Dialog with ICAO Regulator

To : International Civil Aviation Organization , Montreal

Dear Sir :

I am incubating a project called the Hoyle Shield Project involving students floating weather balloons into the stratosphere.

Not many I add – just say 10 teams around the globe and maybe 5-10 flights each.

I need to make sure they are cogniscent of the international and local regulations . Please could you connect me to the right person for advice.



Dear Mr Smith,

Thank you for your enquiry.

In the first instance, please let me refer you to the ICAO Annex 2 requirements (PDF  Rules of the Air (ICAO Montreal) )

These are found as para 3.1.10 Unmanned free balloons – which states: An unmanned free balloon shall be operated in such a manner as to minimize hazards to persons, property or other aircraft and in accordance with the conditions specified in Appendix 5.

Additionally, it should be noted that, while ICAO provides standards, and recommended practices to States, individual States (such as Canada) then transpose those requirements into their own legislation. In so doing a State may choose to enhance or strengthen the standards and requirements to ensure suitability for their aviation environment.

I therefore also strongly recommend that you review the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) which can be found on the Transport Canada website:



Particularly Part VI – General Operating Rules:



I also advise that you contact Nav Canada – the air traffic navigation services company responsible for the airspace within which you intend to launch your balloons if the launch will take place in Canada.



Clearly if you intend to launch the balloons elsewhere you will need to liaise with the relevant local air navigation services provider.

I hope this information is useful to you, and I on a personal note, I find the concept of Hoyle Shield very interesting. You may wish to (and possibly already have) contact the organisations responsible for meteorology in the countries you intend to launch your balloons, as it appears they will be comparable to the met balloons launched regularly throughout the world.

Kindest regards,

Mike Boyd

Associate Technical Officer

Airspace Management and Optimization (AMO) Section

Air Navigation Bureau

International Civil Aviation Organization

+1 (514) 954-8219 Ext. 5323  | www.icao.int