I’m an FAA PPL using BasicMed. I know Transport Canada doesn’t recognize BasicMed, so I certainly wouldn’t try landing in Canada.

However, can I legally fly from one US airport through Canadian airspace to another US airport, or do I have to go around it?

If it matters, my desired flight would be within the part of southern Ontario controlled by Cleveland Center and Detroit Approach. Does that even count as Canadian airspace?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well if you're over southern Ontario, yeah you're in Canadian airspace. It would be Toronto Centre's airspace. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Commented Dec 11, 2021 at 6:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @JohnK Not according to the boundary shown on the IFR Low charts. $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Commented Dec 11, 2021 at 6:54
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @StephenS But it's still Canadian airspace. Which ATC facility is responsible does not change that. Countries often agree to such overlapping ATC responsibilities to simplify things, but they don't give up sovereignty. Where I live e.g., the MUAC controls upper airspace that belongs to Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and north-west Germany. $\endgroup$
    – Bianfable
    Commented Dec 11, 2021 at 10:36

1 Answer 1


Both American and Canadian regulations do not allow you to fly in Canadian Airspace with BasicMed.

Overflights through Canadian airspace with BasicMed are also not allowed, regardless of who controls the airspace.

FAA Regulations

Section 61.113(i)(2)(iii) requires that the flight, including each portion of that flight, is not carried out outside the United States, unless authorized by the country in which the flight is conducted. Title 14 CFR part 1, § 1.1 defines the United States as the States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the possessions, including the territorial waters, and the airspace of those areas. Thus, a pilot operating in the United States, as defined in § 1.1, may elect to use BasicMed. Airmen certificated by the FAA are represented to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as compliant with ICAO standards for private pilots, among other requirements. As BasicMed standards divert from ICAO requirements, flights must be geographically limited to operations within the United States, unless specifically authorized by the country in which the flight

Canadian Aviation Regulations

404.03 (1) No person shall exercise or attempt to exercise the privileges of a permit, licence or rating unless the person holds a valid medical certificate of a category that is appropriate for that permit, licence or rating, as specified in section 404.10.

(U.S. recreational pilot certificates and sport pilot certificates are not recognized in Canada)

  • $\begingroup$ The same goes for airplane certs in the case of Owner Maintenance category in Can. I can put most simple single engine aircraft into OM category, which allows the owner who is also the pilot to sign off maintenance releases, do repairs and overhaul, use uncertified parts, etc. Everything with a serial number has to have an X stamped over the SN and to put it back to Normal Cat you have remanufacture everything. Problem is OM is not an ICAO recognized category and the FAA refused to give it status similar to amateur built, so an owner can't even overfly US territory in his OM registered 172. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Commented Dec 11, 2021 at 19:54

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