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As of October 1, 2022, American citizens and permanent residents of the United States no longer have to comply with any Covid-19 protocols to enter Canada. You can confirm details here on the travel to Canada and ArriveCAN wepage.

As of November last year, the US/Canada border is open for tourism travel. For requirements for foreign nationals and US citizens, see here.

Flying to Canada: Pre-trip Preparation

Some of the worlds most beautiful natural landscapes and incredible cities lie just across the Canadian border. This two-minute video gives an overview of the process, as well a brief description of many of the items.


Preparing for your Flight

The pilot in command must have a current:


  • Each passenger must have a current passport
  • Children traveling with only one parent must have a notarized statement of approval from the absent parent stating the dates of the trip.


All U.S. registered aircraft must have:

  • A valid Airworthiness Certificate. If a Special Airworthiness Certificate - Experimental, download, print, and carry this form - Click Here

  • For production aircraft with an experimental airworthiness certificate, see the requirements under the ‘Departure’ tab.

  • A permanent registration certificate (no temporary certificates/pink slips)
  • A radio station license. For more information on FCC requirements, click here.
  • Operating limitations information
  • Weight and Balance information
  • If the aircraft is registered in another person’s or corporation’s name, we recommend you bring a notarized letter authorizing use of the aircraft in Canada.
  • An ID data plate
  • 12-inch registration marks if you’re crossing an ADIZ to get into Canada (primarily affects those flying in from Alaska)
  • Transponder with Mode C -  TSA waivers are still required and mandatory for all international flights for aircraft not equipped with a transponder.  
  • Either a 121.5 MHz or 406 MHz ELT
  • Charts - Both U.S. and Canadian are needed. 
  • As is the case here in the U.S., all flights from Canada to a foreign state (i.e. the U.S.) must be on a flight plan. CAR 602.73, .74, and .75 contain the details. Part VI of the CARs is comparable to our part 91.
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decal affixed to window. (See ordering information in the eAPIS and DHS section below.)
  • Aircraft with fuel tanks installed in the baggage or passenger compartments must have Form 337 on board.
  • Verify insurance coverage for flight into Canada. Private aircraft must be covered with liability insurance. Proof of liability coverage needs to be carried onboard. AssuredPartners Aerospace provides coverage for AOPA members. Contact AssuredPartners Aerospace at 800/622-AOPA(2672) or email [email protected] for more information.
  • The amount and types of coverage are based on the aircraft’s gross takeoff weight as shown below. All amounts are in Canadian currency.
Up to 2,300 lbs. $100,000 public liability only
2,301 to 5,000 lbs. $500,000 public liability only
5,001 to 12,500 lbs. $1,000,000 public liability and $300,000 passenger liability per passenger on board

eAPIS and DHS Decal Requirements

Clearing Canadian and U.S. Customs - what to expect

Going to Canada: CANPASS is still required.

  • There is no need to contact U.S. customs on departure - eAPIS filing is sufficient.
  • The pilot will need to contact CANPASS by phone (888) 226-7277 or (204) 983-3500, prior to takeoff in the U.S. and, again, by phone after landing prior to exiting the aircraft. The first call must be made no less than two hours nor more than 48 hours before the border crossing. The pilot will be given an ID number that must be provided upon arrival. Only very rarely are pilots asked to await an official to provide an inspection in Canada.
  • Pilots who frequently travel to Canada directly from the United States on a small private aircraft should apply to enter the CANPASS Private Aircraft program, which makes clearing the border easier for private aircraft carrying no more than 15 people (including the crew) and traveling to Canada from the United States. This program allows members to access more airports and provides expedited clearances for low-risk, pre-screened travelers.

Returning from Canada

  • The first landing in the U.S. must be at a designated airport of entry with a customs office. These airports are referred to as "Designated International Landing Rights and User Fee" airports. Prior to departure, make direct telephone contact with the customs office at the U.S. destination airport, and notify of ETA at least one hour before and no more than 23 hours before the ETA. (Do not rely on entry of "ADCUS" in the flight plan.)
  • After landing at the U.S. airport, taxi to customs office and wait in or next to the airplane for customs officers to inspect airplane prior to exiting the plane or immediate tie-down area.

ICAO Flight Plan

  • Use of an ICAO flight plan is currently required if the flight will enter international airspace. While an ICAO flight plan and an FAA flight plan are similar in many ways, there are some important differences. Some items are the same on both forms: aircraft ID or tail number; aircraft type, fuel endurance, and number of people on board. New items on the ICAO flight plan include a Wake Turbulence category, and Type of Flight. The biggest change, though, is found in the equipment suffixes box, box 10. The ICAO codes used to denote the type of equipment on board the aircraft are different than the codes used by the FAA. To find out more, please view this short AOPA video.

Canadian Fees

  • Invoices for Canadian fees are mailed later.
  • NAVCAN user fee charge is $72/yr. or $17.85/quarter (CDN$) for use of the ATC system.
  • Landing fees are charged at some tower-controlled airports.

Canada will start phasing in space-based ADS-B starting in 2023.

