Transport Canada has recently announced a significant change to the recency regulations impacting license and permit holders.

In order to exercise the privileges of a permit, license or rating, pilots must comply with section 401.05 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations SOR/96-433 ("CARs") and its associated subparts. This section of the CARs requires that a pilot have acted as pilot-in-command or co-pilot of an aircraft within the previous five years preceding the flight.

Transport Canada has now introduced another option for pilots which allows license and permit holders to comply with the recency requirements instead of acting as pilot-in-command or co-pilot of an aircraft. This change will apply to holders of a Canadian Private Pilot Licence, a Canadian Commercial Pilot Licence, a Canadian Airline Transport Pilot License, a Canadian Multi-crew Pilot Licence and a Canadian Recreational Pilot Permit. Effective immediately, the change allows for a license and permit holder to only complete a pilot training program, approved in accordance with the applicable Subpart of Part VII of the CARs, in a Level C or D full-flight simulator approved under section 606.03 of the CARs.

According to Transport Canada the exemption is in effect until the earliest of:

a) September 1, 2021 at 23:59 (EDT);

b) The date on which any condition set out in this exemption is breached;

c) The date on which an amendment to the appropriate provisions of the CARs or related standards, modifying the subject-matter specifically addressed in this exemption, comes into effect; or

d) The date on which this exemption is cancelled in writing by the Minister where he is of the opinion that it is no longer in the public interest or is likely to adversely affect aviation safety.

As of the date of this Alert, and according to the Justice Laws Website, the CARs had not been formally updated to reflect this change.