Changes to seaplane regulations improve safety for Canadians

News Release

Proposed regulations respond to TSB safety recommendations

May 20, 2016– Ottawa – Transport Canada

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, today proposed changes to the Canadian Aviation Regulations to enhance the safety of seaplane operations. The proposed regulations respond to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s recommendations following the 2009 seaplane accident in Lyall Harbour, British Columbia and the 2012 accident in Lillabelle Lake, Ontario.

The proposed changes will:

  • Require all passengers and crew on commercial seaplanes to wear an inflatable flotation device when boarding the aircraft and while it operates on or over water.
  • Require mandatory training for pilots of fixed wing commercial seaplanes on how to exit a seaplane under water.
  • Allow the use of more modern, practical and durable inflatable flotation devices designed for constant wear (i.e. the vest in a waist pouch type).

The proposed changes are published in Canada Gazette, Part I. Canadians will have 30 days to provide comments before the changes are finalized in Canada Gazette, Part II.


"I’m pleased Canada continues to be an international leader in aviation safety by becoming the first country to propose the mandatory wearing of flotation devices on seaplanes. Seaplanes offer a unique and convenient way to explore Canada’s landscape and to reunite families and friends in remote areas. These changes are a significant step forward in our ongoing efforts to improve the safety of Canadians who travel by seaplane."
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

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Delphine Denis
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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