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The following text needs to be updated. Here is the Transport Canada reference regarding special aviation events.

Revised Dec 6, 2003

Transport Canada "sanctions" events in Canada. Organizers of Aviation Events such as Competitions and Fly-Ins must apply for a NOTAM and the Permit for, (or an exemption to) the Order Respecting Special Aviation Events Safety prior to the event. This ensures that minimum safety standards are met.


3. No person shall fly an aircraft and no owner or operator of an aircraft shall permit an aircraft to be flown in a special aviation event unless an authorization has been issued therefore and the aircraft is flown under and in accordance with the conditions set out in the authorization and in this Order.

4. Application for an authorization shall be made to the Minister by a sponsor at least 60 days prior to the date of the special aviation event.

Authorization for, or exemption to the ORDER RESPECTING SPECIAL AVIATION EVENTS SAFETY is issued by the Minister, Transportation, Government of Canada.
The Order governs flight proceedings for

  1. Air Shows
  2. Fly-in
  3. Competitive Flying
  4. Events to which spectators are invited and
  5. Low Level Air Races

A Special Aviation Event Order is authorized for events for events where spectators are invited: like the Grouse Mt. Meet or Air shows. For Regulations and Standards for Special Aviation Events see TP13304

An exemption to this Order is issued when no spectators or public are invited.

The Order, (or an exemption) is issued in Ottawa by the Minister of Transport. This means two things to us:
1. The issuance of an Order or Exemption means all the appropriate paperwork has been approved by Transport Canada.
2. As an organizer, this should provide you with some measure of protection from legal liability for sponsoring an event. Sponsors are required to understand that when an event which is not designed as a spectator event is organized, the exemption to the order likewise provides protection. The operation will be authorized pursuant to an exemption to the Order.

Therefore when Transport Canada issues a permit to the sponsor(s) for an Event, in the event of an occurrence, authorization for operations will exist. It would be very difficult to apportion blame or responsibility to the participants, the sponsors of the event, or the HPAC itself. „æThe Event was authorized and approved by the minister for Transportation and a NOTAM authorizing our use of that block of airspace for our purposes was issued.

There is an alternate NOTAM that can be applied for a few days ahead of the event, but be forewarned „ you may not get anywhere near the block of airspace you want or need.

A NOTAM advises general aviation of concentrated or unusual aviation activity which might affect their operations. A NOTAM does not change the classification of a block of airspace, so you still have to make sure all pilots attending have passed their HAGAR exam prior to any flight in controlled airspace. FSS must be advised of any flight in Controlled Airspace.

A NOTAM application should include the specific three dimensional block of Airspace used during the event. It does not restrict aviators from flying in the Airspace, nor does it change the nature of their operations.

Transport Canada is a federal department. Both the Order Respecting Special Aviation Events Safety and event NOTAMs are approved in Ottawa - so applications should be applied for at least 60 (sixty) days before an event in order to be processed in time.

For documentation regarding Canadian NOTAM Procedures, see Transport Canada Aviation "Canadian NOTAM Procedures Manual." (link broken)

A NOTAM will reduce the risk of IFR or VFR aviation unexpectedly encountering a gaggle of pilots in their flight path. The NOTAM will provide the HPAC, itÍs Directors, Officers and the Event Sponsors with a measure of protection from legal liability in the event of a near miss or mid-air collision.

CYA Altitude Adjustments

If, during a competition, a higher altitude is desired. Transport Canada's "Air Navigation Services & Airspace" may be able to provide an increase in your CYA's ceiling on a temporary basis (by NOTAM.) Contact your regional Civil Aviation Inspector.

Cross country tasks which exit the horizontal boundaries of a CYA required that particpants file their NOTAM. One person (ie the Event Manager) may file on behalf of a group.

CYA and NOTAM Applications

There are two ways to go about applying for a CYA or NOTAM, the easy way, and the formal way.

Easy approach. „ Photo copy a VFR Navigation chart or a good topographical map. Draw a box or circle around the area you want to fly in. Write down the altitude you expect to fly to (and can reasonably expect to be actually using „ donÍt get ridiculous). Set down the dates of the event and the time of day you are applying for in writing.

The formal application form is included.

If you do not want to deal directly with Transport Canada,
Mail the application in to the HPAC Airspace Committee whose current members are:

Les Sainsbury VIHGC President
Phone 250-727-3819
Quinn Cornwell, HPAC Accident Review and Safety
Home: (204) 237-0540 log in for email link
Bruno Allard log in for email link
403-276-5010 Fax: 403-261-35
Stewart Midwinter, log in for email link
514-382-5629 Fax: 514-875-5167

Issues relating to Canadian Airspace can be frustrating to pilots unfamiliar with the process. The HPAC charged this committee with the responsibility to contact Transport Canada in these matters. They know the departments and people to contact and avoid. Please let them do the paperwork to ensure headway we have made in the past is not negated by a new precedence you may inadvertently set. This will protect established precedence and will provide the best resolution in these matters. Your compliance in utilizing the offices and experience of this committee is requested.

Rulings by Transport Canada prior to a Hang Gliding Nationals caused some concern.
These required:

  1. HAGAR ñlicencesî by all pilots wishing to enter controlled airspace including NOTAM areas;
  2. An Exemption to the Special Aviation Order: (even if no spectators are invited);
  3. Notification of communication protocol with advisory FIC and FSS staff; and
  4. The requirement to have ñEmergency facilities... shall be as agreed between the sponsors and the Department.î

Therefore, as an example, for the Nationals,

  1. Pilots were advised of the requirement to have HAGAR licenses and otherwise to stay out of controlled airspace.
  2. No spectators were invited, so an exemption to the Special Aviation Event was issued.
  3. Air traffic advisory was established by voice radio and / or telephone contact with Kamloops FIC each day of the meet.
    Aircraft Radio contact was made on launch each day.
  4. St. John Ambulance provided equipment for the event.
    1. An Industrial First Aid Attendant was present as Safety Director.
    2. The Site Preservation / Emergency Evacuation Information Form was filled out for each site, and
      was forwarded to the local BCEHS Dispatch which was also informed of the location of each days activities.

A/Regional Superintendent
Air Navigation
Standards and Procedures

HPAC / ACVL Application Form
NOTAM and Class ñFî Special Use Airspace

Attention: Transport Canada
Re: Establishment of proposed Class I NOTAM and / or Class F (CYA - H) Special Use Airspace Allocation

The _________________________________________ Hang Gliding and / or Paragliding Association / Club
makes this application for:

Site: ________________________________________________________________________________

Geographical Reference Area: _____________________________________________________________

Event: ______________________________________________________________________________

Date: _______________________________________________________________________________

Tasks: ______________________________________________________________________________



We request a NOTAM be issued for daylight hours to Altitude _________________________________Í ASL
(or the floor of Class B Airspace) for the dates above due to concentrated Hang Gliding and / or Paragliding activity.

The NOTAM is requested for the following area:

Lat. _______o_______' by Long. ________ o_______ ' map ref. point _____________________________.

Lat. _______o_______' by Long. ________ o_______ ' map ref. point _____________________________.

Lat. _______o_______' by Long. ________ o_______ ' map ref. point _____________________________.

Lat. _______o_______' by Long. ________ o_______ ' map ref. point _____________________________.

Yours sincerely

Signature of applicant

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