Policy Letter 171


Advance Notice - Minimum Takeoff Performance Certification Standards for Aeroplanes Engaged in a Commercial Air Service under Subpart 4, Part VII of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs).

File Number

RDIMS # 1058532



Policy Statement

Transport Canada (TC) Inspectors need to be informed that proposed amendments to Sections 704.45, 704.46 and 704.47 of the CARs and their associated standards are currently under consideration. The planned effective date for these changes coming into force is December 20, 2010.


This policy applies to all commercial Air Operator Certificate holders authorized to operate aeroplanes under Subpart 704 of the CARs.


Subpart 704 of the CARs does not clearly specify minimum takeoff performance certification standards for aeroplanes that are operated under this regulation. The forthcoming changes are intended to improve the level of safety of Canadians traveling on commuter air carriers and eliminate inconsistencies in the application of the standards.

Of specific concern is that some multi-engine propeller-driven aeroplanes have limited or no certified engine-out takeoff performance capability. Despite the fact that these aeroplanes do not conform to the performance standards for Commuter Category aircraft, they are being used in commercial air services in Canada for the conveyance of up to 19 passengers.

The United States' (US) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recognized this situation as being unacceptable for scheduled air carrier service and has instituted changes to their regulations to correct this deficiency. These new criteria, established for all aeroplanes in scheduled operations capable of carrying more than 9 passengers, will come into force in the US on December 20, 2010.

Similar to the restrictions imposed by US authorities, the planned changes to Canadian regulations and standards requiring takeoff performance certification specifications for the affected aeroplanes will only apply when carrying 10 or more passengers in a scheduled service. There will still be relief provisions for Canadian operators to continue to utilize these aeroplanes in a commercial air service for the conveyance of 9 or less passengers or up to 19 passengers when operating "on-demand".

In the interests of regulatory harmonization, TC intends to bring these revised regulations and standards into effect on December 20, 2010.

A Commercial and Business Aviation Advisory Circular will be issued well in advance of the regulatory changes in full appreciation of the potential need for industry to make corresponding adjustments to their long-term business plans.


These changes are deemed necessary in order to harmonize Canadian takeoff performance certification standards with those currently approved by the FAA. Because of the differences in the makeup/structure of Canadian and American regulations, TC is being very careful not to impose additional performance requirements upon our operators during the "alignment" exercise. It is, therefore, important to understand that TC is focused only on the need for this country to remain in step with those standards being applied in the world's aviation community and that there is no intention to put in place new regulations that are inconsistent with the public interest.

Should TC Inspectors require further clarification, they should direct their inquiries to the Program Manager, Commuter and Air Taxi Standards (AARXB) at (613) 990-1080 or via email at Webster@tc.gc.ca.

Future Disposition

This Policy Letter will remain in effect until further notice.

Reference Number

This Policy Letter is designated AARX No. 171.

Michel Gaudreau
Commercial & Business Aviation

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