SFOC Application Sample

sfoc-sampleOne of the most requested questions we see asked is in regards to the SFOC (Special Flight Operations Certificate) application.  The biggest issue most people run into is the fact that there is no actual SFOC application form, it is a free-form document each applicant creates using their own format and structure to document their proposed operation and related aircraft, procedures, personnel, etc.

The specifics of the SFOC and application process can be found on the Transport Canada website.  A very useful related resource is the Staff Instructions document.  This outlines the application review process used by the Transport Canada staff, and thus provides a good overview of what they will be looking for within an application.

The typical application will cover the following main items:

  • Description of the operator
  • Description of the operation
  • Description of the flight location and dates/times
  • Description of the UAV and related flight/control systems
  • Description of the personnel and their experience and roles
  • Description of operational and emergency procedure
  • Reference to insurance coverage and any associated certificates/licenses, etc

A sample of our standard SFOC application is provided here as a guide – SFOC Application Sample

Each application will be different for each operation you perform and from operator to operator but the core elements are much the same each submission.

The key point to remember is the SFOC application is specific to each operator and outlines your specific procedures, policies, and details on the specific operation and equipment and personnel involved.  It forms a basis that helps Transport Canada determine if you are fully qualified and prepared to operate safely, so it is important that you properly research, document, and use the procedures and information provided in your application.  It should not merely be a copy and paste exercise from information you collect.  You will be held to whatever details you have stated in the application once approved, so you need to be able to fully understand and follow those items as stated.

If you are still in need of further assistance in the SFOC process we can provide help on a consulting basis to review and help complete your application.  Contact us at info@flitelab.com for details.


    1. Glad to help. Be sure to check the other SFOC related articles as well.
      If you are in the PNR Region you can also use the new templates they created if they apply to your needs. We also offer paid SFOC services if needed.


  1. Great information. Quick question, does the SFOC have to give specific dates? in Real Estate drone footage it can be hard to determine when I might be called upon by an agent to film a particular property. It’s all based on needs and requirements, and requires a quick turnaround to provide the service.

    Can the SFOC be open ended? Meaning, establish the area you will be using it commerically for a a time period fo 6 months?

    If not, doesn’t seem very flexible. Thoughts?


    1. When you first apply for SFOCs they typically are date and location specific. Once you have built up a track record with TC after 3-5 or so SFOCs you can apply for what is called a Standing or blanket SFOC which can run up to one year and cover an entire region. To do any effective work you need a Standing SFOC, otherwise you are correct it is inflexible but that is not TC main concern and is the reality of the current system.

      If you need SFOC assistance we do provide that service – https://blog.flitelab.com/2016/12/17/sfoc-application-consulting-services/


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