Do you frequently travel to Canada directly from the United States on a small private aircraft? If so, the CANPASS – Private Aircraft program may be for you!
The CANPASS – Private Aircraft program makes clearing the border easier for private aircraft carrying no more than 15 people (including the crew) and travelling to Canada from the United States. This program allows members to access more airports and provides expedited clearances for low-risk, pre-screened travellers.
Note: The CANPASS – Private Aircraft membership can only be used for travel into Canada.
If you are a CANPASS – Private Aircraft member, your private aircraft can have the following privileges:
To be eligible for CANPASS – Private Aircraft, you must meet these criteria:
Private aircraft that meet the requirements of the CANPASS – Private Aircraft program can land at any airport of entry any time the site is open, regardless of the hours of operation of the local CBSA office. The aircraft can also land at a designated CANPASS-only airport.
The pilot is in charge of the aircraft and he or she must report all passengers and their goods on behalf of the aircraft. Pilots are responsible for reporting themselves, their crew and passengers to a telephone reporting centre (TRC) by calling 1-888-CANPASS (1-888-226-7277) at least 2 hours before but no more than 48 hours prior to the aircraft's estimated time of arrival in Canada.
The TRC allows individuals who enter Canada by private aircraft, corporate aircraft or private boat to report their arrival and make their declarations to the CBSA by telephone.
The 1-888-CANPASS (1-888-226-7277) toll-free line is only available in Canada and the United States. If a flight originates outside Canada or the United States, the 1-888 number is not available and the pilot must call the TRC directly (long-distance charges may apply).
TRC for All of Canada
To have CANPASS – Private Aircraft privileges, the aircraft may not carry more than 15 people (including the crew). The pilot also cannot charge passengers a fee for passage when using CANPASS privileges.
The pilot must ensure that all passengers have the appropriate travel documents for entering Canada. He or she must also call the TRC at least 2 hours before but no more than 48 hours prior to the aircraft's estimated time of arrival in Canada.
During that first telephone call to the TRC, the pilot must provide the following information to the CBSA:
Note: If the ETA changes by more than 30 minutes or if there are any changes to the point of arrival, the list of passengers or their declarations, the pilot must advise the TRC prior to arrival in Canada.
The pilot must remain at the point of arrival until the ETA reported to the TRC has elapsed. No second call to the TRC is required. If there is no officer waiting to meet the aircraft when it arrives at the reported ETA or actual time of arrival, whichever is later, the aircraft may proceed to the final destination and passengers may disembark.
In addition to the above, the person in charge of the conveyance is responsible for the following:
Note: Any contraventions of the legislation may result in detention, seizure or forfeiture of the conveyance and/or lead to criminal prosecution, monetary penalties and/or imprisonment.
All persons aboard the aircraft must be CANPASS members. If there is a traveller aboard who is not a member, the pilot has to follow the procedures for Telephone Reporting - General Aviation Aircraft.
A person's CANPASS membership does not extend to members of his or her immediate family or to friends travelling with him or her. Each person on the aircraft has to be enrolled in the CANPASS – Private Aircraft program.
All travellers aboard must declare any personal goods they are importing, including firearms and weapons, and report currency and/or monetary instruments totaling CAN$10,000 or more. For more information, see Cross Border Currency Reporting. If duties or taxes are payable, the border services officer at the TRC will ask for the traveller's mailing address and Visa or MasterCard number and expiry date.
Although the pilot is solely required to call the CBSA with the information on each person on board the aircraft, which includes the declarations of goods, each individual is ultimately responsible for complying with customs and immigration legislation.
Once an applicant has completed and signed the CANPASS application form, the CBSA is authorized to collect personal information such as name, date of birth, address, citizenship, proof of citizenship and residency information.
The information will be used for background security checks and is not shared with a third party. All information is stored in a secure central database, which in turn is protected by various methods, including firewalls. Access to client information by employees is also controlled and monitored.
All personal information provided is protected under the federal Privacy Act.
Participation in the CANPASS – Private Aircraft program is restricted to pre-approved travellers. Applicants undergo a detailed security clearance check before being enrolled. Every time CANPASS – Private Aircraft members enter Canada, their membership information is verified against customs and immigration databases to ensure their compliance with the program's regulations. Each member's eligibility is re-assessed annually.
The non-refundable processing fee is CAN$40 for each applicant 18 years old and older. The fee is waived for those under the age of 18. You can pay using Visa, MasterCard or American Express. You can also send a certified cheque or money order in Canadian funds payable to the Receiver General for Canada. Do not send cash.
Your participation in this program is strictly voluntary. The information that you provide will be used to determine your eligibility. If you are accepted into the program, your membership will be valid for five years.
If you are under the age of 18, written consent from a parent or legal guardian is also required.
How to apply
28 176th Street
Surrey BC V3S 9R9
Telephone: 604-538-3689 or 1-866-496-3987 (toll-free)
6080 McLeod Road
PO Box 126
Niagara Falls ON L2E 6T1
Telephone: 905-371-1477 or 1-800-842-7647 (toll-free)
Quebec and Atlantic Canada
400 Place d'Youville
Montréal QC H2Y 2C2
Applicants must provide acceptable proof of citizenship or permanent resident status in Canada or the United States. Please send photocopies of the documents with the completed application form. These photocopies will not be returned.
If you are a Canadian or U.S. citizen, please provide one of the following:
If you are a permanent resident of Canada or the United States, please provide one of the following: