Vol. 151, No. 28 — July 15, 2017

Regulations Amending the Canadian Aviation Regulations (Unmanned Aircraft Systems)

  • Statutory authority
    Aeronautics Act
  • Sponsoring department
    Department of Transport

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Executive summary

Issues: There are three issues associated with a rapidly growing and evolving unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry in Canada lacking a mature safety and aviation knowledge culture: the overarching safety issue, the lack of regulatory predictability to foster further development of the UAS industry, and the increase in special flight operations certificate (SFOC) applications that results in an administrative burden.

Description: The Regulations Amending the Canadian Aviation Regulations (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) [the proposed Regulations] would apply primarily to UAS that include unmanned aircraft (UA) weighing more than 250 g but not more than 25 kg and operated within visual line-of-sight (VLOS). They would introduce requirements for UAS users commensurate to the level of risk of a UAS operation based on the weight of the UA, the operating environment and the complexity of the operation, by distinguishing very small UA (more than 250 g but not more than 1 kg) from small UA (more than 1 kg but not more than 25 kg), operated in a limited (rural) or complex (urban) environment. They would also set out the requirements in the areas of licensing, insurance, training and manufacturing, based on the type of UAS.

Cost-benefit statement: The total estimated costs are $172 million in present value (PV) over 10 years with the base year of 2018. (see footnote 1) The majority of the costs are attributed to UAS pilot permit applications and knowledge requirements, insurance requirements for the recreational users and for UAS operators who may be non-compliant with the current regulatory requirements. The qualitative benefits include the safety benefit of reduced risk of incidents or accidents with manned aircraft or with people or property. The monetized benefit of an estimated $111 million PV is due to the cost savings of reduced SFOC applications for both industry and government. The net cost estimate is $61 million PV; however, the overall regulatory proposal is deemed beneficial given the reduced risk of a manned aircraft accident.

“One-for-One” Rule and small business lens: The “One-for-One” Rule applies. The total administrative cost decrease would be an “OUT” with an annualized value of $5.43 million. The proposed amendment does increase compliance costs for small businesses since many of the businesses are assumed to be currently non-compliant with the SFOC process.

Background

The Canadian and global civil aviation system is historically predicated on the notion of having a pilot on board an aircraft and operating the aircraft. However, the ongoing integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to the civil aviation system creates challenges because unmanned aircraft (UA) are designed to be flown without a pilot on board, by remote control using an external device such as a remote control station, tablet, laptop, smart phone, etc. UAs (see footnote 2) are known in popular culture under various names; examples of such names include unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV), drone, and remote control (RC) aircraft (RC aircraft, RC plane or RC models). The absence of a pilot from the aircraft raises important technical and operational issues such as the ability to sense and avoid other aircraft. Many small UAs are relatively inexpensive, require little or no set-up or assembly, and are relatively easy to fly, resulting in an influx of people who are unfamiliar with best practices and regulatory requirements within aviation. As a result, the number of recreational and non-recreational users of small UAs has exploded in recent years, thus raising safety concerns while illustrating the potential of this relatively new and growing aviation sector.

Canada currently has a growing and maturing UAS industry focused on operational services such as aerial photography, surveying, and inspection for a number of industries such as film and marketing, agricultural and natural resources, construction, and real estate. Government agencies are also increasingly interested in using UASs whether for ice reconnaissance, northern sovereignty, law enforcement, search and rescue, forest firefighting, or disaster response. Canada’s UAS industry is also expanding in the sectors of manufacturing and research and development (R&D). The growth of the UAS industry in Canada is being driven by a number of global and domestic trends, including rapid technological advancement, increasing availability of UAS to the general public, and a broad range of industry sectors in which a UA could facilitate work tasks more efficiently in some cases than manned aviation (e.g. power-line surveys) or more safely than workers exposing themselves to risks of falls or other hazards (e.g. bridge or high-rise inspections). The growth of the UAS industry also has a positive impact on the environment. In the agriculture business, a UAS can assess more precisely where pesticides are needed, thus reducing the quantity of pesticides that are used.

Canadian civil aviation is the responsibility of the Minister of Transport under the Aeronautics Act (AA), which provides the Minister with the authority to develop regulatory requirements under the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs).

Currently, the CARs have separate definitions and requirements for UAs operated recreationally, defined as “model aircraft,” and UAVs for all non-recreational purposes. The intended non-recreational use of the unmanned aircraft is primarily what differentiates a UAV from a model aircraft.

In contrast to model aircraft, UAVs are used for non-recreational purposes, including business or academic operations such as aerial photography, surveying, agriculture, observation, advertising and research and development. Under the current regulations, UAV operators require an SFOC and they must operate in accordance with all of the conditions listed in the SFOC. The conditions are designed to mitigate safety risks to other airspace users (pilots and passengers in the traditional aviation sector) and to people and property on the ground. Operating without an SFOC or breaching one of the conditions is a designated offence under the CARs where a fine can be issued.

The Interim Order Respecting the Use of Model Aircraft (the Interim Order), first made by the Minister of Transport in March 2017, implemented temporary restrictions on UASs operated recreationally. Within the first two months of issuing the Interim Order, Transport Canada has received feedback from UAS operators regarding where they can operate legally and the restrictiveness of the imposed distances from aerodromes, buildings and people.

Two of the identified requirement gaps for both the recreational and non-recreational UA pilots are systematic training and knowledge standards. Due to the type of incidents involving UAs operating around airports and the lengthy back and forth with many applicants to process SFOCs, it is assumed that the aviation knowledge level and experience of most UAS pilots are generally low.

In working with the current regulatory framework, for non-recreational UAS pilots/operators, SFOCs are issued on a case-by-case basis beginning with site-specific certificates and graduating to broader geographical regions once the operator has established a safety track record with Transport Canada.

Issues

Overarching safety issue

The exponential use of UASs both non-recreationally and recreationally over the past five years has led to an increase in the risk of damage to property and injury to people on the ground and water, and to manned aircraft while taking off or landing.

Risks are largely due to lack of understanding and working knowledge of airspace, aviation regulations, manned aviation airspace users, and best practices. Even with an extensive promotional campaign, it was evident to Transport Canada while processing SFOCs that awareness and understanding of airspace and operator responsibilities is lacking. Ongoing safety incidents involving recreational users suggest that knowledge is also a problem for recreational fliers who are not members of established organizations with education and safety programs, such as the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada (MAAC).

Risk analysis and incidents experienced over the last few years lead Transport Canada to conclude that the risks would not necessarily be attributed to the type of UAS user (i.e. recreational or non-recreational); rather, the higher risks would be associated to the weight of the UAS and to its location of operation.

Administrative burden increase and reduced service standard

Since SFOCs are issued per operation, for example for a building inspection, or in some cases per year for established UAS users, the administrative burden of applying for an SFOC is recurrent. Therefore, the increase in non-recreational UAS use increased the cost associated with the administrative burden.

The increase in non-recreational UAS use has also overwhelmed the UAS SFOC approval system. Transport Canada is no longer able to meet its 20-day service standard for the processing and issuance of SFOCs, even with two general exemptions in place against the requirement for non-recreational UAS operators to seek an SFOC provided they meet specific conditions. Operational delays for businesses are having adverse effects on the industry’s ability to plan operations and pursue business opportunities, while Transport Canada’s resources are currently diverted from preventive oversight and surveillance programs, including those for traditional aviation.

A non-regulatory approach of UAS safety education and outreach was put in place in November of 2014 when general exemptions were issued to alleviate the requirement to apply for an SFOC for low-risk UAS use. The safety education and outreach campaign (see footnote 3) has been well received by the public and industry, but incidents continue to occur. In addition to the continued safety concern, the SFOC process remains burdensome for industry and Transport Canada.

Regulatory predictability issue

Besides generating significant administrative and compliance burden for applicants and work for Transport Canada, the case-by-case approach of SFOC processing inevitably leads to inconsistencies in when an applicant would receive authorization to operate and in the operating limits and allowances afforded to each UAS operator. These inconsistencies have also been observed from one region to another and within each region in Canada, often causing confusion and frustration. Regulatory predictability would allow a business to plan and commit to services to its clientele with the knowledge that it would be able to comply with the regulatory scheme and operate within it. For a recreational UAS user, it would mean that they would know they could go out and enjoy the activity safely and in compliance with the regulatory scheme. Regulatory predictability is important for development of the UAS industry in Canada and could provide a more stable business planning environment for small UAS operations, sales, testing, and development.

Objectives

The main objective of the regulatory proposal is to mitigate potential safety risks posed by UASs to manned aviation and to people and property on the ground. In addition, Transport Canada has the objectives of

  • Improving regulatory predictability in order to foster a stable yet agile regulatory environment for UAS industry development;
  • Reducing administrative burden on UAS businesses; and
  • Increasing Transport Canada’s ability to meet its service standard for traditional aviation activities and surveillance capability.

Description

The focus of the proposed regulatory amendment are UASs weighing more than 250 g but not more than 25 kg, being operated within visual line-of-sight (VLOS). A person who operates a UA that weighs less than 250 g would not be subject to the proposed Regulations. However, this would not relieve any person who operates a UAS of the obligation to respect privacy laws and operate so as not to endanger life or property of any person.

The proposed amendment introduces defined operating categories based on the weight of the UA model as well as the physical operating environment. The proposed Regulations intentionally do not distinguish between recreational and non-recreational operations since the risks they pose are considered the same. Recreational operations that would be impacted by this amendment include the recreational operations that are currently required to adhere to the Interim Order and the existing “model aircraft” category operated under the auspices of MAAC. The term non-recreational operations captures operations by academic institutions for research purposes and government entities such as municipal police; both of which are considered non-recreational where a person or organization will use the UAS for a service to others for a fee. The definitions of both “model aircraft” and “unmanned air vehicle” as currently found in the CARs would be replaced with that of “unmanned aircraft systems.”

Three UAS operating categories are proposed to mitigate the risks by requiring increasingly more stringent requirements as the weight of the UA increases, as well as the areas of operation.

Micro Very Small Small (Limited) Small (Complex) Large/Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS)

250 g or
less

More than 250 g to
1 kg

More than
1 kg to
25 kg

More than
1 kg to
25 kg

More than 25 kg

diagram - Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.

