The following provides an overall outline of the SFOC application document that we typically use. This is merely an outline listing the core sections to be included. The actual content will be specific to your application and based on the application type. The following applies specifically to Restricted Simplified and Complex.
- Cover Page – Give the document a title as well as list your operator name and address. To help keep better track of multiple applications it is also a good idea to give your application a unique file number that it can be easily referenced by.
- Table of Contents – Provide a table of contents for the document to make it easily navigable by the reader.
- Contact Information – Full name, address, email, phone of the operator. Also include the name and contact details of the Operations Manager and any alternate contacts. This must include a means to contact the Operations Manager on site during the operation.
- Introduction – Provide a brief overview of what the application is for and the type of application being made. It is critical that the application type is stated, ex: Standing Restricted Operator – Complex Application Process.
- Purpose of Operation – Define what the operation is being done for, ex: photos and video for a real estate shoot. You may also include the flight parameters under which you will operation, including weather limits, and general flight paths and related activities involved.
- Dates of Operation – List the dates and times that the operation will be carried out on, along with alternate dates for backup due to weather or other issues.
- Operation Location – Describe the location at which the operation will take place. Provide both a civic address and the actual lat/long coordinates with the max radius and altitude. Include details on the type of airspace and client where appropriate. A map image from Google maps or aviation charts that outlines the boundaries of the flight location and take off/landing zones is also suggested.
- Aircraft & Equipment – Describe the UAVs and associated equipment that will be used for the operation. Include specifics on the aircraft’s dimensions, flight parameters, flight & maintenance procedures. If possible include the aircraft manual as well.
- Operational & Flight Procedures – Describe all processes, procedures, and parameters under which you will conduct operations. This includes processes for site surveys, communications with ATC, pre-flight/inflight/post-flight procedures and checklists, etc. Include details on how training, flight logs, and related records will be maintained.
- Personnel & Roles – Describe the key roles and personnel that will be involved with the operation. Include full bios on individuals with any relevant experience that will help show their experience and training as it relates to UAV operations. For each role define their key responsibilities. For most operations you will need a minimum of an Operations Manager, Pilot, and Observer, although the Operations manager may also perform the Observer or Pilot role, but Observer must only have one role during the flight operations.
- Security Plan – Describe your plan and procedures for securing the operations area.
- Emergency Contingency Plan – Describe your plan and procedures for handling unexpected emergency situations.
- UAV System Airworthiness and Continuing Airworthiness – Describe how the aircraft are designed to meet airworthiness and the process that will be used to maintain and repair the aircraft and associated systems. Service periods for the aircraft and key components should be defined. Include details on how flight and maintenance logs will be maintained.
Where the content of a given section is defined within a separate document, such as an Operations Manual, you can reference these documents in the application instead of copying the actual content to the application itself. Ex: Security plan and associated procedures as outlined in the Operations Manual.
Keep in mind there is no specific format required for the application, the outline shown above is merely one approach, but core content as listed in the SI document must be included for a complete application, which is outlined in article UAV SFOC How To – Part 5 Core Application Content
For submission we typically save the document as a PDF and send to the Regional TC office as an attachment, along with any associated/referenced documents.