UAV SFOC How To – Part 6 Application Types

Once you have deemed your going to need an SFOC, a big decision that you need to make is which application process type you will be using.

Under the old system there was basically one application, but now under the new process there are now 4 types of applications:

  • Compliant Operator Application
  • Restricted Operator Application – Complex Application
  • Restricted Operator Application – Simplified Application
  • Restricted Operator Application – MAAC/AMA Application

Although the SFOC is the only authority to allow UAVs to fly there are two processes for seeking such authority. There is a Compliant operator process and a Restricted operator process. The Restricted operator process provides Certificate applicants with four methodologies for applying for an SFOC based on the scope and complexity of the proposed operation.

The MAAC/AMA Application does not apply for commercial use so can be ignored. It is meant for oversize recreational aircraft over 35kgs.

The Compliant Operator Application is now the new standard application type that TC prefers all operators submit under. It also is the most involved and will require the most documentation and training.

The UAV system regulatory recommendations approved by the TC Canadian Aviation Regulatory Committee require UAV operators to become “Compliant”. As such all Certificate applicants are strongly encouraged to work towards becoming compliant to ensure their operations can be continued with minimal interruption once future regulatory development is completed.

The following articles cover specifics on the Compliant operator in more detail:

While the Compliant Operator is what you should work towards it may not be the easiest and quickest to pull together.

The Restricted Simplified Application most closely mirrors the prior process used by most commercial UAV operators. However, unlike the old process, the new Simplified Application has  tighter restrictions so may not meet all your needs.  The Simplified Application can only be used for a single UAV as well. In which case the Restricted Complex will be your next option and seems to be what most are using for the short term.

As noted in UAV SFOC How To – Part 5 Core Application Content there will be core content that is required across all application types. In addition to those, each specific type will have additional information you will need to provide, as well as different criteria that you will need to meet, with the

We covered a further overview of the various applciation types in: New SFOC Application Process – Part 2 Application Types


  1. Can you help on this please? Does a Compliant Operator need a Compliant UAV? It doesn’t seem to be the case if I read the Staff Instructions Appendix D. It doesn’t state “must operate a Compliant UAV”. Since I have the Inspire 1 Pro, I could not qualify as a Compliant Operator if this a Compliant UAV is required.


    1. For a Compliant SFOC a Compliant UAV is required. You would need to apply as Restricted Complex with an Inspire, which is what most operators apply under. Very few (I’m only aware of 1) Compliant SFOCs have been issued.


    2. I understand but my question was do u need a Compliant machine, it doesnt state that in Staff Inst App D. I already have received 10 Complex SFOC’s last year and a Standing SFOC that runs out shortly. I am making an urgent SFOC request presently but noticed your comment “encouraged to work towards a Compliant Operator”.


      1. Yes a Compliant machine is required for the SFOC. For a Compliant SFOC it needs to be a Compliant Operation, Compliant Pilot, and Compliant UAV. All 3 must be in place.

        You could be a Compliant Operator but with no associated SFOC it is of no value. Compliance is just self declared.

        There is little value being a Compliant Operator without the SFOC. In fact currently a Compliant SFOC offers little advantage, merely it can be country wide for 3 years.


      2. Well it makes sense. That rules me out until I can earn more money and buy a compliant machine. Many thanks for your relies.


      3. I would wait and see what the new announced regulations bring this summer. There is no value working toward Compliance at this stage in my view with so much changing.


  2. Just FYI I have recently been told by TC, Quebec to use the new national application for RDIMS 12694056 2017/04/06 and under types of Application it only has Simplified, Complex, Standing and Compliant.


      1. OK thanks again.
        Sorry I have stopped following the FACEBOOK SFOC site, got tired of some of the mindless posts. I should follow yr Blog.


      2. I’m curious why this form isn’t available anywhere on any TC site if it is now the standard being used.


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