Canadian Flying Procedures
Assumes a VFR flight from the San Juan Islands to Canada
Before you start
- Register on eAPIS. Google eAPIS. No charge to register.
- Canadian Currency
- Canadian Charts – especially The Vancouver VTA — VFR Terminal Area Chart.
- Canada Flight Supplement
- Obtain DTOPS Sticker – $27.50 per calendar year.
- If the airplane is not registered in your name, have proof (a letter) you are authorized
Leaving USA / San Juan Islands
- File eAPIS – 2 to 48 hours before your flight
- Call 1-800-WX Brief and file flight plan or file online with Lockheed Martin Flight Services. If you file online choose “domestic flight plan.” It allows a Canadian destination. It’s counterintuitive; but it works.
- Call Canpass 1-888-226-7277 (1-888-CANPASS) 2 – 48 hours prior to depart to let them know where you are landing and arrange for customs. Be prepared for “why are you coming to Canada?” and background questions.
- Open Flight plan on Mt. Constitution 122.3. Get transponder squawk code.
- Contact Victoria at about Roche Harbor or Stuart Island. If you’re below 2,500’ call Victoria Tower on 119.1. If you’re above 2,500’ call Victoria Terminal on 127.8.
- Close flight plan upon landing in Canada. Tower usually does it.
- Upon landing call CDN Customs / CANPASS 1-888-226-7277. They will check you in on the phone or arrange for customs agents to come to your airplane and check you in.
- If going on in Canada, create new flight plan. Remember CDN flight plans open automatically. Unlike the USA they have an “assumed departure.”
Returning to USA
- File eAPIS – 2 to 48 hours before flight.
- Call Kamloops 1-866-541-4101 / File flight plan to USA. They talk you through it.
- If you want to arrive in Friday Harbor, call Friday Harbor customs 360-378-2080 day of flight. They open at 8 AM. Arrange for arrival time. Avoid arriving at FHR when the international ferry arrives in Friday Harbor. If you don’t want to or can’t go thru FHR, then Bellingham is a good alternate. They need a one-hour notice before arrival. 360-734-5463.
- Contact tower of departure airport to open flight plan and get transponder squawk code. Tower will hand you over as you progress back to the US.
- Close flight plan.
- Upon landing have these docs ready for customs: Passport, aircraft registration, your medical, DTOPS decal, and pilot’s license.