General

London FIC NOTAM Info

We received the following from a reader in Ontario that was asked to share some info they received from Nav Canada London FIC in regards to NOTAMs, as outlined below:

All drone operators who file NOTAMs (Notice to Airmen) with the London FIC are requested to file these NOTAMs in the afternoon or evening (as opposed to in the morning or after midnight) whenever possible. Please keep in mind that NAVCANADA can only issue NOTAMs within 48 hours of when the activity starts. All FICs are open 24 HRS so if a job comes in with little notice, the FIC will still accommodate the NOTAM, but if that is not the case, and the job is within 48 hours, calling in the afternoon is optimal. This is especially important when a drone operator calls to file multiple NOTAMs.
In addition to this, it is also very helpful if the operator can provide the information requested as per the example provided below. The coordinates for your job-site can be determined using Google Maps by finding the location and left-clicking (to drop a pin) on the site. The coordinates will show up in a small dialog box at the bottom of the screen as a hyperlink (in decimal degrees). Clicking on the link will display the coordinates in DDMMSS in the blue area of the location box at the top left side of the page. Use the appropriate units of measurement when describing the drone. Don’t worry about the AD reference, we calculate it here.
If you feel that you will be filing numerous NOTAMs with the FIC, please enquire about setting up a template with us. This allows us to store your drone data and contact information so that when you call for a NOTAM, all we need to obtain is the specifics of the job itself. When we create a template, we usually call it by the operator’s name (eg. UAV-Smith).
Drone procedures are an ongoing work in progress for all the agencies involved (NAVCANADA, Transport Canada, airport operators, etc.) so I can’t speak for how other FICs are developing their procedures, but hopefully theirs will be similar.
150001 NOTAMN CYQF INNISFAIL CYQF UNMANNED AIR VEHICLE ACT RADIUS 0.25 NM CENTRE 515919N 1141010W (APRX 8 NM SSW AD) SFC TO 350 FT AGL. WINGSPAN 40 INS. WEIGHT 5.5 LB. COLOUR BLACK. YYMMDDHHMM TIL YYMMDDHHMM

Proposed Canadian UAV Regs Review – Give Your Feedback

As part of the new proposed Canadian UAV regulations is a comment period for public to make their voice heard on issues, thoughts and concerns with the coming changes. There are only 90 days to let Transport Canada know what you think.  Send your feedback by October 13th to:

Chief,
Regulatory Affairs,
Civil Aviation,
Safety and Security Group,
Department of Transport,
Place de Ville, Tower C,
330 Sparks Street, Ottawa,
Ontario K1A 0N5

Feedback may also be submitted by email to carrac@tc.gc.ca

It should be noted that feedback during the UAS Task Force sessions being held across the country DOES NOT substitute written submissions, so be sure to also submit them via the methods above even if you voiced them in person.

Proposed Canadian UAV Regs Review Index

With the release of the new proposed UAV regulations for Canada we have been doing a number of articles reviewing the details within.  We will be adding to this in the coming days and weeks as our review and analysis continues and new information comes to light. This post will contain an updated index to all associated articles on the topic:

Proposed Canadian UAV Regs Review – Flying Near/Over People

One the biggest restrictions under current UAV SFOC conditions is the requirement to maintain 100′ lateral distance from people and no overflights of crowds.

Under the proposed new regulations things have opened up a bit, within specific speed and altitude parameters, when operating under the small complex operations class:

As per: http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2017/2017-07-15/html/reg2-eng.php

Operate at least 100 feet (30.48 m) from a person. A distance of less than 100 feet would be possible for operations if conditions such as a maximum allowed speed of 10 knots (11.5 mph) and a minimum altitude of 100 feet are respected;

Operate over or within open-air assemblies of persons if operated at an altitude of greater than 300 feet, but less than 400 feet, and from which, in the event of an emergency necessitating an immediate landing, it would be possible to land the aircraft without creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface;

This is a welcome change, however given the nature of the parameters we do see this easily being exploited and unenforceable.

EDIT – Aug 17 2017: During a recent Transport Canada session on the new regulations it was noted that to fly over people the UAV must be able to glide in the event of a failure.  This implies multicoipters would NOT be allowed to fly over crowds.  An example was given of a Sensefly eBee.  As per the presentation slide material:

“Flight over open air assembly of persons only above 300ft and UA can glide clear

Proposed Canadian UAV Regs Review – 7 Days for Controlled Airspace???

Coordinating with Nav Canada & ATC for UAV flights in controlled airspace has always been part of UAV operational procedures.  Typically it requires 24-48 hours notice, which for the most part works well enough, although it can lead to issues around weekends and holidays when last minute jobs come up.

However under the new proposed regulations this is now pushed to 7 days, which is not acceptable or realistic for most operators.

As per: http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2017/2017-07-15/html/reg2-eng.php

902.58 No pilot shall operate a small unmanned aircraft in controlled airspace unless the following information is provided to the provider of air traffic services in the area of operation at least seven days before a proposed operation:

  • (a) the date, time and duration of the operation;
  • (b) the type and registration of the aircraft, including aircraft capabilities and physical characteristics;
  • (c) the vertical and horizontal boundaries of the area of operation;
  • (d) the route of the flight to access the area of operation;
  • (e) the proximity of the area of operation to manned aircraft approaches and departures and to patterns of traffic formed by manned aircraft;
  • (f) the means by which two-way communications with the appropriate air traffic control unit will be maintained;
  • (g) the contact information of the operator of the aircraft;
  • (h) the name, contact information and pilot permit number or licence number of the pilot-in-command of the aircraft;
  • (i) the procedures and flight profiles to be followed in the case of a lost command and control link;
  • (j) the procedures to be followed in emergency situations;
  • (k) process and the time required to terminate the operation; and
  • (l) any other information required by the provider of air traffic services required for the provision of air traffic management.

This is not acceptable and makes UAV operators second class citizen within aviation.  There needs to be an effective, timely, and easily accessible means to file for flights in controlled areas.  Manual submissions via email a week in advance is too slow and open to error and delay.  This is one of the major show stoppers in the proposed regulations in our view.