Car Seats and Child Restraint Systems

Car seats

Transport Canada highly recommends the use of an approved child restraint for all phases of the flight. It provides the highest degree of protection for your infant or child and its use during flight will help in case of unanticipated turbulence.

The use of a child safety seat or restraint device is:

  • Mandatory for an infant under 2 occupying a seat.
  • Optional for a small child, dependent on the manufacturer's guidelines for the device's maximum weight.

If you plan on having your child travel in a car seat on board the aircraft, you must purchase a seat on board for them. Porter does not supply car seats or any other child restraint systems.

Porter allows car seats to be checked, in addition to the paying passengers checked baggage allowance at no charge.

Approved car seats

Car seats must carry a label showing that they're approved for use on an aircraft, along with the instructions for use. We will accept car seats that have been approved to the following safety standards:

  • Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) 213 or 213.1
    Car seats that meet Canadian standards must be manufactured after January 1, 1981 and must bear a Statement of Compliance label stating the car seat has been certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft in accordance with the CMVSS 213 or 213.1.
  • United States Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 213
    Car seats that meet US requirements must be manufactured to standards enforced on or after February 26, 1985 and have the following labels in red lettering:
    • This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.
    • This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

If your car seat doesn't meet these safety requirements, you can check it in with your other baggage free of charge.

Car seat dimensions and safety requirements

Your child must be secured in the approved car seat whenever the Fasten Seatbelt signs are illuminated.

All infants/children secured in a car seat must be seated beside a passenger 16 years of age or older, and are restricted from occupying the emergency exit row of the aircraft.

You must be familiar with the manufacturer's installation instructions for the infant/child restraint system, the method of securing and releasing your child in the restraint system and your child must meet the manufacturer's height and weight guidelines for the restraint system.

The car seat:

  • Must be secured to a window seat permitting access to the aisle with you seated immediately adjacent.
  • Must not exceed the dimensions of the aircraft seat, and should fit into the area 16 inches wide from armrest to armrest and 18 inches deep from back to front.
  • Must be approved and be installed according to the labelled direction including those for orientation.

CARES™ child restraint system

An Amsafe CARES™ child restraint system may be used as an alternative to a car seat on the aircraft. CARES™ is a harness-type device that utilizes an aircraft passenger seat belt to secure your child's upper torso against the aircraft seatback. It is restricted for use by children at least 1 year of age and older, weighing between 10to20 kilograms (22to44 pounds), and up to 100 centimeters (40 inches) in height.