Government of Canada introduces strengthened seaplane regulations to improve safety for Canadian travellers

News release

March 6, 2019              Ottawa, Ontario             Transport Canada

Canadians, tourists and businesses benefit from safe and reliable seaplane operations. Seaplanes offer a unique and convenient way to explore Canada’s landscape, and are a vital lifeline into remote corners of Canada's North during the summer months.

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, today announced changes to the Canadian Aviation Regulations that will enhance safety for seaplane passengers and crew.

The changes require:

  • passengers and crew of commercial seaplanes with nine passengers or less to wear an inflatable flotation device while the aircraft operates on or over water. In seaplanes with 10 to 19 passengers, flotation devices will continue to be required onboard for all occupants; however, occupants will not be required to wear the flotation device.
  • mandatory training for all pilots of commercial seaplanes on how to exit an aircraft under water.

Commercial seaplane operators have 18 months after today’s publication of the regulations in Canada Gazette, Part II, to implement the new rules requiring passengers to wear personal flotation devices while on or above water. The pilot exit training must be implemented within 36 months.

The changes to the Canadian Aviation Regulations respond to recommendations made by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, following a 2009 seaplane accident in Lyall Harbour, British Columbia, and a 2012 accident in Lillabelle Lake, Ontario.


“Our Government understands how important a safe and reliable seaplane industry‎ is to the economic and social development of Canada's coastal and northern communities. By mandating that passengers wear personal flotation devices while on or above water, and by strengthening requirements for underwater exit training for pilots, we're enhancing safety for thousands of Canadians and tourists who rely on seaplanes for their personal and business travel needs."

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

Associated links


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

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

Search for related information by keyword: TR Transport | Transport Canada | Canada | Transport and infrastructure | general public | news releases
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: