New PNR SFOC Application Templates

The following information was passed along to us from a recent applicant in the PNR Region.  They have introduced a new process and templates for UAV SFOC applications as outlined below.


Thank you for your interest in obtaining a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) for the operation of an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) within Prairie and Northern Region (PNR).  We are experiencing an extraordinarily high volume of applications and request your patience in processing of applications.  Transport Canada’s primary goal in processing of applications for SFOC’s is to ensure public safety and to promote safe operations.  To help speed issuance of SFOC’s PNR Region has implemented an expedited process for applications, which is more efficient and allows for lower risk operations to be approved in a shorter timeframe. 

For all SFOC (UAV) applications already in the queue for processing, options 1 or 2 below are available to you to expedite issuance of an SFOC under the limited criteria, thus allowing you to begin operations.  If you wish to apply under option 1 or 2, please place the following in the subject line of your email “SFOC Application, Your Company Name and your ATS 15-16-XXXXXXXX.   (The ATS number will be found in your email from Transport Canada confirming receipt of your initial application.)  Attach the completed option 1 or 2 application form.

New Applicants for a SFOC (UAV) now have three options, depending on their requirements for operations.  You will find attached 3 documents which are in effect applications for SFOC’s which allow you the operator to operate under what we have designated as safe parameters.  The three documents you find attached each allow for different types of operations.  The criteria specified in these two “fixed criteria” applications are not negotiable.  If you are able and willing to comply with the criteria they offer, please choose which one applies to your operation and fill it in. You must submit at least one of the following 3 options or else it will not be considered complete.

Option 1 – Fixed Criteria
RDIMS-#1243868 Class E and G Airspace only
This application allows for operations throughout the majority of the Prairie and Northern Region of Canada.  It permits flights within Class E and Class G airspace, clear of built-up areas and specifies specific conditions on the safe operation of UAV’s.  The maximum height allowed under this SFOC is from 300 feet above ground level (AGL) down to 100 feet AGL within 5 nautical miles of an aerodrome. This is a fixed criteria application, where the conditions of operations specified in the document are not negotiable and in filling out the application, you need only check the various boxes signifying your acknowledgment that you will operate within the specified criteria.  There are several areas where you are required to fill in specific UAV and contact information.  ALL of these highlighted areas require a response.  NOT APPLICABLE will not be accepted.  If you feel information does not pertain to your proposed operation, you must explain why. Applicants who submit this application will be given priority for processing. This application is recommended for first-time applicants as the fastest way to get up and running with minimal delays in processing. 

Option 2 – Fixed Criteria
RDIMS-#11264838 Class C, D, E, F and G airspace
This application allows for operations throughout all of Prairie and Northern Region of Canada with a few exceptions.  It permits flights within Class C, D, E, F and G airspace, and within built-up areas.  The maximum height allowed under this SFOC is from 300 feet AGL down to 100 feet AGL within built-up areas and within 5 nautical miles of any aerodrome.  Very specific conditions are imposed in the application and this is recommended for applicants who have experience operating under a more restrictive SFOC.  This is a fixed criteria application, where the conditions of operations specified in the document are not negotiable and in filling out the application, you need only check the various boxes signifying your acknowledgment that you will operate within the specified criteria. There are several areas where you are required to fill in specific UAV and contact information.  ALL of these highlighted areas require a response.  NOT APPLICABLE will not be accepted.  If you feel information does not pertain to your proposed operation, you must explain why.  Applicants who submit this application will be given priority for processing.

Option 3
RDIMS-#11086630
This application allows for operations not covered by either of the two above.  This application must be used for any operations that are not able to work within the fixed criteria of the applications in Options 1 and 2 above. The main difference in this type of non-fixed criteria application is that rather than simply checking the box acknowledging acceptance of the criteria in the two other applications, the applicant will have to provide Inspectors with systems and processes that will ensure the safety of the general public and other airspace users.  There are several areas where you are required to fill in specific UAV and contact information.  ALL of these highlighted areas require a response.  NOT APPLICABLE will not be accepted.  If you feel information does not pertain to your proposed operation, you must explain why. The processing of this type of application is much more involved and typically requires operators to provide significant documentation for review.  Applicants who submit this application can typically expect more collaboration with Inspectors requiring clarification and application revisions prior to issuance. As a result, processing times for this type of application may be lengthier than the options above.

The three options presented are meant to help operators avoid long processing delays in obtaining SFOC’s.  It must be emphasized that you are not discouraged from using option 3, but you may wish to consider applying for an SFOC (UAV) using one of the first two options initially to expedite processing and then applying for a less restrictive SFOC at a later date if you find that your operation requires criteria outside of those offered in Options 1 and 2.

If you choose to submit an application, please send it to PNRSpecialFlightOps@tc.gc.ca

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