If you want to get permission for specific drone flight operations, you will need to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) for Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).
An SFOC-RPAS gives you permission to operate your drone for specific purpose under special conditions. You need this certificate SFOC-RPAS if you want to fly your drone beyond the rules for basic or advanced operations.
If you are a foreign pilot or operator (not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident), you need to apply for an SFOC-RPAS.
Flying a drone in higher-risk environments
For higher-risk SFOC-RPAS operation environments, you will need an advanced drone pilot certificate and you will need to submit a Specific Operational Risk Assessment (SORA). Higher-risk environments include:
- flying a drone weighing over 25 kg
- flying beyond visual line-of-sight
- flying above 122 metres (400 ft)
- flying more than five RPAs at the same time from a single control station and at less than 9.3 km (5 NM) of an aerodrome or in controlled airspace
- carrying dangerous or hazardous payloads (e.g. chemicals)
Lower-risk SFOC-RPAS operations include:
- flying less than 5.6 km (3 NM) of a military aerodrome
- flying more than five RPAs at the same time from a single control station and at more than 9.3 km (5 NM) of an aerodrome in uncontrolled airspace
- flying at an advertised event
- organize an RPA special aviation event