UA of more than 250 g but not more than 25 kg

The following requirements, for example, would apply to all UAS pilots/operators irrespective of the weight of the UA and areas of operation:

  • Clearly mark the UA with the name, address and telephone number of the operator;
  • Notify air traffic control if the UA inadvertently enters or is likely to enter controlled airspace;
  • Operate in manner that is not reckless or negligent (that could not endanger life or property);
  • Give right of way to manned aircraft;
  • Use another person as a visual observer if using a device that generates a streaming video also known as a first-person view (FPV) device;
  • Confirm that no radio interference could affect the flight of the UA;
  • Do not operate in cloud; and
  • Have liability insurance of at least $100,000.
UA of more than 250 g but not more than 1 kg (very small)

It is proposed that a recreational or non-recreational UA pilot who operates a UA that weighs between 250 g and 1 kg and who operates it anywhere must adhere to the following requirements and limits including, but not limited to:

  • (1) Pass a written knowledge test (similar to a boating (see footnote 4) test) to demonstrate aeronautical knowledge in specific subject areas, such as airspace classification and structure, the effects of weather and other areas;
  • (2) Be at least 14 years of age;
  • (3) Operate at the following minimum distance from an aerodrome: 3 nautical miles (NM) [5.56 km] from the centre of the aerodrome. The required distance from heliports and/or aerodromes used exclusively by helicopters would be 1 NM (1.85 km);
  • (4) Operate at least 100 feet (30.5 m) from a person. A distance of less than 100 feet laterally would be possible for operations if conditions such as a reduced maximum permitted speed of 10 knots (11.5 mph) and a minimum altitude of 100 feet are respected;
  • (5) Operate at a maximum distance of 0.25 NM (0.46 km) from the pilot;
  • (6) Operations over or within open-air assemblies of persons (see footnote 5) would not be allowed;
  • (7) Operate below 300 feet;
  • (8) Operate at less than 25 knots (29 mph); and
  • (9) Night operations would not be allowed.
UA of more than 1 kg but not more than 25 kg (small)

If a person intends to operate a UA that weighs more than 1 kg (2.2 lb.) but not more than 25 kg (55.1 lb.), it is proposed that they comply with increasingly stringent requirements depending on where they operate. Operation of a UA this size in a rural location (see footnote 6) would be referred to as a “limited operation,” whereas in a built-up area, near an aerodrome or within controlled airspace, as a “complex operation.”

For the purposes of these proposed Regulations, a definition of the term built-up area (see footnote 7) is proposed and would allow a person to be able to identify if they are in a built-up area. In addition to specific requirements/limitations pertaining to either a limited or complex operation, some common requirements are proposed. A person who wants to operate a small UA, for example, would be required to perform a site survey prior to launch to identify any obstacles and keep maintenance and flight records.

Small UA (limited operations)

If a person wants to operate a UA that weighs more than 1 kg but not more than 25 kg in an environment with a lower population and less air traffic (generally referred to as a “rural area”), it is proposed that they must adhere to the following requirements and limits, including, but not limited to:

  • (1) Pass a written knowledge test (similar to a boating test) to demonstrate aeronautical knowledge in specific subject areas, such as airspace classification and structure, the effects of weather and other areas;
  • (2) Be at least 16 years of age;
  • (3) Operate at the following minimum distance from an aerodrome: 3 NM (5.56 km) or greater, respecting the control zone; or 1 NM (1.85 km) if there is no control zone. The required distance from heliports and/or aerodromes used exclusively by helicopters would be 1 NM (1.85 km);
  • (4) Operate at least 250 feet (76.20 m) from a person. A lateral distance of less than 250 feet would be possible for operations if conditions such as a maximum permitted speed of 10 knots (11.5 mph) and a minimum altitude of 250 feet are respected;
  • (5) Operate at a minimum distance of 0.5 NM (0.93 km) from a built-up area;
  • (6) Operate at a maximum distance of 0.5 NM (0.93 km) from the pilot;
  • (7) Operations over or within open-air assemblies of persons (see footnote 8) would not be allowed;
  • (8) Operate below 300 feet (91.44 m) or 100 feet (30.48 m) above a building or structure with conditions;
  • (9) Operate at less than 87 knots (100 mph); and
  • (10) Night operations would not be allowed.
Small UA (complex operations)

Operating a heavier UA near populated areas may pose a greater probability and severity of an incident or accident involving people or property. Operations within 0.5 NM (0.93 km) of a built-up area, near an aerodrome or in controlled airspace would necessarily need preparations and involve more than buying a UAS and reading the operating manual. If a person would want to operate a UA that weighs more than 1 kg but not more than 25 kg in this type of environment, it is proposed that they adhere to the following three unique requirements:

  • (1) Have a UAS that is in compliance with a standard published by a standards organization accredited by a national or international standards accrediting body; (see footnote 9) have available the statement from the manufacturer that the UAS meets the standard; and do not modify the UAS. Transport Canada would alleviate the requirement for a pilot/operator to have a UAS that meets the design standards for operation in a complex operating area if that pilot/operator has bought a UAS prior to the coming-into-force date of the new regulations;
  • (2) Register the UAS with Transport Canada and ensure that the certificate of registration is readily available by the pilot-in-command; and
  • (3) Obtain a pilot permit that would be valid for five years. The pilot permit application to Transport Canada would include, for example, the following:
    • • An attestation of piloting skills by another UA pilot, and
    • • The successful completion of a comprehensive knowledge exam.

The following requirements and limits would also apply:

  • (1) Pass a comprehensive written knowledge test (part of the pilot permit requirement above);
  • (2) Be at least 16 years of age;
  • (3) Request and receive authorization for flight in airspace which is a control zone for an aerodrome from the appropriate air traffic control unit;
  • (4) Operate at least 100 feet (30.48 m) from a person. A distance of less than 100 feet would be possible for operations if conditions such as a maximum allowed speed of 10 knots (11.5 mph) and a minimum altitude of 100 feet are respected;
  • (5) Operate at a maximum distance of 0.5 NM (0.93 km) from the pilot;
  • (6) Operate over or within open-air assemblies of persons if operated at an altitude of greater than 300 feet, but less than 400 feet, and from which, in the event of an emergency necessitating an immediate landing, it would be possible to land the aircraft without creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface;
  • (7) Operate at a maximum of 400 feet (121.92 m) or 100 feet above a building or structure with conditions; and
  • (8) Night operations would be allowed with conditions.

Transport Canada has conducted a specific analysis in relation to operations of UAs near or within built-up areas, considering risks to people and the proximity and type of UA involved. The following is a summary of minimum lateral distances that pilots/operators of UAS would have to respect depending on their operating category.

Type of UAS Unit Pilot Has Authorization for Location Distance From Distance

Very small

 

Rural or built-up area

a person

100 feet (see footnote a1)

Very small

 

Near an aerodrome or heliport

an aerodrome or heliport

3 NM or 1 NM respectively

Small

Limited operations

Near a built-up area

a built-up area

0.5 NM

Small

Limited operations

Rural area

a person

250 feet (see footnote a2)

Small

Limited operations

Near an aerodrome

an aerodrome

3 NM (see footnote b1) or control zone

Small

Complex operations

Within a built-up area

a person

100 feet (see footnote a3)

NM is nautical mile (1 NM = 6076.12 feet = 1.852 km)

Manufacturer

The manufacturer would have to design a UAS to be used in complex operations to minimum standards, (see footnote 10) send a declaration of compliance to Transport Canada and provide a statement of conformity to any pilot or operator who requires one.

Special flight operations — UAS

Any UAS operated under the following categories would retain the current SFOC process for authorizing operations on a case-by-case basis:

  • Beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS);
  • UA that weighs more than 25 kg;
  • UA flown for air races, air demonstrations, or air shows; and
  • Any other operation where an operator cannot comply with all of the proposed regulatory provisions for their particular UA weight category or location of operation.

Benefits and costs

The net costs of the proposed amendment are estimated as $61.48 million PV or $8.75 million annualized. The benefits and costs are estimated as the expected increases or decreases in impacts compared to the baseline of current regulatory compliance. The current baseline includes non-recreational UAS operators that are operating per SFOC; non-recreational UAS operators that are operating without having an SFOC, but who should have applied; and recreational UAS pilots that are operating in accordance with the Interim Order.

Benefits

The public security benefits of further regulating the UAS industry are difficult to monetize, since much of it pertains to uncertain forecasts of this emerging industry. However, based on past incident data, Transport Canada foresees the following qualitative public security benefits of the proposed amendment:

  • It is assumed that the cost savings from preventing any manned aviation accident would outweigh the net costs of the proposed Regulations.
  • Aircraft marking and registration could assist Transport Canada and the police in regulatory enforcement investigations or the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) in safety investigations into aircraft incidents or accidents involving manned and unmanned aircraft. It could also assist civil authorities to take action for any possible criminal related activities involving UASs.
  • Entering small UAs eligible to operate in complex environments into the Canadian Civil Aircraft Register database could provide Transport Canada with current and historical statistical information that would provide perspective in managing accident and incident rates and future regulatory amendments.
  • A UAS that has been designed, manufactured and maintained to a minimum standard may reduce the risk of incidents, such as fly-aways, or accidents and the severity of the consequence of an incident or accident.
  • Mandating operators who are not already compliant with an SFOC, but should be, to put in place procedures such as a site survey or emergency procedures may reduce the risk of incident or accident.

Qualitative economic benefits for all sectors of the UAS industry, including manufacturers, operators, training units and retail establishments, could include the following:

  • The fact that the UAS pilots should have knowledge testing encourages the growth of competent and skilled third party approved exam invigilators (AEI) as well as a growth in education and training providers.
  • By mandating minimum safe operating limits and procedures, all of the industry sectors would benefit from a public confidence perspective that would in turn encourage continued growth in businesses.
  • The fact that the UAS should be designed, manufactured and maintained to a minimum standard encourages the growth of a specialized sector in Canada comprised of competent and skilled workers.

The total estimated monetized benefits are primarily due to the reduced burden of preparing for SFOCs compliance and administration for each of the businesses or institutional UAS operator (i.e. police or university). It is assumed that all of the businesses are small businesses. The benefit estimate is approximately $111 million PV over 10 years with a 7% discount rate, which equates to an annualized value of approximately $16 million. The estimate is calculated using the historical number of SFOCs issued between the years 2012 and 2016 and then using the average growth rate of 2.0% to obtain 8 703 SFOCs issued in 2017. Year one of the analysis is 2018 and the number of SFOCs assumed to be issued in that year is 11 000. The forecast of SFOCs issued over 10 years, if the proposed Regulations are not made, follows a trend similar to a Japanese study (see footnote 11) regarding large unmanned helicopters for agriculture use. While the study is only for one industry sector, Transport Canada is of the view that this trend for forecasting may be more realistic than comparing it to the trend of consumer smart phones for instance, since SFOC operators are non-recreational.

