committed to finance the applicant’s operations, guaranteed any of its debt, or guaranteed to cover any operating loss?

Describe the terms and conditions of any guarantees that have been made or provided by a person with respect to any future investment in the company, including the guarantee of any debt, and provide the name of the guarantor, and indicate whether the guarantor is Canadian.

e) Does the applicant have an agreement or contract with another person requiring the applicant to share a portion of its profits?

List and describe any agreements or contracts the applicant has, or plans on entering into, including management, operational, or service agreements that provide for the applicant to make payments that are determined, in part, directly or indirectly, as a percentage of its profits.

f) Will the applicant share its aircraft with another person?

Describe the nature of any agreements where aircraft to be used in the operation of the proposed air service will be retained, in part, by another person. (This question only applies to the applicant. It does not apply to corporate shareholders.)

g) Does the applicant have any other relationships or agreements, other than those provided in questions a) through f) above, or any other information that should be considered by the Agency in evaluating whether the applicant is owned and controlled by Canadians?

Describe any other relationships, agreements, or additional information not included in a) through f), whether verbal or written, that the applicant or any of its owners has with non-Canadians, including any management, operational, service, administrative, royalty, right of first refusal, or charter agreements. (Note: when filling out the form for corporate shareholders, this question will be question f), not g).)

7. Corporate shareholder information

If an applicant has shareholders, owners, or partners that are legal entities, such as corporations or limited partnerships (collectively referred to as corporate shareholders), detailed information must also be provided for every corporate shareholder that the applicant declares to be Canadian.

If these corporate shareholders in turn have corporate shareholders that the applicant declares to be Canadian, the applicant must also list the owners of these companies until the ultimate individual owners of the company are identified, and provide the required supporting documents (see section F: Supporting documents).

In the following example, there are three corporate shareholders (Company A, Company B, and Company C) for which the ownership and other requested information must be provided.

Figure 1: Example of a corporate ownership structure
Figure 1: Example of a corporate ownership structure

Long description

The graphic illustrates an applicant with two owners, Company A (50% ownership) and Company B (50% ownership).

Company A has two owners, who are both individuals: John Smith (60% ownership) and Joe Smith (40% ownership).

Company B has two owners, one is a corporation (Company C, 75% ownership) and the other is an individual (July Smith, 25% ownership).

Company C is fully owned by Jackie Smith (100% ownership).

For each corporate shareholder that the applicant reports to be Canadian on the licence application form, the form will expand to insert an additional corporate shareholder information section. The applicant must provide the requested Canadian ownership information for each corporate shareholder.

The applicant must provide the same information for corporate shareholders that it declares to be Canadian as it does for the applicant.

Should there be any questions on how to complete the corporate shareholder section of the licence application form consult section E 1 to 6 of this guide, as the portion of this guide that deals with the applicant also applies to the corporate shareholder. In other words, the word “applicant” can be replaced with “corporate shareholder”.

Section F: Supporting documents

The list of required supporting documents is generated automatically by the form, based on the information entered by the applicant. The applicant must confirm within the form that each of the required supporting documents is included with the application.

Canadian ownership documents

1. Proof of Canadian citizenship

For each individual CanadianNote 1 shareholder, partner or proprietor of the applicant or of a corporate shareholder, the applicant must provide proof of Canadian citizenship or permanent residence in the form of a copy of a passport, citizenship card, birth certificate, or permanent resident card.

2. Corporate documents and agreements

(i) Non-Canadian ownership interest

Where there is a non-Canadian ownership interest in (i) the applicant and/or (ii) a corporate shareholder to the applicant, the following documents must be filed with the Agency:

  1. Articles of incorporation (only applies to incorporated entities);
  2. Corporate by-laws (only applies to incorporated entities); and
  3. Shareholders’ agreement, partnership agreement or any other similar agreement between the owners.

This filing requirement also applies where non-Canadians hold a right or an option to acquire a future ownership interest in the company. It also applies where a non-Canadian holds a beneficial interest or contractual interest to the profits of the applicant or of a corporate shareholder that the applicant declares to be Canadian.

The articles of incorporation and corporate by-laws must be submitted for each corporate shareholder that has a non-Canadian ownership interest. This filing requirement does not, however, apply to any corporate shareholder that the applicant declares to be non-Canadian.

