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Barriers Lowered for LSA Flying in Canada

March 16, 2010A recent revision by Transport Canada (TC) makes it more affordable and less cumbersome for light-sport aircraft from the United States to be flown into Canada. TC’s new Standardized Validation form, the equivalent to the operating limitations for experimental aircraft in the U.S., puts LSA on equal footing with U.S. amateur-built aircraft flying into Canada.

Before the new form was implemented, pilots were required to call TC and receive authorization to operate an LSA in Canada, obtain a validation form to keep in the aircraft, and pay a $100 fee.

“Now LSA owners simply have to download the Standardised Validation form, follow customs requirements, and fly. The $100 fee has been eliminated,” said Randy Hansen, EAA government relations director. “Discussions for making the change began in the Federal Pavilion at AirVenture 2008.”

TC still requires pilots to have a private pilot certificate with a valid medical, meaning that pilots flying as sport pilots with a drivers license medical are not allowed. “But we’re working on that, too,” Hansen said. “TC continues on working in partnership with the FAA on the driver’s license issue for sport pilots. Until those issues are worked out, pilots flying LSA aircraft must hold at least a private pilots certificate and hold a current and appropriate FAA medical certificate (3rd class minimum) in order to fly into Canada.”

This will also be of benefit Canadians, said Jack Dueck, EAA Canadian Council member and editor of the Bits and Pieces newsletter for Canadian EAA members. “It not only gives U.S. LSA pilots an easier in to flying in Canada, this is also good news for Canadians since it indicates a continuing effort to bring LSA to Canadian pilots and owners,” Dueck said.

The revision also demonstrates the continuing member value of U.S. and international relationships developed during AirVenture, Hansen added. “I encourage all AirVenture visitors to visit the Transport Canada booth in the Federal Pavilion to learn more about this exciting step forward for the light-sport aircraft community.”

To download the TC Standardised Validation form, click here.
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