New Canadian Drone Regulations – Exam Prep Courses

Looking to prepare for the new Canadian drone exams?
Checkout Coastal Drone Aviation:

Exam Prep | Basic Get yourself ready for the Basic Category knowledge exam! 

Exam Prep | Advanced Get yourself ready for the Advanced Category knowledge exam!

Practice with Transport Canada style multiple choice questions plus learn about the new regulations and how they may affect you.

Use coupon code “SFOC” for a 10% discount.

They also offer full ground school courses for those needing a more in-depth study.

New Canadian Drone Regulations – Flight Review

As part of the new drone regulations in Canada, in effect on June 1 2019, it is a requirement to pass a flight review as part of the Advanced Operations permit.

The items that must be performed for review are are outlined in TP 15263 Appendix A as per the following:

Pre-flight planning procedures

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
n/a applies Plan a flight of at least 15 minutes duration simulating a normal operational sRPAS flight which shall, at a minimum, include one (1) take-off and one (1) full stop landing.

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Provide a satisfactory site survey;
  • Brief flight crew or visual observers of any duties they are to perform or any other information relevant to the flight;
  • Use appropriate and current aeronautical charts and other current flight publications;
  • Properly identify airspace, obstructions, and terrain features;
  • Select a safe and efficient take-off location and flight route;
  • Obtain all pertinent information about local air routes and aerodromes;
  • Retrieve and interpret weather information and NOTAM relevant to the intended flight;
  • Determine the acceptability of existing or forecast weather conditions;
  • Select the most favourable and appropriate altitudes, considering weather conditions and equipment limitations;
  • Determine the appropriate departure procedure;
  • Make a competent “GO/NO-GO” decision based on available information for the flight;
  • Demonstrate that the weights and center of gravity are within acceptable manufactures limits;
  • Determine the impact on their sRPAS operations, of unserviceability of equipment or equipment configuration changes for the proposed flight; and
  • Organize and arrange material and equipment in a manner that makes the items readily available.

Emergency procedures

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
n/a applies Demonstrate the procedures to be used when an emergency occurs.

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Describe emergency procedures that apply to your sRPAS;
  • Describe the lost-link procedures that apply to your sRPAS;
  • Describe the procedures to follow in the event of a fly-away, including who to contact.

Perform a take-off

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
n/a applies Perform an organized and efficient safe departure

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Complete all pre-flight inspection/checks on your sRPAS;
  • Note take-off time;
  • Use an organized and efficient procedure to take off;
  • Comply with all departure clearances and instructions if the flight review is conducted in controlled airspace; and
  • Complete appropriate checklists.

Manual flight procedure

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
n/a applies Show the ability to manually control the sRPAS through various stages of flight.

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Maintain a stable airspeed, cruising altitude, and heading;
  • Navigate by applying systematic navigation techniques;
  • Orient the sRPAS to the direction of flight;
  • Navigate around an obstacle or fixed point;
  • Determine the position of the aircraft with respect to distance and altitude from the candidate;
  • Apply an organized method that would:
    • verify the position of the aircraft
    • revise headings to correct any existing track error to maintain the aircraft’s position due to wind
    • confirm or revise the battery power available at the destination landing point with a degree of accuracy that would make arrival assured
    • confirm current fuel/power levels vs requirements for the flight

Lost link procedures

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
n/a applies Demonstrate verbally the procedures to be used when a lost link occurs.

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Correctly program the sRPAS for a “return to home” if it is equipped with that function;
  • Select a power setting and altitude appropriate for the lost link situation;
  • Promptly recognize when a lost link has occurred;
  • Show an ability to regain control of the sRPAS if it reconnects the lost link;
  • Take an appropriate course of action, once link has been re-established and confirmed; and
  • Contact the appropriate facility to provide information on the lost link if needed.

“Fly away” procedures

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
n/a applies Verbally demonstrate the ability to perform all the needed actions relating to a “fly away” situation.

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Perform the following tasks without undue delay:
    • Identify and record their present position
    • Identify and record the direction and altitude the sRPAS was last seen travelling
    • Estimate the approximate available flight time that will remain with the fuel/power on board upon arrival at the destination (Example: 15 minutes)
  • Without delay contact the appropriate facility to provide information on the “fly away” if needed.

Perform a landing

Knowledge requirements for Visual line of sight operations
Small basic operation Small advanced operation Topics
n/a applies Perform an organized and efficient safe arrival.