(ii) Debt held or guaranteed by non-Canadians

Provide a copy of any loan or lease agreement that have been entered into by the applicant or any of its corporate shareholders with a non-Canadian, other than those with an arm’s length bank, financial institution, or leasing company. This filing requirement also applies to debt that is guaranteed by a non-Canadian.

Where the applicant declares the corporate shareholder to be a non-Canadian, it does not need to file any agreements between that non-Canadian corporate shareholder and any other person.

(iii) Agreements with non-Canadians

Provide a copy of all significant agreements that have been entered into by the applicant, or any of its corporate shareholders, with a non-Canadian. Examples of agreements with non-Canadians that must be filed with the Agency include management, maintenance, service, charter, profit sharing, aircraft sharing, intellectual property, royalty, and senior management employment agreements.

Where the applicant declares the corporate shareholder to be a non-Canadian, it does not need to file any agreements between that non-Canadian corporate shareholder and any other person.

Other documents

  1. Applicants for a scheduled international licence (other than for scheduled international services between Canada and the United States of America or the European Union) must provide evidence of being designated by the Minister of Transport as eligible to hold a scheduled international licence.
  2. Financial requirements submission (if applicable)

The following must also be submitted to the Agency once received by the applicant:

  1. Air Operator Certificate valid for the proposed service(s)
  2. Certificate of Insurance valid for the proposed service(s)
  3. Certificate of Endorsement

Section G: Authorized officer statement

An authorized officer of the applicant must ensure that:

  1. The information and documentation in the application are accurate and true;
  2. The applicant has not, in the past 12 months, contravened section 59 of the CTA in respect of the applied for air service [if the applicant has contravened this provision, it must provide an explanation and substantiate why the Agency should not exercise its discretionary power to refuse to issue the applied for licence(s)];
  3. The applicant will not contravene section 59 of the CTA prior to the issuance of the licence; and
  4. For existing licensees, that the applicant is Canadian and :
  • is incorporated under a Canadian jurisdiction
  • at least 75% of its voting interests are controlled by Canadians
  • the applicant is controlled in fact by Canadians.

The Agency may, by notice, require that a person provide verification of the contents of all or any part of a document by affidavit or by witnessed statement.

An authorized officer is considered:

  • an officer of the corporation duly authorized to execute such documents under seal, if any, on behalf of the corporation, if a corporation;
  • the proprietor, if a proprietorship (i.e. an individual); or
  • a partner, if a partnership.

Penalties for making false or misleading statements

The CTA states the following:

173. (1) No person shall knowingly make any false or misleading statement or knowingly provide false or misleading information to the Agency or the Minister or to any person acting on behalf of the Agency or the Minister in connection with any matter under this Act.

174. Every person who contravenes a provision of this Act or a regulation or order made under this Act, other than an order made under section 47, is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable

a) in the case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding $5,000; and

b) in the case of a corporation, to a fine not exceeding $25,000.

Section H: Filing instructions

Submit the application, along with all supporting documentation, to the Agency by either:

E-mail: licence@otc-cta.gc.ca

Fax:  819 953-5562 or 819 953-8798

 If your submission contains large files or sensitive information that you do not wish to send via email, please contact us at licence@otc-cta.gc.ca. We will promptly make arrangements to allow for easy electronic transmission through secured channels.  All sensitive or confidential information or documents should be clearly marked as such.

A licence will only be issued once the applicant has complied with all of the requirements.

What happens next?

The Agency’s performance target is to issue new licences within seven business days once the application is determined to be complete.

Getting help

Questions concerning the licensing requirements described in this guide may be addressed to one of the Team Leaders, Air Licensing and Charters Division.

Part 3 – Now that you are licensed

Section 58 of the CTA provides that a licence for the operation of an air service is not transferable.

Licensees that anticipate undergoing corporate restructuring should contact the Manager, Financial Evaluation before proceeding in order to determine the impact on their licence.

Additional requirements

The following additional Agency requirements must be satisfied before a licensee begins operations.

For more information concerning other Government of Canada requirements, refer to Air carrier requirements related to border services and statistical reporting.

Tariffs

A tariff sets out a carrier's fares, rates, charges and terms and conditions of carriage applicable to the air service provided and other incidental services offered.

All air carriers are required to:

Licensees operating an international air service must file with the Agency appropriate tariffs containing fares (unless otherwise specified in a bilateral air transport agreement) and general terms and conditions of carriage that are broadly applicable to all air transportation and are not directly related to a fare. Tariffs must be in effect with the Agency prior to a carrier commencing the operation of its respective air services.

