So You Need Help with an SFOC?
So you found out that you need a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC), but you don’t know what that means or even what it should look like. I routinely get asked, “what kind of information is Transport Canada looking for?” “What is the typical information and format of an SFOC?”
The main issue is that Transport Canada has no standard format for an SFOC application or a fee. This is one reason why an SFOC approval can take up to 20 working days. Transport Canada in Ontario has tried to reduce the wait time by creating a SFOC template form, for Ontario applications only. Your SFOC application’s content will depend on what your UAS mission is, and the expectation by Transport Canada is for the applicants to know what they are talking about.
If you are starting to feel, or in your pursuit of researching the SFOC application, frustrated – you are not alone.
VOZWIN has supported and has given guidance to UAS companies with platform selection and with SFOC applications. We are regarded as stakeholders in the UAS marketplace by Transport Canada.
There is no one right way to do an SFOC, as it depends on what you are doing. However, there are a few main items that your application should have. These are:
- Details on the pilot
- Description on the intended mission
- Description on how you intend to fly
- Details on the flight location with dates and times
- Description of your UAS platform and related flight and controls systems
- Detailed plan that identifies how you will deal with the safety risks and emergency procedures
- Details on the personnel, their roles and experience
- Declaring your insurance coverage and any associated certificates, licenses or training
We have put together an SFOC Guidance Paper together, so you can see what this could look like. Once again, each SFOC is different, depending on the use of your UAS, and these are only to be used as a reference.