SFOC Application Consulting Services

sfocUnder current Canadian regulations, any non-recreational use of a drone/UAV requires either an Exemption to be in place or the operator to hold a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC).

New regulations are in the works that will replace most SFOCs, but not expected to to be released until late 2018, with a 6 month roll-out period going into mid 2019.  If you need to be flying before then an SFOC will still be needed.

Developing an SFOC application and all the associated technical documents and standard operating procedures
can be a daunting task for those new to Transport Canada and the aviation industry. There are specific details the regulator requires and a lot of jargon to understand to complete the application properly.  As well SFOCs are handled regionally across Canada, and each region has it’s own specific requirements and procedures around how and what to submit.

For those wanting to do it themselves we provide a number of helpful resources throughout our blog, the key articles can be found in this index .

For those looking for more direct assistance and to help expedite the process, we offer full SFOC application development services. Through these services we provide a full set of documents that Transport Canada typically require the operator to have for a submission:

Operations Manual. This document includes all the standard operating procedures (SOPs), safety & emergencies plans, checklists, log templates, and related. Basically your core processes and procedures for operating a UAV within the requirements Transport Canada put in place. We base this off our own existing proven documents and are always tweaking it based on new information and feedback from various regions.

UAV Manual. This document is specific to the UAV(s) you use and outlines the technical specifications, flight parameters, repair and maintenance procedures/schedules as per the needs of Transport Canada.

SFOC Application. Main application document which outlines the specifics of the purpose, location, dates, airspace, maps, etc for the operation. This makes reference to the other documents above.

National SFOC Form. Transport Canada now has a National SFOC form that is used across all regions.  This form makes reference to the other documents, which contain the mandatory information now required for applications.


Reporting UAV Issues in Canada – CAIRS

30-11-2014 8-44-11 AMWith any industry there will be regulations and rules and with them people that will decide to skirt them to try and game the system for their own benefit.  Some will honestly not be aware of the regulations and the first step should always be to educate and inform,  but for those that willingly break the rules the industry needs to take an active role in helping manage and safeguard. Those operating outside the laws may not be a direct impact on your business, but incidents that they may case could easily lead to tougher regulations for all.

Transport Canada provides the Civil Aviation Issues Reporting System (CAIRS) system for reporting concerns/complaints/suggestions as they relate to civil aviation and UAV usage:

The Canadian Aviation Incident Reporting System provides you with a means to raise issues (concerns, complaints and suggestions for improvement) to Transport Canada. It is a tool to anonymously report any suspicious aviation activity, such as illegal or unsafe use of any aircraft.

The more specific the details about a perceived contravention, the easier it is for Transport Canada’s enforcement officials to process the report.

If you suspect someone has committed a criminal offence, please contact your local police department.

With the rapid growth of UAVs there will be more and more people getting into the hobby and trying to make a business from it.  The more we as an industry can educate new members as well as the public and clients the more healthy an industry that will evolve for all.