Domestic tariffs, for transportation between points in Canada, do not need to be filed.

The Agency has created sample tariffs and sample signage templates to help carriers meet their obligations.

Learn more about tariffs and related requirements.  For additional information or assistance, contact the Tariffs Division: DTR-TRD@otc-cta.gc.ca

Service schedules

Air carriers are required to file a service schedule with the Agency for any scheduled international service they provide, including code-share flights. Service schedules must be filed with the Agency at least 10 days before an aircarrier commences its service.

To help air carriers meet their obligations, the Agency has created a service schedule template.

Charters

A licence to operate non-scheduled international services allows licensees to operate flights between Canada and any other country subject to meeting regulatory requirements as specified in the ATR.

Refer to the charter permit application guides or contact one of the Team Leaders, Air Licensing and Charters Division for details concerning various permit and notification requirements that may be necessary prior to the operation of international charter flights.

Provision of aircraft with flight crew

Refer to sections 8.2 to 8.5 of the ATR for information regarding the provision of:

  • all or part of an aircraft, with a flight crew, to a licensee for the purpose of providing an air service pursuant to the licensee’s licence; and
  • an air service by a licensee using all or part of an aircraft, with a flight crew, provided by another person.

For more information, contact the Manager, International Agreements Division.

All-inclusive air price advertising

Persons who advertise prices for air services within or originating in Canada must comply with the rules on all-inclusive air price advertising outlined in Part V.1 of the ATR.

Informing the Agency

It is the responsibility of licensees to ensure that their authorizations are kept current and reflect at all times their operations.

Licensees must notify the Agency without delay, in writing, if:

  • their liability insurance coverage for the air service(s) under their licence(s) is cancelled or is altered and no longer meets the prescribed liability insurance coverage for that/those service(s);
  • their operations change, which results in their liability insurance coverage no longer meeting the prescribed requirements for that/those service(s);
  • a change occurs that affects, or is likely to affect, their status as a Canadian.

Licensees are required to file a renewed insurance certificate to demonstrate ongoing compliance with the insurance requirements.

Licensees should also contact the Agency if:

  • they change their legal name or trade name(s);
  • they anticipate a corporate restructuring;
  • their contact information changes.

In cases of a change in legal name, licensees will have to request an amendment to their licence(s) to reflect the change (operating an international service under a name other than that which is on the licence is in contravention of 18(c) of the ATR).

How to contact the Agency

Canadian Transportation Agency
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0N9

Telephone:1-888-222-2592

TTY:1-800-669-5575

Fax:819-997-6727

E-mail: info@otc-cta.gc.ca

Website: www.cta.gc.ca

Air carrier requirements related to border services and statistical reporting

Border Services requirements

Licensees must contact the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) regarding the obligations of transportation companies when bringing passengers or cargo to Canada.

Providing advance information

Licensees must provide advance information electronically to the CBSA about:

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

The advance information must be provided prior to arrival, as stated in the Advance Commercial Information (ACI) and the Advance Passenger Information/Passenger Name Record (API/PNR) policies enacted under the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and the Advance Passenger (Customs) Regulations. More information about commercial carriers, advance commercial information and advance passenger information/passenger name records is available on the CBSA website.

Obligations under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

Licensees also have obligations under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and regulations and may be required to deposit security in order to guarantee payment of all amounts for which they may become liable. See the Guide for Transporters for more information.

When arriving at the airport

Upon arrival at the airport of entry (AOE) in Canada, the licensee must ensure that all passengers and crew on board the aircraft report to the CBSA for processing and clearance, as per the Customs Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

For non-scheduled flights operated to Canada, in addition to the requirements stated above, the pilot or operator must also contact the CBSA office located directly at the AOE prior to arrival, to request CBSA clearance. This will ensure that Border Services Officers at the AOE are aware of the pending arrival and are available to process and clear the flight in a timely manner. For more information on requesting charter access to airports, see D2-5-1, Charter Access to Airports.

For more information, contact the CBSA at the following numbers:

Inside Canada
1-800-461-9999

Outside Canada
204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064

Statistical reporting

Licensees providing international services to or from 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

Telephone: 613-990-3825 or 613-993-4541

E-mail: ecats@tc.gc.ca

Forms

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