The small RPAS pilot operating within visual line of sight must be able to:

  • Use an organized and efficient procedure to land;
  • Comply with all arrival clearances and instructions if the flight review is conducted in controlled airspace;
  • Complete appropriate checklists;
  • Note landing time;
  • Secure the sRPAS.

 

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.

 

New Canadian Drone Regulations – Foreign Operators

Under the new Canadian drone regulations, that come into effect June 1 2019, non Canadian foreign operators will be required to have an SFOC in place.  The Basic and Advanced permits do not apply.

As per the new regulations outlined in CG2:

Canada has not identified reciprocal foreign operator privileges with the United States. The FAA requires foreign commercial operators to register their RPAS in the country in which they are eligible to register and obtain operating authority from the Department of Transportation. In Canada, foreign operators are eligible to apply for a SFOC providing they are legally entitled to conduct the same operation in their own country. They need to provide evidence of such approvals when they apply for a SFOC.

 

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:

(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;

New Canadian Drone Regulations – Impact on MAAC

As the new regulations that will come into affect June 1 2019 impacts all model aircraft, not just “drones”, there have been concerns raised by many “traditional” recreational flyers in regards to how this impacts Model Aeronautics Association Of Canada (MAAC) members, fields, and events.

As per the new regulations outlined in CG2:

While Part IX of the CARs applies to all RPAS, members of the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada (MAAC) operating at MAAC fields and MAAC sanctioned events will be issued an exemption to certain provisions of the CARs. Under the Act,77 the Minister has the authority to issue exemptions to the CARs; the exemption will be issued to MAAC before the end of the coming into force of the Regulations.

DJI Welcomes Release of Modernized Canadian Drone Rules

January 9, 2019 – DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, welcomes today’s publication of modernized Canadian drone regulations as a measured approach ensuring that Canada remains open to safe and responsible use of drones.

“The regulatory framework published strikes a sensible balance between protecting public safety and bringing the benefits of drone technology to Canadian businesses and the public at large,” said Brendan Schulman, Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs at DJI. “The vast majority of drone pilots fly safely and responsibly, and governments, aviation authorities and drone manufacturers agree we need to work together to ensure that all drone pilots know basic safety rules.”

DJI is pleased that thousands of people submitted comments to Transport Canada to help them understand how drones are being used safely and productively already, and how to integrate them safely into the airspace without unduly burdening their ability to fly. These comments were clearly heard, as the final regulations are much improved from the draft rules.

“Several aspects of Canada’s new regulations are particularly innovative,” added Schulman, “including an easily accessible online test, rules that will allow for night operations, and a framework that will keep drones away from major airports while not simply outlawing operations anywhere near populated areas.”

A key component of these new rules is the Safety Assured Flight Envelope system, through which manufacturers will declare that their drones are suitable for use in advanced operations, such as over people or in controlled airspace. DJI will be examining the details of the SAFE system with the goal of participating in it, to continue to provide leading products for our commercial and enterprise customers in Canada.

DJI supports rules that make it easy for pilots to register with the authorities, as well as educational initiatives to ensure pilots understand how to fly drones safely. DJI strongly condemns unsafe and illegal drone operations, and believes registration schemes, online knowledge tests to educate drone pilots, and reasonable restrictions on where drones can fly are the best tools to ensure drones maintain their admirable safety record.

DJI has led the industry in developing technology to help enhance the safety of drone operations:

  • In 2013, DJI pioneered geofencing systems for its drones, using GPS position to warn or restrict drone pilots from entering locations which pose national security or aviation safety concerns.
  • In 2016, DJI upgraded its geofencing programming to include the capability for live updates of temporary flight restrictions and other changing hazardous conditions such as wildfires, while also adding flexibility for drone pilots with authority to operate in those locations.
  • DJI built automatic altitude limitations into its flight control apps to help pilots ensure they fly at safe altitudes.
  • DJI developed sense-and-avoid systems for recent drone models, which use sensors to identify obstacles and either stop short of them or navigate around them.
  • DJI created return-to-home systems which automatically guide a drone back to its takeoff point if it is low on battery or loses radio connection to its pilot.
  • DJI invented intelligent systems to monitor available battery life and temperature in real time, maintain battery health and warn of potential battery malfunctions before flight.

DJI has helped support scientific research into the risk posed by drones, such as this study, to ensure regulations are based on the best available evidence to achieve their safety goals. DJI will continue to provide materials to governments and aviation authorities for testing, technical expertise or other necessary assistance