Moncton FIR – Clarification on UAV Flight Operations/NOTAMs

We recently had communications with a number of stakeholders in the Moncton FIR around the processes and procedures for UAV flight operation coordination and some changes to how these are to be carried out.

Originally when our first SFOCs came into effect a few years back, the process defined by Transport Canada was to contact local ATC (DND at Shearwater in our case with a number to call the tower directly) to inform them of UAV operations, which often cases resulted in the issuance of a NOTAM (when in controlled airspace).

Last year this somewhat changed when Nav Canada Halifax FIC informed us that we were to contact them directly for all request and file the NOTAM details with them as per the NOTAM Procedures Manual format and not go through Shearwater going forward.  This was done for the past year up until this week without issue.

Recently some concerns came up with DND at Shearwater where they were not aware of our UAV operations (despite the NOTAMs) and were not fully aware of the previous change in the NOTAM process with Halifax FIC.

This lead to further communications between all parties and eventually a followup call with us directly from Nav Canada Moncton Area Control Centre.

Following is a summary of the current expected procedure:

  • All UAV flight planning should be coordinated thought the contact below for operations within the Moncton FIR.  This should be done a day or more in advance where possible.
  • Nav Canada will communicate the operation with the appropriate ATC/ associated parties and determine if the operation is permitted and what additional procedures need to be followed. Typically they will request a phone call to ATC prior to and following the flight operations, if they are in controlled airspace or seen to impact manned flights.
  • Operations in Class G below 400′ are less of a concern and may not require the notification as long as normal SFOC safety protocols are followed.
  • In most cases no NOTAM will be filed for UAV operations.

For more details on this for UAV operators within the Moncton FIC, contact:
Peter Hebert
Unit Procedures Specialist
Moncton Area Control Centre
222 Old Coach Road
Riverview, NB, E1B 4G2
(506) 867-7134
(506) 867 7170 – fax

One added comment however was on YHZ (Halifax International Airport) no longer allowing UAVs within 9KM regardless of the operator or SFOC or what was being done.  It was noted that in most all cases the answer would be no from ATC to operate within that area.

The integration of UAVs into the nation’s airspace is an always evolving one, it is critical to stay informed and work where we can to make the system work for everyone.  We are passing this information along with the approval of Mr Hebert in hopes of spreading the word to the UAV community as the process continues to mature.

As more information becomes available we will share it with the community.

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