Please CAN you PASS the info?

By Rebecca Lougheed




What is CANPASS? Who can use it? How do you use it? Where do you use it?

Normally we write these things because the original ‘things’ with all the info are rubbish and unreadable. The CANPASS site is surprisingly good, but we’ll tell you it in a slightly different way and with some pictures.

So, what is it?

CANPASS is a Private Aircraft program designed to make clearing the Canadian border on Canada-US flights easier.

It is made for private aircraft (that means non-revenue) with no more than 15 people onboard. That includes the crew. 

The idea is it provides expedited clearances, at more airports, for anyone deemed low-risk and who is pre-screened. This makes life easier hopefully for everyone – customs folk and private aircraft flying between the US and Canada.

Which airports are signed up to it?

A fair few now. You can see the full list here.

You can turn up to Airports of Entry and any of the CANPASS approved airports at anytime basically.

Tell me more!

If you’re a CANPASS member you can land at any airport of entry in Canada, anytime it is open (even if the local customs and border folk aren’t in).

One big point – everyone onboard must be a CANPASS member or there are some other procedures you’ll need to follow.

So how do I join this elite sounding membership?

You have to be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada or the US, and have lived in one or the other for at least the last 3 years. There are some other criteria as well like not being a criminal, not having been caught trying to sneak in through immigration illegally ever.

You need to fill out an E672 form. You can find that form and a bunch more info on how to apply here.

How does it work?

Long story short, you call 1-888-CANPASS (1-888-226-7277) at least 2 hours before, and not more than 48 hours before to let them know when you’ll be arriving in Canada. 

The pilots need to do this – you’re responsible for yourself, the rest of the crew, and everyone onboard. You have to provide a whole bunch on info like what you have onboard, when you’re arriving, the people info, etc. Someone has set up a handy PDFable form here that you can use.

The pilot also should call up on landing before you open your doors in case they want you to wait and have an agent meet you. 

What if I’m not a member?

Well, then you need to enter the old fashioned way, and at a time when the local CIQ is open and available.

There is a slightly different program for Corporate aircraft. 

Remember we said on the private aircraft everyone needs to be a member? Well, if you’re a corporate aircraft (corporate but still private, so no charter operators) then you can get approval for up to four non-CANPASS registered travellers to be onboard.

This is still for private (non revenue) flights.

Any other things that might be handy to know?

We saw a question on non-scheduled international licences the other day. So here is the info on that.

First up, this isn’t anything to do with CANPASS. A non-scheduled international license means you can operate a public air charter service between your country and Canada (not around Canada though. Land and leave again. No internal airport hopping).

If you want this, and you aren’t Canadian, then you have to have all the documents you’d expect in your home country (where you’re registered) and then go read the Application Guide here, which also have all the legal mumbo jumbo you need to know, and apply.

It takes about 7 days to get your licence. This is applicable to revenue flights. CANPASS is for private non-revenue flights.

We’ve not done it ourselves…

So if you’ve seen anything odd, experienced anything unusual, or just have something to share on it please do at news@ops.group


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Rebecca Lougheed

Rebecca Lougheed

I am an OPSGROUP team member, an A340/A380 pilot, and interested in all things flight ops, cats and beer related. Based near an undisclosed airfield in England. Question for us? Write to blog.team@ops.group.

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