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US Pilots: Flying Procedures in Canada

For the most part, flying regulations and procedures in Canada are the same as in the U.S. However, there are a few differences that are of interest to U.S. pilots coming to Canada for the first time.

  • Canada uses ICAO flight plan forms. Forms, and instructions on filling them out, are available here.
  • There is no VFR flight following.
  • There is no VFR-on-top, only VFR over-the-top (i.e., to penetrate cloud and fly on top you must be on an IFR flight plan, and remain on an IFR flight plan).
  • All airspace above 12,500 ASL (or 2,000 AGL, whichever is higher) up to 18,000 ASL is Class B airspace and requires a clearance to enter. VFR flight is allowed in Class B airspace with a clearance.
  • All airspace above 18,000 ASL is Class A airspace, and is IFR-only.
  • Read-back is mandatory on all IFR clearances.
  • Read-back is mandatory on runway hold-short clearances.
  • For IFR procedures obtain a local briefing since there are significant differences to FAA handling