(This is in reference to Canadian Airspace) Can you fly in Class B airspace under CVFR (Controlled Visual Flight Rules) without a transponder with Mode c (altitude encoding) capability?

To enter Class B airspace you'd require ATC clearance to begin with, I'd assume if you didn't have a transponder with Mode C, they wouldn't clear you, but I'm not certain.

I'd assume aircraft flying under IFR would have this transponder with Mode C capability, but aircraft that typically fly VFR may not.


2 Answers 2


It looks like gliders and balloons don't need a transponder in class B, otherwise you need ATC's permission. From the CARs:


transponder airspace means controlled airspace consisting of the airspace referred to in section 601.03, within which the aircraft equipment requirements prescribed in section 605.35 apply


Transponder airspace consists of

(a) all Class A, B and C airspace as specified in the Designated Airspace Handbook;


(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), no person shall operate an aircraft, other than a balloon or a glider, in transponder airspace, unless the aircraft is equipped with a transponder and automatic pressure-altitude reporting equipment.


(3) An air traffic control unit may authorize a person to operate an aircraft that is not equipped in accordance with subsection (1) within airspace referred to in section 601.03 where

(a) the air traffic control unit provides an air traffic control service in respect of that airspace;

(b) the air traffic control unit received a request from the person to operate the aircraft within that airspace before the aircraft entered the airspace; and

(c) aviation safety is not likely to be affected.


The vast majority of GA airplanes have Mode C transponders and when you ask for the clearance, you will be given a transponder code to squawk. If you don't have one, you have a problem and you probably won't get a clearance except in special circumstances. Not only do you need a Mode C transponder, it has to be calibrated and certified every 2 years by an AMO.

You could call Terminal while still clear of the Class B, tell the controller you are no-transponder would like to go from A to B, and see what happens: the controller may let you transit by reporting position at specific points if the path is out of the way. Or maybe not.

Better yet, call the applicable ATC unit on the phone and find out if you can get permission to transit Class B non-transponder for a particular reason.

As a general practice however, the answer will almost certainly be no. Just go around or under.


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