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Canada Drones - Special Flight Operation Certificate

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mtmorrow, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. mtmorrow

    Jun 30, 2014
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    I'm in Canada doing a Doc series for Discovery Canada and aim to use my Phantom 2 for some aerial shots.

    I've been in touch with Transport Canada and I'm awaiting a call back to see when I can get my Special Flight Operation Certificate to do commercial work with my UAV.
    Has anyone gone through this process and if so, how long does the process take?


    DJI Phantom 2
    Zenmuse H3-3D Gimbal
    Go Pro Hero 3Plus
    1 x 5.8 Ghz Tx Video Transmitter System (UPGRADED)
    1 x 7" Black Pearl HD FPV Monitor with built-in DUAL DIVERSITY RECEIVERS (UPGRADED), Built-in Battery, and Battery Charger
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    1 x 5.8 Ghz Omni-directional transmitter antenna (UPGRADED TO 5db Antennas)
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  2. andrew

    Jun 26, 2014
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    I haven't applied yet, but have looked into it. Here's a response from a Transport Canada official:

    Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV’s) are not certified nor comply with the Canadian Air Regulations. UAV operators are granted a Special Flight Operations Certificate which [in effect is a waiver] allows operations under certain circumstances.
    Aviation is highly regulated, probably more regulated than other facets of your professional life. While Canadian these Regulations must comply with International Civil Aviation Organization [ICAO] Regulations and other Aviation Treaties. Canada has an obligation to protect all aviation using Canadian airspace.
    An applicant has to demonstrate to Transport Canada that they can operate safely without causing a hazard to other airspace users and people/property on the ground.
    All UAV enquiries should be addressed to the Prairie and Northern Region Special Flight Operations mailbox [PNRspecialflightops@tc.gc.ca]
    For direction on the Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) program and how to apply for a Special Flight Operating Certificate to fly a UAV please reference the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CAR’s) 623.65 (d) below and the Staff Instructions for UAV’s (link below) for assistance.

    Further to the requirements in the CAR’s and Staff Instruction your application will be required to provide information on the following:

    A Quick reference Emergency Procedures Checklist, that is readily available to the UAV pilot flying on site, must be incorporated into your application.

    Confirmation of the Class of Airspace you intend to operate in and your proximity to airport/heliports.

    Your SFOC will state the requirement for an observer to be onsite for all operations. The purpose of the observer is to scan the airspace during flight operations and advise the UAV pilot operator immediately if an aircraft enters the airspace, thus the UAV pilot operator can either maneuver or land so as to avoid a hazard to other airspace users.

    Transport Canada can only approve an SFOC application where the UAV pilot operator is flying the aircraft/UAV by unaided visual references to the aircraft/UAV. Goggles, monitoring computer programs or binoculars are not approved method.

    While there is no “ Specific Application Form” The regulation below describes the information that Transport Canada required in order to process and analyze an application. Fully answer the information requested in section 3 below….. Incomplete answers will result in delays in processing your application or rejection.

    CAR 623.65(d) Unmanned Air Vehicle
    (amended 2003/12/01; previous version)

    (1) The following standards apply to the application for and the operation of an unmanned aeroplane, rotorcraft or airship pursuant to CAR 602.41.

    (2) An application for a Special Flight Operations Certificate for the purpose of conducting the flight of an unmanned aircraft other than an unmanned free balloon or a model aircraft shall be received by the appropriate Regional Transport Canada General Aviation Office, at least 20 working days prior to the date of the proposed operation or by a date mutually agreed upon between the applicant and Transport Canada.

    (3) The following constitutes an application for a Special Flight Operations Certificate for the purpose of operations in paragraph (1) above:

    (a) the name, address, and where applicable, the telephone number and facsimile number of the applicant;

    (b) the name, address, and where applicable the telephone number and facsimile number of the person designated by the applicant to have operational control over the operation (Operation Manager);

    (c) method by which the Operation Manager may be contacted directly during operation;

    (d) the type and purpose of the operation;

    (e) the dates, alternate dates and times of the proposed operation;

    (f) a complete description, including all pertinent flight data on the aircraft to be flown;

    (g) the security plan for the area(s) of operation and security plan for the area(s) to be overflown to ensure no hazard is created to persons or property on the surface;

    (h) the emergency contingency plan to deal with any disaster resulting from the op the emergency contingency plan to deal with any disaster resulting from the operation;

    (i) the name, address, telephone and facsimile numbers of the person designated to be responsible for supervision of the operation area (Ground Supervisor), if different from the Operation Manager during the operation;

    (j) a detailed plan describing how the operation shall be carried out. The plan shall include a clear, legible presentation of the area to be used during the operation. The presentation may be in the form of a scale diagram, aerial photograph or large scale topographical chart and must include at least the following information:

    (i) the altitudes and routes to be used on the approach and departure to and from the area where the operation will be carried out;

    (ii) the location and height above ground of all obstacles in the approach and departure path to the areas where the operation will be carried out;

    (iii) the exact boundaries of the area where the actual operation will be carried out;

    (iv) the altitudes and routes to be used while carrying out the operation;

    (k) any other information pertinent to the safe conduct of the operation requested by the Minister.

    Common areas that can delay the processing of a UAV SFOC are:

    Site locations aren’t in Latitude and Longitude that works for basic Google Earth

    Security Plan doesn’t incorporate processes to fly over public roads.

    Working communications/phone on the operating site.

    Any operation above 400 feet above ground level (AGL) will require a substantial operational safety plan and defined operational need.

    Canned consultant applications which the applicant is not fully cognizant of. (the SFOC is issued to the applicant thus the applicant must fully understand all the operational conditions that are being committed too.

    Flight over cities or towns, close to an airport, aviation restricted airspace.

    Webpage links are not acceptable [ The site and information could change]. Cut and past the information/images on a webpage is satisfactory.

    Staff Instruction Link (if this doesn’t open Google UAV Staff Instruction)

    http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/o ... 01-972.htm
  3. andrew

    Jun 26, 2014
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    As an aside, I'm also a private pilot. I can say for certainty that these rules and regulations for flying a UAV for commercial purposes are absurd. They clearly have no idea how to deal with UAV's yet.

    Jun 12, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Vernon BC Canada
    When I purchased my P2 from flying cameras she sent me some email addresses from TC. I did receive an email back and talked to someone else that had very little useful info. She did mention that within the next year they are making changes. That kinda scared me a bit.
  5. UAVNorth.ca

    Feb 12, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    Yeah with the volume of requests they get they aren't in a position to do much educating at this point.
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