Get permission for special drone operations

If you want to get permission for special drone flight operations, you will need to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC).

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Who needs to apply

An SFOC gives you permission to operate your drone outside the rules for a specific purpose. You need this certificate if you want to fly your drone outside the rules for basic or advanced operations.

You might be eligible to get an SFOC if:

  • your drone weighs over 25 kilograms (kg)
  • you want to fly your drone beyond the visual line-of-sight
  • you are 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 your drone at higher altitudes
  • you want to fly more than five drones at the same time
  • you want to fly at a special aviation event or an advertised event
  • you want to fly your drone carrying dangerous or hazardous payloads (e.g. chemicals)
  • you want to fly closer to a military airport

How to apply

To apply for this certificate:

  1. Complete an Application for a Special Flight Operations Certificate form (PDF, 1.2 MB) and gather the documentation specified in the application
  2. Send the form and documents to:
    Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Centre of Expertise
    700, Leigh-Capreol Place Dorval, Quebec H4Y 1G7
    Email: TC.RPASCentre-CentreSATP.TC@tc.gc.ca

Apply as early as possible before you plan to use your drone. Your application may take longer to process if it is missing information or if we receive a large number of applications.

Foreign operators

If you are a foreign operator (that is, you are not a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or a corporation incorporated by or under federal or provincial law and you want to fly in Canadian airspace), you must have an approved SFOC to fly a drone for any purpose (recreational, work or research).

You must already be allowed to use the drone for the same purpose in your home country. Include your country’s approval or authorization with your application for the SFOC.