  • Starting August 10, 2023, aircraft flying in Class A airspace will need to be suitably equipped.
  • Starting May 16, 2024, aircraft flying in Class B airspace will need to be suitably equipped.

To be compliant, aircraft must have ADS-B antennas on the top of the aircraft capable of transmitting 1090 MHz extended squitter signals to satellites. The mandate for Class C, D and E controlled airspace will be phased in starting after 2025, to allow time for equipage.


Departing the U.S.

  • Pilots crossing the U.S. border must be in communication with ATC and on a discrete squawk code.
  • All aircraft must be on an activated IFR, VFR, or Defense VFR if you are flying through the ADIZ from Alaska.
  • All aircraft must make their first landing at a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) airport of entry.
  • A production aircraft’s Special Airworthiness Certificate may be validated for flight in Canada under Canadian Aviation Regulation (CAR) 507.05 – Validation of a Foreign Flight Authority.

    Generally speaking, six things are needed for the validation of a foreign (U.S.) flight authority:

    1. A copy of the flight authority
    2. A copy of any operating limitations to the flight authority
    3. A copy of the certificate of registration
    4. Proof of insurance
    5. An itinerary of flights, detailing days and locations
    6. A $100.00 fee payment.

    Note: If the foreign flight authority’s Operating Limitations appear to forbid any flight outside the issuing country, the applicant can be asked to provide an officially modified flight authority,
    or the issuing country can be asked directly to provide clarification to TCCA of the intent of the limitation.

    The request for validation of a foreign flight authority, and all supporting materials, should be sent to a Civil Aviation Safety Inspector – Airworthiness (CASI-A) in the region that the aircraft will be entering.  Contact information is available at


Entry into Canada

You are required to provide advance notification to CBSA by calling 1-888/CAN-PASS (226-7277). You must provide notification no less than two (2) hours but no more than 48 hours prior to your arrival. A filed and activated flight plan is required for border crossing, and your first landing in Canada must be at an airport of entry. You will be required to provide the customs office with information about yourself, passengers, your flight, and airport of entry. After arrival at your airport of entry, if there is no customs officer present, immediately contact the Canadian CANPASS office again at the same number and receive an arrival report number or be advised to await a customs inspection.

Thanks to an agreement between the FAA and Transport Canada, flying an experimental aircraft into Canada is now easier than ever. All that is needed is the document Standardized Validation of a Special Airworthiness Certificate—Experimental, for the Purpose of Operating a United States-Registered Amateur-Built Aircraft in Canadian Airspace which details the restrictions (minor in nature) applicable in Canadian airspace. Download the form and carry it with the aircraft at all times in Canada.

In Canada

In Canada

Flight Operations in Canada

To access weather information and file flight plans while flying in Canada, contact Canadian Flight Service by calling 866/WX-BRIEF (992-7433). This telephone number can only be used within the borders of Canada. More specific flight services and local weather advisories can be obtained by contacting the individual Flight Information Centres within each Canadian province.

For remote areas, take tiedown equipment with you and have your ADF or GPS in good working order. Slot reservations are required for Toronto Pearson International Airport for VFR and IFR aircraft. A Mode C transponder is required when flying into any terminal control area and Class C airspace in Canada. Mode C transponders are also required in some Class D and E airspace, normally associated with some terminal areas and some control zones. The terminal charts (VTAs) and the Canada Flight Supplement provide the details.

Certain rifles and shotguns for sport, competition, or survival and ammunition are permitted in Canada, but be sure you declare them when going through customs. An advance permit is required from Canadian authorities for certain restricted firearms.

Canada has MF, or mandatory frequency areas at some non-towered airports. The type of reports to be made via radio are very similar to our CTAF traffic advisory reports, but they are required when in Canada.



Overflights that originate and end in the United States require that the pilot must file a flight plan, and Canadian regulations must be observed when flying in Canadian airspace. Write “Canada overflight” in the remarks section of the flight plan.

Note: The Canadian government charges U.S.-registered aircraft for ATC services based on the aircraft certified gross weight. The current fee is $21.92 CAN per quarter for aircraft under 2 metric tons (4,410 lb gross) and $73.22 for aircraft between 2 and 3 metric tons (up to 6,614 lb gross). See the NavCanada Guide to Charges for details for aircraft in higher weight classes. Also, weight-based fees for use of the airport terminal may apply at some airports.

A foreign-registered aircraft is charged on the basis of the first recorded arrival into a Canadian aerodrome or entry into Canadian airspace, excluding flights between two points in the U.S.

eAPIS is not required for Canadian overflights if taking off and landing at U.S. airports.


Returning to the U.S.

  • Your first landing in the United States must be at an U.S. CBP airport of entry.
  • File an eAPIS arrival manifest (if you filed eAPIS reports for both legs of your trip before you left the U.S., you do not have to file again).
  • File and activate a VFR, IFR, (or Defense VFR flight plan if you’re flying through the Alaska ADIZ).
  • Pilots crossing the U.S. border must be in communication with ATC and on a discrete squawk code. 
  • Call U.S. CBP at least one hour and no more than 23 hours before your planned U.S. arrival time.