The time for a business to prepare the SFOC request is estimated at $37 per hour for 2 days or 16 hours. For complex operators, the estimate includes the preparation related to air traffic service provider coordination, i.e. obtaining a call sign (see footnote 12) since this would be replaced by the registration process. The UAS operator would no longer need to establish, in coordination with each applicable local air traffic service provider, a call sign to be used during the particular operation in order to facilitate communication and avoid duplication of call signs. The total cost savings for businesses are estimated to be $82.34 million PV or $11.72 million annualized.

The total estimated monetized benefits for the Government are due to the reduced burden of Transport Canada of issuing SFOCs. The benefit estimate is $28.63 million PV, which equates to an annualized value of approximately $4.08 million. Based on a survey conducted by Transport Canada, the Department’s inspectors spent on average 3.1 hours to process a simple SFOC application and 4.8 hours to process a complex SFOC application at $94 per hour. A simple application is an application that was developed for recognized UAS operators with a previous history of SFOC requests.

Monetized benefits summary

Stakeholder Benefit Cost Savings (Present Value over 10 Years
with a
7% Discount Rate)

Business or institutional operator

Reduced administrative burden of applying for SFOCs and establishing a call sign

$82.34 million

Transport
Canada


Reduced administrative burden of processing SFOCs

$28.63 million

Costs

The cost estimates can be explained for each of the three stakeholder groups: recreational UAS pilots, industry businesses/institutions, and government. As stated in the description, the proposed Regulations intentionally do not distinguish between recreational and non-recreational operations. However, for the purposes of an individual identifying with one or the other, the cost estimates are categorized as such for one year only for illustrative purposes.

Recreational UAS pilots

It is assumed that the majority of the UA units that weigh more than 250 g but less than 1 kg (referred to as very small UAs) would be operated recreationally. The recreational UAS pilot would have to take a basic written knowledge test for a minimum of $35 and mark their UA with contact information at no cost. The liability insurance industry for recreational UAS operators is not yet mature. However, it may be assumed that the cost of $100,000 of liability insurance for a recreational UAS operator is estimated as twice the group insurance premium for a modellers association. Liability insurance could amount to an estimated $15 per year. Therefore, the total cost for a pilot with a very small UAS is estimated to be $50 for the first year.

Recreational pilots operating a UA unit that weighs more than 1 kg but not more than 25 kg (referred to as small UA) in a rural area (limited operation) would also carry the total estimated cost of $50 for licensing and liability insurance per year.

For recreational pilots operating a UA unit that weighs more than 1 kg but not more than 25 kg (small UA) in a built-up area (complex operation), the costs would be as follows:

  • $15 or more per year for liability insurance of at least $100,000;
  • $110 upfront cost of applying for registration marks for every new UAS acquired;
  • $35 upfront cost for invigilation of a comprehensive knowledge exam in order to obtain a pilot permit;
  • $35 upfront cost for a pilot permit.

The total cost estimate for a recreational pilot operating a UA unit that weighs more than 1 kg but less than 25 kg in a built-up area is $195 in the first year and $15 or more thereafter.

Cost estimate per recreational pilot in the first year

UA Weight Area of Operation Cost in year 1 (2018) (see footnote 13)

More than 250 g but not more
than 1 kg (very small)

Rural or built-up area

$50

More than 1 kg but not more than 25 kg (small)

Rural area (limited operation)

$50

More than 1 kg but not more than 25 kg (small)

Built-up area
(complex operation)

$195

Industry businesses and institutional operators (non-recreational)

The majority of UAS businesses in Canada have fewer than 100 employees. The exception, for example, would be energy companies that would operate UASs to inspect their oil lines or electricity lines. For the purposes of this analysis, all of the UAS operators are considered small businesses.

The cost estimates for businesses with pilots that would strictly operate UAs that weigh between 250 g and 1 kg (very small) would be similar to that of a recreational pilot, but Transport Canada also includes the time spent for administrative burden and compliance burden, such as time to write a test, in the estimate. It is assumed that the businesses would already have liability insurance. The cost estimate is as follows:

  • $35 upfront cost for invigilation of a basic knowledge exam in order to obtain a pilot permit; and
  • Written exam time — 1 hour multiplied by the Canadian salary average = $25.20/hour.

The total first-year cost estimate for a business with one pilot operating a UAS that weighs between 250 g and 1 kg would be $60.

The cost estimates for businesses with pilots that would operate UASs that weigh between 1 kg and 25 kg (small) in a rural area would be similar to that of those operating the less heavy UA units. The total first-year cost estimate for a business with one pilot operating a small UA in a rural area would be $60.

Most of the businesses that have been applying for SFOCs operate small UA units or have a combination of very small or small UA units, depending on the business sector applicability. Since cost estimates are calculated as those being related to proposed new requirements and not that of current regulation or voluntarily action, many of the requirements related to operating procedures are not included in this cost analysis. The operators that are already operating pursuant to an SFOC have operating procedures in place. It is assumed that the businesses would also already have liability insurance.

The cost estimates for businesses with pilots that would operate small UA in built-up areas for the new requirements that are not already an SFOC requirement are as follows:

  • $110 upfront cost of applying for registration marks for every new UAS acquired;
  • Aircraft registration application = 30 minutes × Canadian salary average = 0.5 × 25.20 = $12.60;
  • $35 upfront cost for invigilation of a comprehensive knowledge exam in order to obtain a pilot permit;
  • Time to take the exam (study not included) = 2 hours × Canadian salary average = 2 × 25.20 = $50.40;
  • Pilot permit application = 30 minutes × Canadian salary average = 0.5 × 25.20 = $12.60; and
  • $35 upfront cost for a pilot permit.

The total cost estimate for businesses with pilots operating small UA in built-up areas in the first year would be $256.

Based on the total estimate of small UA units in Canada in 2016 in populated areas compared to the volume of SFOC applications that Transport Canada has received in 2016, Transport Canada assumes that up to two thirds of businesses that operate small UA are currently non-compliant and should have applied for an SFOC. It is also assumed that they do not carry liability insurance. Transport Canada inspectors have noted that a few operators that currently have SFOCs were found to have no liability insurance.

The liability insurance market for a business is more established than for the recreational market. For businesses, typical annual liability costs range between $500 and $1,000, as it is assumed they are operating their UAS more frequently than do recreational pilots. The lower estimate is used for the cost estimate.

The cost estimates for businesses with pilots that would operate small UAs in built-up areas and are not already compliant with SFOC conditions are as follows:

  • $500 per year for liability insurance;
  • $110 upfront cost of applying for registration marks for every new UAS acquired;
  • Aircraft registration application = 30 minutes × Canadian salary average = 0.5 × 25.20 = $12.60;
  • $35 upfront cost for invigilation of a comprehensive knowledge exam in order to obtain a pilot permit;
  • Time to take the exam (study not included) = 2 hours × Canadian salary average = 2 × 25.20 = $50.40;
  • Pilot permit application = 30 minutes × Canadian salary average = 0.5 × 25.20 = $12.60;
  • $35 upfront cost for a pilot permit;
  • Practical training self-taught summary = 2 hours × Canadian salary average = 2 × 25.20 = $50.40; and
  • Maintain records of flight operations: the administrative burden of keeping a flight log up to date. It is assumed that each log entry takes one minute multiplied by an average salary, and an average of 100 flights is undertaken per year = 0.0167 × $25.20 × 100 = $42.00.

The total cost in the first year for this population of businesses and institutional UAS operators is $848 per operator.

There is a small number of manufacturers (12 businesses) that build UAS in Canada. Transport Canada assumes that the cost of designing and showing compliance to an industry standard is already done for those whose target market is operation in built-up areas, for movie production, as an example. In addition, future designs for that market already meet or exceed the existing industry design standard. It is estimated that for the 12 manufacturers to complete a required compliance matrix, explaining how all requirements per the industry standard have been met, which is typically done by an engineer, and to produce statement of conformity copies, it would take 5 days or 37.5 hours as an upfront cost = $1,067 in the first year. For any new models developed in subsequent years, the costs would be rolled into typical development cost.

Cost estimate summary for non-recreational stakeholders in the first year

Stakeholder

UA Weight

Area of Operation

Cost in Year 1 (2018)

Owner/Pilot

More than 250 g but not more than 1 kg

Rural or built-up (limited or complex operation)

$60

Owner/Pilot

More than 1 kg but not more than 25 kg

Rural (limited operation)

$60

Owner/Pilot currently compliant with an SFOC

More than 1 kg but not more than 25 kg

Built-up (complex operation)

$256

Owner/Pilot currently not compliant with an SFOC

More than 1 kg but not more than 25 kg

Built-up (complex operation)

$848

Manufacturer

More than 1 kg but not more than 25 kg

 

$1,067

Total cost estimates taking total Canadian UAS units and businesses/institutions into account.

The number of UASs in Canada has been estimated at approximately 337 468 units at the end of 2017. The total UAS population in Canada is calculated as 12% of the U.S. estimate of 2 812 237 UAS units in use at the end of 2017. The underlying assumption is that the ratio between the U.S. manned aircraft pilots and Canadian manned aircraft pilots is equal to the ratio between the U.S. UAV units and Canadian UAV units. The ratio of 12% stems from the assumption that there are more pilots per capita in Canada than in the United States, where the simple population ratio would be closer to 11%. It is assumed that the UAS industry will continue to grow rapidly and then start to level off. The growth rate of SFOCs, although non-recreational only, is a good indication of what may be expected as a continued growth rate in the next few years. The number of SFOC applications has actually had a growth rate of 2.0%. Therefore, the total number of UAS units estimated for the cost analysis is 575 600 at the end of 2018.

The total UAS units are thus broken down into recreational (see footnote 14) and non-recreational (see footnote 15) percentages of 74% and 26%, respectively, based on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aerospace forecast 2016–2026. The assumed breakdown of UAS unit categories is as illustrated in the following chart. Should there be more of a proportion of small UA being operated in rural areas, the cost estimate would prove to be conservative since there would be more requirements for operation of small UA in built-up areas.

Flowchart - Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.

The total number of UAS units estimated to be operated in Canada by the end of 2018 is summarized in the following chart. It is to be noted that the model unit numbers and BVLOS UA unit numbers are part of the total assumption but not further included in the analysis since they would be part of different regulatory requirements.

 

Model

Micro

Very Small

Small Limited

Small Complex

Large/BVLOS

Total

Canada units (end 2018)

42 700

140 000

298 000

56 700

37 200

195

575 600

Percentage breakdown

7%

24%

52%

10%

6%

<1%

100%

The actual number of small UA units that are flown recreationally versus non-recreationally is unknown. Basic assumptions have been made to be able to differentiate the costs to determine the total number of businesses so as to estimate the administrative burden as shown in the “‘One-for-One’ Rule” section of this Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS).

