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Answers for Pilots: Northern AdventuresAnswers for Pilots: Northern Adventures

Spectacular fly-in destinations in CanadaSpectacular fly-in destinations in Canada

Need some relief from summer’s heat? Fly north! Canada has some fantastic, general aviation-friendly places to visit. From its beautiful eastern provinces, through its vast interior, and way out west to its stunning mountains, Canada offers spectacular, unspoiled natural beauty for fishing, hunting, and camping, as well as cities with many cultural activities and historic sights.

Whether you cross the border in the eastern, central, or western part of the country, you’ll find lots of options for sightseeing and adventure. John Kounis of Pilot Getaways, discusses intriguing fly-in destinations in several provinces in a recent AOPA webinar. Click here to see the webinar photos and listen as he shares highlights from his flights across Canada. Contemplate a visit to Vancouver Island, home to the beautiful city of Victoria and its Empress Hotel. If you prefer to be outside, explore the Discovery Islands by kayak as you watch for Orcas in the water. Or you could fly to nearby Nootka Island, where King Salmon and halibut abound, for some phenomenal fishing. British Columbia also boasts ice fields and glaciers, along with pristine lakes and rustic lodges. Moving east into Alberta brings you to Banff and Jasper national parks in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Stunning and scenic, the parks and their unspoiled wilderness beckon you outdoors, where you can choose rugged adventure or leisurely viewing in places like alpine Lake Louise.  

The northern provinces, as well as the central and eastern provinces, also boast a variety of spectacular recreational opportunities. For instance, Toronto, Ontario is beautiful and general aviation friendly, with an abundance of excellent restaurants, lodging, and cultural events. A couple of hours north is Algonquin Provincial Park, heavily wooded, lake studded and teeming with wildlife. You can rough it with campsite camping or enjoy the fineries of a resort and lakeside golf course. View the webinar here to hear more about these destinations and others.


Of course, most of us are not prepared to jump in the airplane and fly across the border. Planning is necessary to be sure you have completed what is needed for an international flight. The pilot and all passengers will need passports; and in addition to being current, the pilot needs a restricted radiotelephone operator’s permit. The aircraft needs a radio station license, a transponder with Mode C or a Waiver if the aircraft is not so equipped, insurance coverage for flight in Canada, and more. If you are planning to fly in remote areas, survival equipment is required. For the full list of what’s needed in terms of flight preparation, visit AOPA’s web pages on flying to Canada.

For questions, call AOPA’s Pilot Information Center, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time. 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672).

Kathy Dondzila

Kathleen Dondzila King

Manager, Technical Communications, Pilot Information Center
Technical Communications Manager, Kathleen Dondzila King, joined AOPA in 1990 and is an instrument-rated private pilot.
Topics: Canada, Travel

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