Some Ultralight Pilots May be Grounded

A Blue Yonder Merlin EZ

Transport Canada (TC) has issued a Notice of Proposed Amendment to the CARs (NPA 2024-001) that would change the definition of “ultra-light aeroplanes”. According to TC, the proposed change would “increase clarity and improve enforceability,” and revise or appeal “obsolete or outdated information”. The Ultralight Pilots Association (UPAC) objects to the proposals and on January 30 submitted a letter to TC in response.

“In our view, this will negatively impact the ultralight community by affecting ultralight pilots’ access to aeroplanes that meet the ultralight gross weight and stall speed criteria but which are not registered as ultra-lights,” was the response by UPAC’s board of directors. UPAC states that the change in CAR Part II Aircraft Registration would effectively disenfranchise those pilots who have been safely operating their aircraft according to CAR 401.25 (“The holder of a pilot permit — ultra-light aeroplane may, under day VFR, (a) act as pilot-in-command of an ultra-light aeroplane…”), some for more than 30 years.

The current situation allows ultralight pilots to fly aircraft that meet the gross weight and stall speed limitations of ultralight aircraft regardless of whether they bear registration letters C-Ixxx or the standard aircraft registration letters of C-Fxxx or C-Gxxx. TC’s proposed change would limit them to operating only aircraft with registration marks C-Ixxx.

UPAC says they were not consulted about the NPA and that had they been consulted, the proposed changes could have been made more appropriate and accommodating.

See below for the letter submitted by UPAC to TC.

UPAC NPA final comments 1-30.