Since the requirements in the proposed amendment hinge on the type of UAS and the type of UAS operation conducted, the differentiation between the UAS operated recreationally and non-recreationally is based on the following gross assumptions:

  • All micro UA are operated recreationally; micro UA units may be used non-recreationally as technology advances;
  • Most of the very small UA would be operated recreationally; and
  • Most of the small UA would be operated non-recreationally.

For the purposes of the cost analysis, the following table and diagrams show the assumed UAS unit distribution. The micro UA units are shown for illustrative purposes since they contribute to a large part of the recreational market.

UAS Unit

Micro

Very Small

Small (Limited)

Small (Complex)

Operated recreationally

140 000

220 520

41 958

2 976

Operated non-recreationally

0

77 480

14 742

34 224

Graph - Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.

Graph - Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.

The Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada requires that a cost-benefit analysis be made over a 10-year period as a minimum. The total cost estimate excluding the government cost estimate is calculated by using all of the costs listed for the individual stakeholders multiplied by the total population of each of the units estimated in the very small, small limited and small complex categories. The cost estimate to manufacturers is calculated separately. The growth of the industry that is assumed over the next 10 years follows an S-curve with a 1.5 times saturation point. A 1.5 saturation was chosen due to an assumed balance of industry potential and safety and insurance cautions from regulators, pilots and the public. The growth of UAS units that would be operated in Canada would level off at 2.5 times the value assumed in year one (2018). Over 10 years, 100% compliance is assumed to be achieved through outreach, surveillance and enforcement, as the operators who may be currently non-compliant would decrease inversely to the S-Curve.

Graph - Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.

Government

Government cost estimates are associated with the personnel to be put in place to support the program as well as some information technology (IT) platform capital costs.

Development of training curriculum

It is estimated to take 18 months for two Transport Canada full-time employees (FTE) to develop the formal knowledge material for the exam for pilots operating UA in the small complex category. The FTEs would develop 4 different exams that would have about 100 questions each. The exam model would be similar to the recreational boaters’ exam model. Exams would be refreshed every three years and the exam invigilation program would have to be maintained annually with 1.5 FTE. Transport Canada has an existing system that allows Authorized Exam Invigilators (AEI) to invigilate exams. Small limited and very small UA basic knowledge test will be a subset of the small complex UA knowledge requirements and will take less effort to develop and put online. Translation costs were not added to the estimate.

Administration

The administrative portion of the government cost estimate would be related in part to aircraft identification, marking and registration. The Minister would enter all small UA operating in the small complex operating areas into the Canadian Civil Aircraft Register database. Transport Canada would allocate a unique series of registration marks, starting with a specific letter (C-Xabc). This would provide an easy manner to differentiate between manned and unmanned aircraft and would support search and rescue and air traffic control concerns and practices. Three new FTEs would be required to manage the requests and issue the registration certificates. One new FTE (Information Technologist) and a support person would be required to modify the registration database to accommodate the UAS numbers.

Personnel licensing also contributes to the administration part of the program. One new FTE (Inspector) would be required to process and produce the permit, which is a Canadian Aviation Document (CAD). An estimated 11 000 to 33 800 pilot permits may be requested by the end of 2018. The high range was chosen for conservative cost-benefit calculations. A program manager would also help the Inspector manage the CAD activities in general.

Surveillance costs

There are currently 16 inspectors who are processing SFOCs in Canada. During the first two years following the coming-into-force date of the regulations, 14 of those inspectors would be transferred gradually to the existing manned aircraft surveillance program and 2 would be retained to continue to process SFOCs. It is estimated that over the remaining eight years of the period covered by the cost analysis, 12 new FTEs (inspectors) would be needed for the UAS surveillance program.

By calculating employee salaries over 10 years with a discount rate of 7%, the total cost estimate for Transport Canada would be $18.10 million PV or $2.58 million annualized.

Cost-benefit statement (see footnote a)

 

Base Year: 2018

2019 to 2026

Final Year: 2027

Total (PV) (see footnote b)

Annualized Average

A. Quantified impacts (in CAN$ millions, 2012 price level / constant dollars)

Benefits

All business and institutional operators

7.54

13.04

13.42

82.34

11.72

Benefits

Government

2.62

4.53

4.67

28.63

4.08

Total benefits

 

10.16

17.58

18.09

110.97

15.80

Costs

Recreational UAS pilots

10.0

8.55

2.96

44.43

6.33

Costs

All business and institutional operators

23.61

19.42

9.03

109.92

15.65

Costs

Government

3.38

2.52

2.39

18.10

2.58

Total costs

 

36.99

30.50

14.38

172.45

24.55

Net costs

 

-26.84

-12.92

3.70

-61.48

-8.75

B. Quantified impacts in non-$ N/A

C. Qualitative impacts

Industry, Government and general public: Cost savings of an averted accident or incident

Industry: Ability to plan contracts with more certainty

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule applies as an OUT since the assumption is that the proposed regulatory amendment decreases the administrative burden on business due to it replacing the existing SFOC process for a large population of UAS non-recreational operators.

The proposed Regulations do, however, add some administrative burden. The following would be considered administrative burden and was estimated for existing pilots and operators assumed to be operating in year one of the regulations and then for the assumed growth of pilots and operators assumed (S-curve) over the 10-year analysis:

  • Aircraft registration application — small complex operations (30 minutes per UAS, assumed a new UAS every two years);
  • Pilot permit application — small complex operations (30 minutes);
  • Practical training self-taught summary — very small and small limited operations (2 hours); and
  • Maintain records of flight operations — small limited and small complex operations (5 minutes multiplied by 100 flights per year average).

For the purposes of calculating the administrative burden, the number of operators has to be assumed. The number of operators is estimated as the number of SFOCs forecast in 2018 times 0.62, since many of the UAS operators have applied for and have been issued SFOCs more than once a year. Based on this ratio, it is estimated that there would be 21 500 companies in 2018. This estimate takes into account that many of the operators that may be out of compliance (i.e. operating without an SFOC) would become compliant with the proposed Regulations.

The administrative burden for the manufacturers was also taken into account to produce the compliance matrix as five days of a manager’s time for each of the 12 estimated manufacturers in Canada. The portion of total administrative burden pertaining to the manufacturers amounts to $19,500 PV over 10 years, or $2,800 annually.

The annualized net administrative cost savings estimate is $5.43 million in 2018 prices.

Estimate

Assumptions

PV $ million (2018)

Annualized $ million (2018)

Cost savings due to reduction of SFOCs

Calculated using number of SFOCs expected if the proposed Regulations would not be put in place.

81.49

11.60

Cost of aircraft registration

Registration time spent (30 minutes) once every two years using estimated number of UASs to be operated non-recreationally in the small complex operating environment over 10 years. Increasing compliance of operators taken into account. (see footnote 1*)

-5.11

-0.73

Cost of pilot permit application

Upfront cost (30 minutes) using estimated number of non-recreational UAS pilots in the small complex operating environment. (see footnote 2*)

-0.43

-0.06

Maintain records of flight operations —
small limited and small complex operations

Recurrent cost based on the number of pilots operating non-recreational small UA. (see footnote 3*)

-11.48

-1.63

OUT

 

64.48

9.18

According to the Red Tape Reduction Regulations for calculating administrative burden, the net savings or costs are calculated and reported in 2012 dollars. The net cost savings related to administrative burden in 2012 dollars is estimated as follows:

“One-for-One” Rule Table

Annualized administrative net savings (constant 2012 $)

$5,431,672

Annualized administrative net savings per business (constant 2012 $)

$252

The feedback from business owners related to the administrative burden of applying for SFOCs was related to the service standard of a reply rather than the time it took to fill out the application. No business owner has expressed concern regarding the proposed added administrative burden.

Small business lens

The small business lens does apply because costs to small businesses are estimated to increase overall. However, much of this increase is due to the assumption that two-thirds of the pilots and operators operating in a built-up area are doing so without having applied for an SFOC and are currently non-compliant. It is assumed that the average small business will have an increased annual cost of $287.

The total quantified increase in administrative and compliance costs to small businesses is shown in the cost-benefit statement. The net cost per business is not considered overly burdensome, given that the costs would be mostly up front and not recurring unless the business decides to buy new UASs regularly. In that case, the registration of UA weighing between 1 kg and 25 kg operated in built-up areas would be recurrent.

Small businesses were consulted on the Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) when Transport Canada was developing this regulatory proposal. Since many of these small businesses are not part of the traditional manned aviation community, social media was used to engage UAS stakeholders, including small businesses.

Transport Canada considered ways to reduce compliance costs for small businesses such as to extend the compliance time from zero months to six months. Allowing six more months for small businesses to comply would yield some cost savings. The following table compares the total costs between the initial option (zero time to comply) and the flexible option (six months to comply).

 

Flexible Option

Initial Option

Short description

All small businesses would have six months to comply

All small businesses would have to comply by the coming-into-force date (time of Canada Gazette, Part II, publication)

Number of small businesses impacted

21 500

21 500

 

Annualized Average
($ 2012)

Present Value
($ 2012)

Annualized Average
($ 2012)

Present Value
($ 2012)

Compliance costs

$4,897,002

$34,394,489

$5,065,498

$35,577,937

Administrative costs

$1,272,857

$10,067,910

$1,451,847

$10,197,163

Total costs for all small businesses

$6,169,859

$44,462,400

$6,517,344

$45,775,099

Average cost per small business

$287

$2,066

$303

$2,127

Risk considerations

There are no foreseeable risks related to the flexible option.

Service standards may delay compliance for some businesses.

In comparison to the Initial Option, the Flexible Option recommended by Transport Canada would reduce the annualized average cost by $347,485 for all businesses, or $16 per business per year.

Transport Canada will take further measures to promote small business compliance by

  • Informing industry and conducting compliance promotion activities;
  • Holding outreach sessions with new stakeholders, including small businesses; and
  • Planning additional outreach sessions in 2018 and 2019, once the proposed requirements are finalized.

In addition, Transport Canada will

  • Ensure all forms and processes and web pages comply with the Government of Canada’s common look and feel;
  • Prepopulate forms with information or data it already has available, to reduce the time and money businesses would have to spend to complete them; and
  • Collect data electronically and use electronic validation and confirmation of receipt of notice where appropriate.

For small businesses in remote areas and/or those without access to high-speed (broadband) Internet, prospective UAS operators may

  • Request documents be sent to them by mail;
  • Call Transport Canada for any assistance they require; or
  • Provide information via fax, and Transport Canada will enter the information into its database, if needed.

