UAV SFOC How To – Part 6 Application Types

Once you have deemed your going to need an SFOC, a big decision that you need to make is which application process type you will be using.

Under the old system there was basically one application, but now under the new process there are now 4 types of applications:

  • Compliant Operator Application
  • Restricted Operator Application – Complex Application
  • Restricted Operator Application – Simplified Application
  • Restricted Operator Application – MAAC/AMA Application

Although the SFOC is the only authority to allow UAVs to fly there are two processes for seeking such authority. There is a Compliant operator process and a Restricted operator process. The Restricted operator process provides Certificate applicants with four methodologies for applying for an SFOC based on the scope and complexity of the proposed operation.

The MAAC/AMA Application does not apply for commercial use so can be ignored. It is meant for oversize recreational aircraft over 35kgs.

The Compliant Operator Application is now the new standard application type that TC prefers all operators submit under. It also is the most involved and will require the most documentation and training.

The UAV system regulatory recommendations approved by the TC Canadian Aviation Regulatory Committee require UAV operators to become “Compliant”. As such all Certificate applicants are strongly encouraged to work towards becoming compliant to ensure their operations can be continued with minimal interruption once future regulatory development is completed.

The following articles cover specifics on the Compliant operator in more detail:

While the Compliant Operator is what you should work towards it may not be the easiest and quickest to pull together.

The Restricted Simplified Application most closely mirrors the prior process used by most commercial UAV operators. However, unlike the old process, the new Simplified Application has  tighter restrictions so may not meet all your needs.  The Simplified Application can only be used for a single UAV as well. In which case the Restricted Complex will be your next option and seems to be what most are using for the short term.

As noted in UAV SFOC How To – Part 5 Core Application Content there will be core content that is required across all application types. In addition to those, each specific type will have additional information you will need to provide, as well as different criteria that you will need to meet, with the

We covered a further overview of the various applciation types in: New SFOC Application Process – Part 2 Application Types

UAV SFOC How To – Part 5 Core Application Content

coreFor all SFOC applications, regardless of the type being used, there are specific key elements that must be part of every application.

Inspectors shall advise all Certificate applicants that they are required to submit an SFOC application in accordance with 623.65(d)(3)(a)-(k) of the CARs

The information required by 623.65(d)(3)(a)-(j) will apply equally to all Certificate applicants regardless of the SFOC application process being used. An overview of the standard information required/expected by 623.65(d)(3)(a)-(j) is provided in Paragraphs 9.1 – 9.10 below.

NOTE: There appears to be a typo in the SI and it should reference Paragraphs 8.1 – 8.10.

If your applying as Compliant, this information may be part of your other operational manuals, and not needed to be in the SFOC application document itself:

For Compliant operators, this information may be contained in a company operations manual, a flight manual, or standard operating procedures. However, it would be expected that the applicant would clearly indicate in the SFOC application where, within these manuals, the specific information is located.

Here is a rundown of the key information that will be needed.  Details can be found in the Staff Instruction (SI) No. 623-001 Section 8. (more…)

SFOC Application Sample

sfoc-sampleOne of the most requested questions we see asked is in regards to the SFOC (Special Flight Operations Certificate) application.  The biggest issue most people run into is the fact that there is no actual SFOC application form, it is a free-form document each applicant creates using their own format and structure to document their proposed operation and related aircraft, procedures, personnel, etc.

The specifics of the SFOC and application process can be found on the Transport Canada website.  A very useful related resource is the Staff Instructions document.  This outlines the application review process used by the Transport Canada staff, and thus provides a good overview of what they will be looking for within an application. (more…)