Can I Fly My Own UAV/Drone?

To fly a UAV for "any form of work or research" you are legally required to have a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) through Transport Canada (Click here to read more). The SFOC enables Transport Canada to verify that operators use their UAV safely and reliably. 

SFOCs include information such as: 

  • Flight parameters (site information or region of flights, minimum distances from air spaces, maximum altitudes, etc.).
  • Operator qualifications including names and relevant experience of individual team members
  • UAV specifications (e.g., name and model of specific UAV being flown)
  • Safety protocols and procedures
  • Insurance coverage

SFOCs require a significant amount of time and care to fill out completely and accurately. Once they are filled they are submitted to Transport Canada for approval which can take approximately 20 business days. 

Transport Canada provides two types of SFOCs: site specific (for a specific location) or standing/"blanket" (applicable over a larger region or area such as Ontario).  Blanket SFOCs require an established relationship with Transport Canada which has allowed Transport Canada to confirm that the operator is in compliance with regulation and can operate safely and reliably.

GeoOptic operates in compliance with Transport Canada requirements under a blanket SFOC which allows us to fly sites in a tighter schedule without waiting for approval. Our highly skilled team are capable of meeting all of your GIS and mapping needs efficiently and effectively. From stockpile volume calculations, to slope measurements, to contour mapping, to fill requirement needs; GeoOptic is your full service aerial surveing and GIS solutions team.