Consultation

The Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA), Unmanned Air Vehicles, was published on May 28, 2015, for a 92-day consultation period ending on August 28, 2015. It was shared via email with the 570 traditional aviation stakeholders, members of the Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council (CARAC). In addition, recognizing that unmanned air vehicle stakeholders are different from traditional aviation stakeholders, the NPA was also emailed to 160 non-CARAC members across Canada composed of UAS companies, associations (e.g. Canadian Real Estate Association), and other stakeholders such as federal or provincial governments that may have expressed an interest in UAS to Transport Canada. Given the high media attention surrounding UAS, exceptionally Transport Canada’s Communications and Marketing team promoted the NPA through a news release and social media postings, as NPAs are normally not shared using social media.

In addition to the email consultations on the NPA, five regional round tables and a national teleconference were organized across Canada in July 2015 in order to share with stakeholders the proposed changes. Participants in these round tables represented a mix of UAV operators, law enforcement, and provincial and federal partners.

At the end of the consultation period, Transport Canada had received over 100 submissions on the NPA. Of these

  • 36 (34%) were sent from businesses that offer activities related to UAVs (e.g. Amazon, DJI and TDV Solutions);
  • 22 (21%) came from various associations (e.g. Unmanned Systems Canada [USC], Model Aeronautics Association of Canada [MAAC], Canadian Owners and Pilots Associations [COPA], National Airlines Council of Canada [NATA], Air Line Pilots Association, International [ALPA], Ultralight Pilots Association of Canada [UPAC] and the Retail Council of Canada);
  • 21 (20%) were sent from private citizens;
  • 10 (10%) came from federal and provincial governments and agencies, including NAV CANADA, Office of the Privacy Commissioner, RCMP, Government of Manitoba, Government of NWT, Sûreté du Québec, Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre and Ministry of Transportation of B.C.; and
  • the remaining comments came from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Kelowna Airport, two insurance companies, one law firm, one media company (Bell Media), and two universities.

Of the 100 plus comments, the following are chosen as highlights for the purpose of impact analysis and will be discussed in the “Rationale” section of this RIAS:

  • Pilot associations and air operator associations support a measured approach to developing regulations and Transport Canada’s ongoing focus of keeping UA out of airspace surrounding airports where non-recreational flights operate.
  • The Retail Council of Canada suggested a weight threshold of 3 kg for UA and simple registration, but supports proposed regulations in line with U.S. regulations.
  • The Canadian Real Estate Association welcomes the proposed amendments to modernize the regulations, but raised concerns with the current delays with the SFOC process.
  • NAV CANADA made suggestions on all elements of the NPA, but also raised concerns that while Transport Canada will reduce the resources required for SFOC application and processing, NAV CANADA will be required to manage UA access to controlled airspace.
  • RCMP (operations) suggested testing to determine the appropriate lower threshold for the very small UA category since they felt that the 2 kg upper limit might be too high; an operator certificate would add to the administrative responsibilities; in an attempt to define when organizational requirements would be required, a company would need to have more than 3 pilots; Transport Canada should be involved in the approval of training units; professional operators should be able to operate at an aerodrome with appropriate ATC coordination; agreed to regulating all the limited operations category and the introduction of a design standard.

In addition, there was some disagreement that a model aircraft cannot be used recreationally for photography. The proposed amendment differs from the NPA in that camera and video equipment is allowed recreationally noting that it adds to the determination of the weight of the UAS. If a UAS is used recreationally in a rural area, the operator would need to have insurance, identify the UAS, as well as pass a basic UAS knowledge test.

Since the NPA consultations, further safety analysis has led Transport Canada to reduce the upper limit of the very small UA category from 2 kg to 1 kg. The safety analysis is referred to in the “Rationale” section of this RIAS, where the severity of an incident or accident was considered given the fact that the very small UA operating category would have fewer mitigating measures in place, such as a pilot permit and design standard.

The proposed amendment differs from what was consulted on in a few areas that would alleviate requirements. The requirement to submit a category 4 self-declared medical form was removed since there is no data that would support this requirement and its removal would remove administrative burden. Minimum lateral distances from buildings, structures and animals have been removed since they are all protected by other laws that are not part of Transport Canada’s jurisdiction, such as privacy laws and animal protection laws.

The proposed amendment differs from the NPA in two other areas, which will be further explored for subsequent regulatory proposals.

  • (1) It was originally thought that aero-modellers with a UA above 1 kg, for instance, would not have to pass the Transport Canada knowledge test, identify their UA and have their own insurance. The NPA describes this segment of the UAS community as responsible for maintaining an excellent safety record by establishing safety codes and ensuring that members adhere to those safety codes. The proposed amendment does not preclude a person from joining an aero-modeller association where one could benefit from the group liability insurance provided by the association. The consideration that associations other than MAAC would want to benefit from the privileges of a mentoring type community led Transport Canada to delay regulating these types of associations until criteria could be developed that would provide equivalent safety within these emerging associations. Until those criteria have been identified and further regulatory changes have been introduced, an exemption to the proposed Regulations applying to persons who are members of MAAC in good standing will be issued by Transport Canada. The Aeronautics Act authorizes the Minister of Transport to exempt any person from the application of any regulation made under this Act, provided the exemption is in the public interest and is not likely to adversely affect aviation safety. Since MAAC members have demonstrated over time a safe operating record, this exemption is expected to be made available when the proposed Regulations are in force.
  • (2) It was proposed that operators with larger complex organizations having a management structure and many pilots to manage would have to meet specific requirements to obtain an operator certificate. An operator certificate would have required a company to not only have procedures in place but also documentation pertaining to staff training, staff qualifications, UAS operating manuals and maintenance manuals. Transport Canada decided to defer the requirement to apply for and maintain an Operating Certificate. Basic requirements contained in the proposed Regulations pertain to processes and procedures to provide safe operation but do not require manuals to be in place, for instance. The regulations do not preclude an operator from adhering to the current guidance concerning having a management structure and having pilot and operating manuals in place.

In summary, with the exception of one submission from a video production company owner that was against the proposed Regulations altogether, there was strong support to introduce new regulatory requirements for UAS. The anticipated position of stakeholders is to support the proposed amendment.

Regulatory cooperation

Since 2015, Transport Canada and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have collaborated in the area of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) under the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC). The collaboration has focused on information exchange pertaining to the respective proposals to introduce new regulations for small UA operated within visual line-of-sight.

Canada is a member of the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS). (see footnote 16) JARUS is a group of experts gathering regulatory expertise from around the world. JARUS is open on a voluntary basis to all civil aviation authorities and industry stakeholders to make recommendations on operational, technical and certification requirements. This is a joint effort to share knowledge and provide harmonized requirements that helps members establish their own regulatory frameworks.

The FAA published its Final Rule, Part 107, Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, in June 2016 to permit lower risk non-recreational UAS operations. It came into effect on August 29, 2016. Before that time, non-recreational UAS were operated under an exemption from airworthiness requirements, issued on a case-by-case basis. The proposed amendment aligns with the FAA’s general scope, intent and risk-based approach. The FAA has opted for a phased approach to regulating UAS and so far has prescriptive rules governing rural operations only (Part 107 in Annex B). The FAA will introduce regulations for the operations of UA over people and buildings in the near future. For now, the FAA has a waiver system that is similar to Transport Canada’s SFOC process.

The FAA has supported work on the same industry design standard that Canada would use. Canada did not participate in an industry working group that developed a relevant UAS design standard, but acknowledges that it is internationally recognized. (see footnote 17)

When both the FAA and Transport Canada complete their respective phased approach to regulating UAS, the remaining differences may only pertain to registration and operating altitude. The FAA requires all pilots and operators to register any UA over 250 g, while Transport Canada proposes that only UA above 1 kg in small complex operations be registered. The FAA allows for operations of UA that weigh less than 25 kg in rural areas to a maximum altitude of 400 feet, while the limit would be 300 feet in Canada with conditions. The United States chose 400 feet as a maximum altitude limit for UA since manned aviation in the United States has a lower limit of 500 feet, thus providing a buffer of 100 feet between UA and manned aircraft. An altitude limit of 300 feet is proposed for UA in Canada because the manned aviation lower limit of 500 feet does not exist in rural areas. In addition, the limit would correspond with the fact that any obstacles over 300 feet must be marked and have appropriate lighting in Canada.

Canada has not determined reciprocal foreign operator privileges with the United States. Similarly, the FAA 107 rule excludes foreign operators. Foreign operators are eligible to apply for an SFOC providing they are legally entitled to conduct the same operation in their own country. They need to provide evidence of such approvals when they apply for an SFOC.

All European member states are at different stages in the implementation of their UAS rules, but are subject to the requirements and guidance of the European Union and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). In March 2015, the European Commission member states established four principles (see footnote 18) (the Riga Declaration) to guide the integration of UAS into European airspace and facilitate the growth of the UAS economy. In December 2015, EASA released its technical opinion on UAS, and identified three categories of operation (see footnote 19) that are commensurate to risks involved, to inform the development of state rules, guidance material, and safety promotional information.

Canada is a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and adopts ICAO standards into the CARs. ICAO has no standards for VLOS operations per se. ICAO does have guidance (see footnote 20) on the type of information that operators are requested to submit to the aviation authority in the country in which they wish to operate. Transport Canada’s current regime and the issuance of an SFOC satisfies this intent. ICAO is focused more on larger UA that will be certified like aircraft and for which future regulations should be introduced in Canada.

Rationale

There has been a dramatic increase not only in the number of people buying UAs, but also in the number of users flying them dangerously close to manned aircraft and people on the ground.

The likelihood of further incidents was further analyzed by Transport Canada and based on Air Occurrence Report (AOR) incidents collected since January 2014. In 2014, there were 41 incidents of non-compliance reported. In 2015, the number of reported incidents more than doubled to 86, and a total of 148 incidents near aerodromes were reported in 2016. A few of the reports include flights near people or vehicles, but the existing AOR system tends to rely on pilot and air traffic controller reports, therefore incidents near people, vehicles, or property on the ground tend to be underrepresented in the data. The reports show a number of important trends that speak to the potential hazards for other aircraft such as the following:

  • The incidents represent a mixture of flights by recreational users (model aircraft) and non-compliant UAS operators (non-recreational). None of the incidents so far were traced to individuals flying under the auspices of a recognized modelling association and only a small percentage of incidents were traced to UASs operated by persons who had been issued special flight operations certificates (SFOCs);
  • The incident rate is increasing over time, roughly doubling each year, which represents an increasing hazard over time;
  • Most incidents are reported within 5 NM (9.26 km) of the centre of aerodromes and at excessive altitudes; and
  • Most incidents are reported near Canada’s busiest major airports, particularly around Toronto and Vancouver.

