The Owner-Maintenance Category was developed to allow certain certified fixed-wing aircraft to be maintained, modified and upgraded under similar regulations as amateur built aircraft. In the mid-1990s, recreational aircraft owners expressed their concern for the spiraling cost and lack of availability of certified parts and expertise for older, unsupported aircraft.

This concern was turned into a proposal from several aviation associations, including COPA. It called for a new category for these aircraft that would allow owner-maintenance, part substitution and aircraft modification. An Owner-Maintenance Category became part of Transport Canada’s new Recreational Aviation Policy in June 1996. That policy was accepted by the aviation community and approved by the Minister of Transport.

Under the O-M Category, Aircraft Pilot/Owners are Eligible To:

  • maintain an airplane
  • refurbish all or part of an airplane
  • overhaul all or part of an airplane
  • install certified and uncertified parts
  • install or replace any instruments or avionics
  • modify an airplane
  • rebuild an airplane that is out of service
  • sign the maintenance release

It is important to note, when considering whether to put an aircraft into Owner-Maintenance, that it cannot be operated in the United States nor exported there at any point in the future.

For more on the Owner-Maintenance category, consult our Guide to Owner-Maintenance