Legal Requirements for Drone Operations in Canada

Transport Canada, Canada’s national aviation authority, has legislated under Part IX of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (SOR/96-433), that all RPAS (remotely piloted aircraft system; also known as a drone, UAV – unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAS – unmanned aerial system) pilots must be licensed, regardless of use, in order to operate drones weighing between 250 g and 25 kg.

Now entering our sixth year of operations, DCS is skilled in interpreting all laws and regulations relating to aviation as well as navigating complex Transport Canada requirements.

Transport Canada Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC-RPAS)

Specialized drone operations require a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) from Transport Canada to operate your drone outside the existing aviation regulations.  Under Part IX of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (SOR/96-433), a SFOC-RPAS is required if:

  • you are a foreign operator (that is, not a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada or a corporation incorporated by or under the laws of Canada or a province)
  • you want to fly at a special aviation event or an advertised event
  • you want to fly closer to a military airport
  • you want to fly your drone beyond visual line-of-sight
  • your drone weighs over 25 kilograms (kg)
  • you want to fly your drone at higher altitudes
  • you want to fly your drone carrying dangerous or hazardous payloads (e.g., chemicals)
  • you want to fly more than five drones at the same time
  • Read more here.

Support for Transport Canada SFOC-RPAS Applications

In order to demonstrate that a Canadian drone operator complies with aviation regulations, Transport Canada requires that a drone operator meet certain detailed standards before issuing an SFOC-RPAS.  These include:

  • aircraft airworthiness
  • personnel training and licensing
  • flight and crew manuals
  • base of operations and scheduled points of service

As a result, the process of obtaining an SFOC-RPAS is a very stringent and demanding undertaking which requires specialist expertise in order to be successful.  DCS is highly experienced in the Transport Canada SFOC-RPAS process.  Read more here.

Business Consulting

DCS is entering its fifth year of operations after having established itself as a leading Canadian sRPAS operator. It counts among its clientele some of Canada's most influential and best loved companies and organizations.

We are able to leverage our significant experience to establish and optimize drone operations. DCS also provides business consultation services for drone start-ups, including business plan creation for aspiring drone businesses or for business expansion or financing requirements for established drone businesses.

Transport Canada SFOC-RPAS (BVLOS)

Drone flight operations which are Beyond Visual-Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) require a Transport Canada-issued SFOC-RPAS (BVLOS).  As the fourth sRPAS operator in Canada and the first in Ontario to be rated for BVLOS flight by Transport Canada, which is the most stringent and arduous drone flight operation allowed by Transport Canada, DCS has the expertise to assist clients in establishing flight operations and CONOPS (Concept of Operations) which meet complex Transport Canada regulations and requirements.  Drone equipment such as the DJI Dock falls under this category.  Read more here.

Transport Canada SFOC-RPAS (Over 25 kg)

Transport Canada categorizes drones weighing over 25 kg as Large RPAS.  These drones are capable of carrying heavier payloads and are often used for more specialized and industrial applications, such as heavy lifting, long-endurance missions, and specialized aerial surveying or monitoring tasks.  Drone flight operations which involve Large RPAS require a Transport Canada-issued SFOC-RPAS (Over 25 kg).  DCS has the expertise to assist clients in establishing Large RPAS flight operations and CONOPS (Concept of Operations) which meet complex Transport Canada regulations and requirements for this type of aircraft.  Drone aircraft such as the DJI Agras series of agricultural drones and the new DJI FlyCart 30 aerial delivery/transport drone fall under this category.  Read more here.

Proof of Concept for Industry

We specialize in conducting Proof of Concept (PoC) studies using our state-of-the-art aircraft and expertise for companies who are interested in incorporating the latest drone technology into their workflows & businesses.  Upon successful completion of the PoC, we are able to take you all the way through implementation of the PoC which includes designing a custom training program for your company which will enable your employees to achieve the Transport Canada Advanced RPAS Pilot Certification.  This training will provide your operators with the required competence to fly drones in a both a legal and safe manner.  We also assist you in the procurement of aircraft & equipment to meet your specific mission requirements.


Website Created & Hosted with Doteasy Web Hosting Canada