New Canadian Drone Regulations – SFOCs

While the intent of the new regulations, coming into effect June 1 2019, is to remove the reliance on SFOCs, there are still instances where they will be required.

As per the new regulations outlined in CG2:

Subpart 3 — Special Flight Operations — Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems
Prohibition
903.01 No person shall conduct any of the following operations using a remotely piloted aircraft system that includes a remotely piloted aircraft having a maximum take-off weight of 250 g (0.55 pounds) or more unless the person complies with the provisions of a special flight operations certificate — RPAS issued by the Minister under section 903.03:

(a) the operation of a system that includes a remotely piloted aircraft having a maximum take-off weight of more than 25 kg (55 pounds);
(b) the operation of a system beyond visual line-of-sight, as referred to in subsection 901.11(2);
(c) the operation of a system by a foreign operator or pilot who has been authorized to operate remotely piloted aircraft systems by the foreign state;
(d) the operation of a remotely piloted aircraft at an altitude greater than those referred to in subsection 901.25(1), unless the operation at a greater altitude is authorized under subsection 901.71(2);
(e) the operation of more than five remotely piloted aircraft at a time from a single control station, as referred to in subsection 901.40(2);
(f) the operation of a system at a special aviation event or at an advertised event, as referred to in section 901.41;
(g) the operation of a system when the aircraft is transporting any of the payloads referred to in subsection 901.43(1);
(h) the operation of a remotely piloted aircraft within three nautical miles of an aerodrome operated under the authority of the Minister of National Defence, as referred to in subsection 901.47(3); and
(i) any other operation of a system for which the Minister determines that a special flight operations certificate — RPAS is necessary to ensure aviation safety or the safety of any person.

Two interesting items of note:

(h) the operation of a remotely piloted aircraft within three nautical miles of an aerodrome operated under the authority of the Minister of National Defence

This could impact many that often operate near DND managed aerodromes and heilpads, such as Shearwater in Halifax.

On plus side there is no mention of lasers as dangerous payload, so eye safe Lidar systems should be possible under the permit and not require a separate SFOC. This had been a concern raised during the feedback period.

 

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