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
The latest version of the Canadian NOTAM Procedures Manual now contains details specific to UAVs and the associated NOTAM procedures & requirements.
5.5.5 Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV)
UAV operations are conducted in accordance with a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) issued by Transport Canada or under an exemption to the requirement to operate under an SFOC. Compliance with the SFOC or operating within the constraint of the exemption should result in safe operations and, therefore, a NOTAM should not normally be required. Those UAV operators conducting flight operations under an exemption are limited to uncontrolled airspace.
The need to publish a NOTAM is determined by Transport Canada in conjunction with NAV CANADA ATS, and not left to the discretion of the UAV operator or negotiated between the aerodrome operator, the UAV operator or other parties.
TC is responsible only for the conduct of civil UAVs. The CARs do not apply to Canadian or foreign military UAVs; however, these are subject to Military Flying Orders. Military operations conducted in civil airspace (that is, outside Class F Military Restricted Airspace) require coordination with NAV CANADA and may require assistance from TC, General Flight Standards in HQ. TC Regional Offices or HQ will forward the NOTAM proposals directly to the appropriate FIC.
NOTAM on UAV shall include the following information:
- UNMANNED AIR VEHICLE (UAV) ACT
- area of activity (radius, co-ordinates, and preferably distance and direction from the nearest aerodrome, or bearing and distance from a NAVAID)
- maximum altitude above mean sea level (AMSL) or above ground level (AGL)
- relevant physical characteristics of the air vehicle: type (for example, SIRIUS, GLOBAL HAWK), weight, size, markings, etc.
- reference to an AIP Supplement if one is issued
- other relevant information can be added; for example, contact information, etc.
Example: 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
We have previously discussed NOTAMs and their use within UAV operations and the importance of knowing your airspace and procedures for working safely. Recently we had some discussions with NAV Canada via the Halifax FIC regarding the format for submitting NOTAMs that involve UAVs. Here are the formats that should be published in the next edition of the NOTAM Procedures Manual.
Vicinity of an aerdrome (within 25nm)
UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE (UAV) OPS RADIUS XX FT CENTRE XXXXN XXXXW (APRX XX NM XX AD) SFC TO XXXXFT AGL
Using a box or rectangle or other shape
UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE (UAV) ACT WITHIN AREA BOUNDED BY XXXXN XXXXW-XXXXN XXXXW-XXXXN XXXXW-XXXXN XXXXW (APRX XX NM XX AD) SFC TO XXXXFT AGL
Further than 25nm from an aerodrome
UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE (UAV) ACT RADIUS XX FT CENTRE XXXXN XXXXW (APRX XX NM XX AD) SFC TO XXXXFT AGL