The study of possible severity of an incident or amount of injury to a person or damage to property is based on test results of a Ground Collision Study conducted under the auspices of the FAA’s Centre of Excellence for UAS Research, ASSURE. The potential damage by a UAS to a transport category manned aircraft engine while in flight is modelled after “bird strike” studies. Most of the studies conducted so far are based on numerical models that are compared to bird strike data. The studies conclude that UAS will have more damage potential than equivalent mass birds because unlike birds, which compress and deform on impact, UAS components like cameras, batteries, and motors are much denser and more rigid, and the batteries in particular contain flammable chemicals.

The following discussion presents a more detailed rationale with respect to the individual requirements of the proposed Regulations as acceptable mitigating measures to reduce the risk of incident or accident.

Requirement for pilots

The rationale to require the proposed mitigating measures attributed to pilots are due to the fact that UASs are integrated into airspace shared by manned aircraft. To a lesser degree, the UAS pilot requirements are modelled after the recreational manned aviation industry (Ultra-light aircraft); thus, the proposed requirements for pilots operating UASs in a small complex operating area to have basic aerospace knowledge and skill.

Requirement for UAS designs to meet a minimum standard if operated in the small complex operations category

There is not a lot of data regarding the rate of “fly-away” incidents where a UA would become uncontrollable mid-flight; however, Transport Canada is aware that such incidents are happening. It is assumed that by requiring UASs operated in a small complex operating area to meet minimum design standards would reduce the risk of “fly-away” incidents. Discussion with industry members have led Transport Canada to conclude that mandating design standards for UAs operated in the small complex category is a justified mitigating measure. The UAS operators describe these units as being more reliable, but much more expensive.

Requirement for lateral distances

Lateral distances themselves are mitigating measures to reduce the risk of UAS incidents and accidents. Since there has been an incident of an individual being injured on the head after being hit by a UA as well as an incident of a UAS hitting the front of a moving car, mandating distance offsets to people, vehicles and vessels are considered justified. To reduce the risks of such incidents from happening, the proposed Regulations identify mitigating measures and establish lateral distances commensurate to those mitigating measures. Therefore, lateral distances would be reduced when, for example, the UAS system complies with minimum design standards and the pilot meets knowledge and training requirements. In a limited environment, because there are fewer regulatory requirements for the UAS operator to comply with, those lateral distances are greater to ensure the safety of persons and property. For a complex environment, because the UAS user would have to comply with more stringent requirements, such as holding a pilot permit and operating a UAS that meets aircraft design standards, these lateral distances can be reduced. Where in a small limited environment, the proposed lateral distance requirements would be 250 feet from people, vehicles and vessels, the distance in the context of a small complex operation, would be 100 feet.

Defining a complex environment as related to built-up areas

Transport Canada conducted an analysis that took into account scenarios that could affect the risks of operating a UAS. The analysis took into account how far a UA could fly once a lost link occurred (fly-away), that is the average battery duration as well as the average speed and altitude at which a fly-away could occur. For the analysis, the probability of a UA fly-away occurring is taken as 1 in 40, but some Internet searches found reference to UA fly-away probability as high as 1 in 3.

The present analysis concluded that 0.5 NM was a safe distance to mitigate the risk of a UA hitting a person in a built-up area. The analysis is assumed to be refined as more fly-away data could possibly be collected. Transport Canada has determined based on this analysis that 0.5 NM from the edge of a built-up area is the appropriate distance where increased regulatory requirements would be warranted to ensure safety, thus defining where a small complex environment begins. Transport Canada is aware that the proposed amendment may pose location restrictions for a recreational pilot living within the 0.5 NM (0.93 km) distance limitation of a built-up area and who does not want to meet the more stringent requirements of the complex operating category. However, Transport Canada is confident that the recreational UA pilot would be able to find an appropriate location to operate their UA.

Aeromodelling associations

The following presents a rationale with respect to why the proposed Regulations do not include an exception for MAAC members.

MAAC has a long history of a safety culture, provides continued mentoring and guidance and has insurance for its members. It is Transport Canada’s intent to develop criteria for new emerging model associations that can provide to their members the same mentoring as MAAC does. The proposed Regulations would apply to MAAC members until such time as these criteria are developed and further amendments are introduced to carve out those associations. Until the Regulations can be modified to address new and emerging aero-modelling associations, Transport Canada would issue an exemption to MAAC members to the proposed requirements, so as to not negatively impact this sector of the industry.

Summary

While industry continues to innovate and improve UAS design, system integration and utilization, aviation stakeholders are in agreement that the regulations governing UAS pilots, operators and operations have to change. Industry stakeholders, the government and the general public, with the exception of some recreational UAS users, are supportive of amending the regulations and confident their objectives will be met. By introducing these proposed Regulations, Transport Canada is proposing a balanced approach between mitigating safety risks with the possible inconvenience for recreational UAS pilots to find an appropriate location to operate.

While preventing an accident to a manned aircraft would be the most beneficial economically, reducing the need for the SFOC process for operations where a UAS weighs less than 25 kg and thereby reducing what has been an increased service standard for businesses to obtain permission to operate would also prove to be economically beneficial.

The reduced administrative burden is expected to increase the number of non-recreational (commercial) UAS operators to be compliant with UAS regulations in general.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

The proposed Regulations would come into force six months after the day on which they are published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. Transport Canada expects that personnel to process the UAS pilot permit requests will be available by the time the proposed Regulations come into effect and that a registration system for UASs for small complex operation be in place. The service standard for the issuance of a UAS pilot permit could be between 20 and 40 working days and between 7 and 60 working days for the issuance of a UAS certificate of registration, but an email confirmation could be used temporarily.

Transport Canada would authorize external law enforcement agencies pursuant to section 4.3 of the Aeronautics Act to issue administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) for designated offences to complement enforcement actions by Transport Canada inspectorate. Such an approach would be consistent with and complement Transport Canada’s enforcement program.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) would be first granted authorization to administer AMPs for non-compliance. The Department may also pursue similar partnerships with provinces, territories and municipalities, including bylaw officers, if UAV-related incidents continue to increase and additional enforcement capacity is required.

Following the coming into force of the Regulations, Transport Canada would conduct a concentrated enforcement campaign in areas where reports of unmanned aircraft incidents are at the highest frequency. Through this campaign, the Department would seek to educate users on their legal responsibilities, while also taking enforcement action should non-compliance be identified. This could range from verbal warnings to the issuance of administrative monetary penalties.

In addition to the enforcement strategy, Transport Canada would continue to actively conduct an education and outreach campaign to improve compliance. The Department would continue to build upon the “Safety First” web page, created in 2015, to provide tools for Canadians and to increase awareness of the risks associated with flying a UAV. The Department would work with the retail Council of Canada and point-of-sale retailers to provide consumers with information and to promote safety practices.

These proposed amendments would be enforced through the assessment of AMPs imposed under sections 7.6 to 8.2 of the Aeronautics Act, which carry a maximum fine of $3,000 for individuals and $25,000 for corporations, through suspension or cancellation of a Canadian aviation document, or through judicial action introduced by way of summary conviction, as per section 7.3 of the Aeronautics Act.

Contact

Chief
Regulatory Affairs, AARBH
Civil Aviation
Safety and Security
Transport Canada
Place de Ville, Tower C
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N5
Telephone: 613-993-7284 or 1-800-305-2059
Fax: 613-990-1198
Website: www.tc.gc.ca

Small Business Lens Checklist

1. Name of the sponsoring regulatory organization:

Department of Transport

2. Title of the regulatory proposal:

Regulations Amending the Canadian Aviation Regulations (Unmanned Aircraft Systems)

3. Is the checklist submitted with a RIAS for the Canada Gazette, Part I or Part II?

Canada Gazette, Part I ☐ Canada Gazette, Part II

A. Small business regulatory design

I

Communication and transparency

Yes

No

N/A

1.

Are the proposed Regulations or requirements easily understandable in everyday language?

2.

Is there a clear connection between the requirements and the purpose (or intent) of the proposed Regulations?

3.

Will there be an implementation plan that includes communications and compliance promotion activities, that informs small business of a regulatory change and guides them on how to comply with it (e.g. information sessions, sample assessments, toolkits, websites)?

4.

If new forms, reports or processes are introduced, are they consistent in appearance and format with other relevant government forms, reports or processes?

II

Simplification and streamlining

Yes

No

N/A

1.

Will streamlined processes be put in place (e.g. through BizPaL, Canada Border Services Agency single window) to collect information from small businesses where possible?

The registration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to be used in the small complex operating category will be collected online and placed in the existing civil aviation database.

2.

Have opportunities to align with other obligations imposed on business by federal, provincial, municipal or international or multinational regulatory bodies been assessed?

3.

Has the impact of the proposed Regulations on international or interprovincial trade been assessed?

No trade agreements have been looked at to date due to the resource constraints of both Transport Canada and the Federal Aviation Administration.

4.

If the data or information, other than personal information, required to comply with the proposed Regulations is already collected by another department or jurisdiction, will this information be obtained from that department or jurisdiction instead of requesting the same information from small businesses or other stakeholders? (The collection, retention, use, disclosure and disposal of personal information are all subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act. Any questions with respect to compliance with the Privacy Act should be referred to the department’s or agency’s ATIP office or legal services unit.)

The UAS industry is an emerging industry.

5.

Will forms be pre-populated with information or data already available to the department to reduce the time and cost necessary to complete them? (Example: When a business completes an online application for a licence, upon entering an identifier or a name, the system pre-populates the application with the applicant’s personal particulars such as contact information, date, etc. when that information is already available to the department.)

6.

Will electronic reporting and data collection be used, including electronic validation and confirmation of receipt of reports where appropriate?

No reports are collected. Only non-recurring registration will be online and a registration certificate will be issued.

7.

Will reporting, if required by the proposed Regulations, be aligned with generally used business processes or international standards if possible?

8.

If additional forms are required, can they be streamlined with existing forms that must be completed for other government information requirements?

The UAS industry is an emerging industry.

III

Implementation, compliance and service standards

Yes

No

N/A

1.

Has consideration been given to small businesses in remote areas, with special consideration to those that do not have access to high-speed (broadband) Internet?

2.

If regulatory authorizations (e.g. licences, permits or certifications) are introduced, will service standards addressing timeliness of decision making be developed that are inclusive of complaints about poor service?

3.

Is there a clearly identified contact point or help desk for small businesses and other stakeholders?

B. Regulatory flexibility analysis and reverse onus

IV

Regulatory flexibility analysis

Yes

No

N/A

1.

Does the RIAS identify at least one flexible option that has lower compliance or administrative costs for small businesses in the small business lens section?

