Staff Instructions

New SFOC Application Process – Part 1

sfocBack in November Transport Canada (TC) made a number of press announcements around new exemptions being put in place governing the use of UAV for commercial purposes.  The intent of these new exemptions were to simplify the process of utilizing UAVs and take the load off the existing Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) application process to help streamline the overall process.

“These exemptions mark an important milestone in UAV safety. By easing restrictions for businesses, Canada is promoting growth and innovation in an important sector, while ensuring the continued safety of those on the ground and in the sky.”

The Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport

However, the specifics of these new exemptions are very limiting in terms of when and where they can be used and they effectively are limited to very rural locations as we noted in these previous articles:

Under the exemptions the main limiting factor is the 5NM distance requirement from any airport or built up area, making the exemptions unusable for any work near towns or villages or larger urban areas.  There are also tight limits on altitude and distance to surrounding structures that further limit their use.  As a result many operators will  still require to use the SFOC process for most operations. (more…)