Examples of flexible options to minimize costs are as follows:

  • Longer time periods to comply with the requirements, longer transition periods or temporary exemptions;
  • Performance-based standards;
  • Partial or complete exemptions from compliance, especially for firms that have good track records (legal advice should be sought when considering such an option);
  • Reduced compliance costs;
  • Reduced fees or other charges or penalties;
  • Use of market incentives;
  • A range of options to comply with requirements, including lower-cost options;
  • Simplified and less frequent reporting obligations and inspections; and
  • Licences granted on a permanent basis or renewed less frequently.

2.

Does the RIAS include, as part of the Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Statement, quantified and monetized compliance and administrative costs for small businesses associated with the initial option assessed, as well as the flexible, lower-cost option?

3.

Does the RIAS include, as part of the Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Statement, a consideration of the risks associated with the flexible option? (Minimizing administrative or compliance costs for small business cannot be at the expense of greater health, security or safety or create environmental risks for Canadians.)

4.

Does the RIAS include a summary of feedback provided by small business during consultations?

V

Reverse onus

Yes

No

N/A

1.

If the recommended option is not the lower-cost option for small business in terms of administrative or compliance costs, is a reasonable justification provided in the RIAS?

The recommended cost is the lower option.

Annex B: Summary Comparison of Regulatory Frameworks for Unmanned Air Systems

 

Transport Canada

Federal Aviation Administration

Regulatory Category

25 kg or less, operated within
visual line-of-sight

Future: BVLOS

Under 55 lb., operated
within visual line-of-sight

Future: Micro UAV Category

Future: Urban/Over People

Future: BVLOS

Very Small

Small Limited (lower risk, remote areas)

Small Complex (urban areas, aerodromes)

Recreational users of UAs over 250 g

Part 107 — lower risk (rural) areas

Aircraft Marking and Registration

Marked with basic information (name, contact)

Marked with basic information (name, contact)

Marked with basic information (name, contact)

Registered with Transport Canada

Marked with aircraft registry

BVLOS operations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis through SFOC applications, and subject to thorough review.

A Government-Industry Working Group has submitted a report with recommendations on BVLOS regulations.

BVLOS regulatory development will begin once VLOS regulations are implemented.

Register with the FAA (name, contact information)

Register with the FAA (name, contact information)

Currently, micro (very small) UAVs are subject to the existing framework and rules. However, the FAA is still considering a micro UAV rule, but has not established a timeline or published proposed requirements.

Higher risk operations over people in urban areas are permitted through an online waiver/authorization.

The FAA struck a stakeholder committee to make recommendations for operations over people. The committee proposed four categories of UAV based on weight/energy impact thresholds and level of risk. There is no timeline for the implementation of this rule.

BVLOS operations are only allowed as part of the Pathfinder pilot project program in extremely controlled circumstances. There are currently only six Pathfinder projects.

BVLOS regulations are currently not under consideration by the FAA, but have been identified as a future area of focus.

Personnel Licensing and Training

Basic knowledge test

Basic knowledge test

Comprehensive knowledge test

Pilot Permit Issued

N/A

TSA vetted knowledge test

Remote pilot certificate issued

Medical Fitness

Required to be fit to fly

Required to be fit to fly

Required to be
fit to fly

No

Driver’s licence required

Age Restrictions

14

14

16

N/A

Minimum of 16 years

Aircraft Design Standard

N/A

N/A

Required

No

No airworthiness certification

Operations in Urban Areas

Permitted

Restricted

Permitted

N/A

Operations in this category require a waiver authorization from FAA

Operations over People

Restricted

Restricted

Permitted with conditions

BVLOS operations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis through SFOC applications, and subject to thorough review.

A Government-Industry Working Group has submitted a report with recommendations on BVLOS regulations.

BVLOS regulatory development will begin once VLOS regulations are implemented.

Not permitted near stadiums

Operations in these categories require a waiver authorization from FAA



Currently, micro (very small) UAVs are subject to the existing framework and rules. However, the FAA is still considering a micro UAV rule, but has not established a timeline or published proposed requirements.



Higher risk operations over people in urban areas are permitted through an online waiver/authorization.

The FAA struck a stakeholder committee to make recommendations for operations over people. The committee proposed four categories of UAV based on weight/energy impact thresholds and level of risk. There is no timeline for the implementation of this rule.

BVLOS operations are only allowed as part of the Pathfinder pilot project program in extremely controlled circumstances. There are currently only six Pathfinder projects.

BVLOS regulations are currently not under consideration by the FAA, but have been identified as a future area of focus.

Night Operations

Restricted

Restricted

Permitted with conditions

N/A

Airspace Restrictions

3 NM away from aerodromes, 1 NM from heliports

3 NM away from aerodromes and built-up area, 1 NM from heliports

At aerodrome, prior coordination required in controlled airspace, within built-up area with conditions

Notification to airports for operations within a 5-mile radius

Class G
only — waiver authorization required for other airspace

Liability Insurance

Required

Required

Required

No

No

Model Aircraft

If operated recreationally and a member in good standing of MAAC, would be exempt from the proposed regulations, provided they meet the conditions of the exemption.

 

Model aircraft are regulated under separate law; required to operate in accordance with guidelines of an association.

     

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to section 4.9 (see footnote c) and paragraphs 7.6(1)(a) (see footnote d) and (b) (see footnote e) of the Aeronautics Act (see footnote f), proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Canadian Aviation Regulations (Unmanned Aircraft Systems).

Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations to the Minister of Transport within 90 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Chief, Regulatory Affairs, Civil Aviation, Safety and Security Group, Department of Transport, Place de Ville, Tower C, 330 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5 (general inquiries — tel.: 613-990-1184 or 1-800-305-2059; fax: 613-990-1198; internet address: http://www.tc.gc.ca).

Ottawa, June 19, 2017

Jurica Čapkun
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

Regulations Amending the Canadian Aviation Regulations (Unmanned Aircraft Systems)

Amendments

1 (1) The definitions model aircraft and unmanned air vehicle in subsection 101.01(1) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (see footnote 21) are repealed.

(2) The definitions crew member and operator in subsection 101.01(1) of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

crew member means a person who is assigned to duty in an aircraft during flight time, or assigned to duty related to the operation of an unmanned aircraft system during flight time; (membre d’équipage)

operator, in respect of an aircraft or unmanned aircraft system, means the person who has possession of the aircraft or system, as owner, lessee or otherwise; (utilisateur)

(3) Subsection 101.01(1) of the Regulations is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

small unmanned aircraft means an unmanned aircraft having a maximum take-off weight of more than 1 kg (2.2 pounds) but not more than 25 kg (55 pounds); (petit aéronef sans pilote)

unmanned aircraft means a navigable aircraft, other than a balloon or kite, operated by a pilot who is not on board; (aéronef sans pilote)

unmanned aircraft system or UAS means a set of configurable elements consisting of an unmanned aircraft, its control station, the command and control links and any other system elements that may be required during flight operation; (systéme d’aéronef sans pilote ou UAS)

very small unmanned aircraft means an unmanned aircraft having a maximum take-off weight of more than 250 g (0.55 pounds) but not more than 1 kg (2.2 pounds); (très petit aéronef sans pilote)

2 Paragraph 102.01(c) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (c) rockets, hovercraft or wing-in-ground-effect machines, unless otherwise indicated in these Regulations;
  • (d) unmanned aircraft that are operated indoors or underground;
  • (e) small and very small unmanned aircraft that are tethered and operated below 50 feet AGL, at a distance of more than two nautical miles from the centre of an aerodrome that is listed in the Canada Flight Supplement or the Water Aerodrome Supplement; and
  • (f) unmanned aircraft having a maximum take-off weight of 250 g (0.55 pounds) or less.

3 Subpart 1 of Part IV of Schedule II to Subpart 3 of Part I of the Regulations is amended by adding the following after the reference “Subsection 401.05(6)”:

Column I

Designated Provision

Column II

Maximum Amount of Penalty ($)

Individual

Corporation

Subsection 401.05(7)

3,000

15,000

4 The reference “Section 602.01” in column I of Subpart 2 of Part VI of Schedule II to Subpart 3 of Part I of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

Column I

Designated Provision

Column II

Maximum Amount of Penalty ($)

Individual

Corporation

Section 602.01.1

5,000

25,000

5 Schedule II to Subpart 3 of Part I of the Regulations is amended by adding the following after Part VIII:

Column I

Designated Provision

Column II

Maximum Amount of Penalty ($)

Individual

Corporation

PART IX — UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS

Section 900.06

1,000

5,000

Section 900.07

1,000

5,000

Section 900.08

1,000

5,000

Section 900.09

1,000

5,000

Section 900.10

3,000

15,000

Section 900.11

1,000

5,000

Section 900.12

1,000

5,000

Section 900.13

1,000

5,000

Subsection 900.14(1)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 900.14(2)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 900.14(3)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 900.14(4)

1,000

5,000

Section 900.15

1,000

5,000

Section 900.16

1,000

5,000

Subsection 900.17(1)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 900.17(2)

3,000

15,000

Section 900.18

1,000

5,000

Section 900.19

1,000

5,000

Section 900.20

1,000

5,000

Section 900.21

1,000

5,000

Section 900.22

1,000

5,000

Section 900.23

1,000

5,000

Section 900.24

1,000

5,000

Section 900.25

1,000

5,000

Section 900.26

3,000

15,000

Section 900.27

1,000

5,000

Section 900.28

1,000

5,000

Subsection 900.29(1)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 900.29(2)

1,000

5,000

Section 900.30

1,000

5,000

Section 900.31

1,000

5,000

Section 900.32

1,000

5,000

Section 900.33

1,000

5,000

Section 900.34

1,000

5,000

Subsection 900.35(1)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 900.35(2)

1,000

5,000

Section 900.36

1,000

5,000

Section 900.37

1,000

5,000

Section 900.38

1,000

5,000

Section 900.39

1,000

5,000

Subsection 900.40(1)

1,000

5,000

Section 900.41

1,000

5,000

Section 900.42

1,000

5,000

Section 900.43

1,000

5,000

SUBPART 1 — VERY SMALL UNMANNED AIRCRAFT

Section 901.02

1,000

5,000

Section 901.03

1,000

5,000

Section 901.04

1,000

5,000

Section 901.05

1,000

5,000

Section 901.06

1,000

5,000

Section 901.07

1,000

5,000

Section 901.08

1,000

5,000

Subsection 901.09(1)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 901.09(2)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 901.10(1)

1,000

5,000

Section 901.11

1,000

5,000

Section 901.12

1,000

5,000

SUBPART 2 — SMALL UNMANNED AIRCRAFT

Section 902.06

1,000

5,000

Section 902.07

1,000

5,000

Section 902.08

1,000

5,000

Section 902.09

1,000

5,000

Section 902.10

1,000

5,000

Section 902.11

1,000

5,000

Section 902.12

1,000

5,000

Section 902.13

1,000

5,000

Section 902.14

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.15(1)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.15(2)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.16(1)

1,000

5,000

Section 902.17

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.18(1)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.18(2)

1,000

5,000

Section 902.19

1,000

5,000

Section 902.20

1,000

5,000

Section 902.21

1,000

5,000

Section 902.22

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.23(1)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.23(2)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.23(3)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.24(1)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.24(2)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.25(1)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.25(2)

1,000

5,000

Section 902.26

1,000

5,000

Section 902.27

1,000

5,000

Section 902.28

1,000

5,000

Section 902.29

1,000

5,000

Section 902.30

1,000

5,000

Section 902.31

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.32(2)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.32(4)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.32(6)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.32(7)

1,000

5,000

Section 902.33

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.34(1)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.34(2)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.52(1)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.52(2)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.52(3)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.52(4)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.52(5)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.52(6)

1,000

5,000

Section 902.53

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.54(1)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.55(1)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.55(2)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.55(3)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.56(1)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.56(2)

1,000

5,000

Section 902.57

1,000

5,000

Section 902.58

1,000

5,000

Section 902.59

1,000

5,000

Section 902.60

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.73(1)

1,000

5,000

Subsection 902.73(2)

1,000

5,000

Section 902.74

1,000

5,000

Section 902.75

1,000

5,000

Section 902.76

1,000

5,000

SUBPART 3 — [RESERVED]

SUBPART 4 — SPECIAL AIR OPERATIONS — UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS

Section 904.01

1,000

5,000

Section 904.05

1,000

5,000

6 Subsection 200.02(2) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(2) Subpart 1 does not apply in respect of aircraft that are not required to be registered under subsection 202.13(1) and all unmanned aircraft operated under Part IX.

7 (1) The portion of subsection 202.01(1) of the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

202.01 (1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall operate an aircraft in Canada, other than a very small unmanned aircraft or a small unmanned aircraft operated under Division II of Subpart 2 of Part IX, unless its marks are visible and are displayed

(2) Subsection 202.01(4) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(4) No person shall operate an aircraft under an authorization issued under subsection (2) unless the aircraft is operated in accordance with any conditions specified in the authorization and

  • (a) the authorization is on board; or
  • (b) in the case of an unmanned aircraft, the authorization is easily accessible to the pilot-in-command.

8 Subsection 202.13(1) of the Regulations is amended by striking out “or” at the end of paragraph (a), by adding “or” at the end of paragraph (b) and by adding the following after paragraph (b):

  • (c) an unmanned aircraft, other than a small unmanned aircraft that is operated, or that is intended to be operated, under Division III of Subpart 2 of Part IX.

9 Section 202.16 of the Regulations is amended by striking out “and” at the end of paragraph (a), by adding “and” at the end of paragraph (b) and by adding the following after paragraph (b):

  • (c) in the case of an unmanned aircraft system that is operated, or that is intended to be operated, under Division III of Subpart 2 of Part IX, attests
    • (i) that they hold a statement of conformity issued by the manufacturer of the system and that they have not modified the system, or
    • (ii) if the operator does not hold a statement of conformity issued by the manufacturer, that the operator purchased the system on or before December 15, 2017.

10 Section 202.26 of the Regulations and the heading before it are replaced by the following:

Access to Certificate of Registration

202.26 No person shall operate an aircraft in Canada, other than an aircraft referred to in subsection 202.43(1), or a Canadian aircraft outside Canada unless the certificate of registration issued in respect of the aircraft

  • (a) is on board; or
  • (b) in the case of an unmanned aircraft, is easily accessible to the pilot-in-command.

11 Subsection 202.43(2) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(2) No person shall operate an aircraft under an authorization issued under subsection (1) unless the aircraft is operated in accordance with any conditions specified in the authorization and

  • (a) the authorization is on board; or
  • (b) in the case of an unmanned aircraft, the authorization is easily accessible.

12 Subsection 203.02(2) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(2) This Subpart does not apply in respect of the operation of a private aircraft or an unmanned aircraft system.

13 Section 401.05 of the Regulations is amended by adding the following after subsection (6):

(7) No holder of a pilot permit — small unmanned aircraft (VLOS) shall exercise the privileges set out in section 401.96 unless

  • (a) the holder has
    • (i) within the five years preceding the flight, acted as pilot-in-command of an unmanned aircraft, or
    • (ii) within the 12 months preceding the flight, completed a flight review conducted by the holder of a pilot permit — small unmanned aircraft (VLOS); and
  • (b) within the 24 months preceding the flight, the holder has successfully completed a recurrent training program in accordance with the personnel licensing standards.

14 The reference “[401.96 to 401.99 reserved]” after section 401.95 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

Division XXIV — Pilot Permit — Small Unmanned Aircraft (VLOS)
Privileges

401.96 The holder of a pilot permit — small unmanned aircraft (VLOS) may

  • (a) act as pilot-in-command of a small unmanned aircraft operated under Division III of Subpart 2 of Part IX;
  • (b) act as pilot-in-command of a small unmanned aircraft operated for purposes of flight training or flight testing;
  • (c) act as pilot-in-command of a small unmanned aircraft operated under Division II of Subpart 2 of Part IX; and
  • (d) act as pilot-in-command of a very small unmanned aircraft.

[401.97 to 401.100 reserved]

15 The portion of section 571.01 of the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

571.01 This Subpart applies, with the exception of ultra-light aeroplanes, hang gliders and unmanned aircraft systems, in respect of the maintenance and elementary work performed on

16 Section 601.08 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

601.08 (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), no person operating a VFR aircraft shall enter Class C airspace unless the person receives an authorization to enter from the appropriate air traffic control unit before entering the airspace.

(2) The pilot-in-command of a VFR aircraft, other than an unmanned aircraft, that is not equipped with radiocommunication equipment capable of two-way communication with the appropriate air traffic control unit may, during daylight in VMC, enter Class C airspace if the pilot-in-command receives an authorization to enter from the appropriate air traffic control unit before entering the airspace.

(3) The pilot-in-command of a small unmanned aircraft that is operated within visual line-of-sight and that is not equipped with radiocommunication equipment capable of two-way communication with the appropriate air traffic control unit may, during daylight in VMC, enter Class C airspace if the pilot-in-command receives an authorization to enter from the appropriate air traffic control unit before entering the airspace and the pilot-in-command maintains contact with the air traffic control unit by a means that the air traffic control unit determines to be acceptable.

(4) Class C airspace becomes Class E airspace when the appropriate air traffic control unit is not in operation.

17 Section 601.09 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

601.09 (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), no person operating a VFR aircraft shall enter Class D airspace unless the person establishes two-way radio contact with the appropriate air traffic control unit before entering the airspace.

(2) The pilot-in-command of a VFR aircraft, other than an unmanned aircraft, that is not equipped with radiocommunication equipment capable of two-way communication with the appropriate air traffic control unit may, during daylight in VMC, enter Class D airspace if the pilot-in-command receives an authorization to enter from the appropriate air traffic control unit before entering the airspace.

(3) The pilot-in-command of a small unmanned aircraft that is operated within visual line-of-sight and that is not equipped with radiocommunication equipment capable of two-way communication with the appropriate air traffic control unit may, during daylight in VMC, enter Class D airspace if the pilot-in-command receives an authorization to enter from the appropriate air traffic control unit before entering the airspace and the pilot-in-command maintains contact with the air traffic control unit by a means that the air traffic control unit determines to be acceptable.

(4) Class D airspace becomes Class E airspace when the appropriate air traffic control unit is not in operation.

18 Section 602.01 of the Regulations and the heading before it are replaced by the following:

Application — Unmanned Aircraft

602.01 This Subpart, except for Divisions V, VIII and IX, does not apply in respect of unmanned aircraft.

Reckless or Negligent Operation of Aircraft

602.01.1 No person shall operate an aircraft in such a reckless or negligent manner as to endanger or be likely to endanger the life or property of any person.

19 Section 602.41 of the Regulations and the heading before it are repealed.

20 Section 602.45 of the Regulations and the heading before it are replaced by the following:

Kites and Model Rockets

602.45 No person shall fly a kite or launch a model rocket or a rocket of a type used in a fireworks display into cloud or in a manner that is or is likely to be hazardous to aviation safety.

21 Paragraph 602.96(3)(b) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (b) conform to or avoid the pattern of traffic formed by other aircraft in operation or, in the case of a small or very small unmanned aircraft, avoid the pattern of traffic formed by manned aircraft in operation;

22 Paragraph 603.65(d) of the Regulations is repealed.

23 Paragraphs 605.01(1)(a) and (b) of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

  • (a) persons operating Canadian aircraft other than ultra-light aeroplanes, hang gliders or unmanned aircraft; and
  • (b) persons operating foreign aircraft in Canada, other than unmanned aircraft, if those persons are Canadian citizens, permanent residents or corporations incorporated by or under the laws of Canada or a province.

24 Subsection 606.02(1) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

606.02 (1) This section applies to every owner of an aircraft, other than an unmanned aircraft, that is registered in Canada or registered under the laws of a foreign state and operated in Canada, if the owner is not required to subscribe to liability insurance in respect of the aircraft under section 7 of the Air Transportation Regulations.

25 Subsection 606.03(1) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

606.03 (1) Except in the case of an unmanned aircraft system, no person shall use synthetic flight training equipment to provide training or to conduct a skills assessment required under Part IV, this Part or Part VII, unless there is in force in respect of that equipment a flight simulator certificate or flight training device certificate issued under subsection (2) or an equivalent approval or certificate issued under the laws of a foreign state with which Canada has an agreement respecting such equipment.

26 Part IX of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

Part IX — Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Division I — General Provisions
Interpretation

900.01 The following definitions apply in this Part.

autonomous means, in respect of an unmanned aircraft, that the aircraft is not designed to allow pilot intervention in the management of a flight. (autonome)

built-up area means a populated or developed area of a locality, including a city, a town, a village or a hamlet. (zone bâtie)

command and control link means the data link between an unmanned aircraft and a control station that is used in the management of a flight. (liaison de commande et de contrôle)

control station means the facilities or equipment that are remote from an unmanned aircraft and from which the aircraft is controlled and monitored. (poste de contrôle)

first-person view device means a device that generates and transmits a streaming video image to a control station display or monitor, giving the pilot of an unmanned aircraft the illusion of flying the unmanned aircraft from an on-board pilot’s perspective. (dispositif de vue à la première personne)

flight termination system means a system that, on activation, terminates the flight of an unmanned aircraft. (système d’interruption du vol)

fly-away means, in respect of an unmanned aircraft, an interruption or loss of the command and control link, such that the pilot is no longer able to control the aircraft and the aircraft no longer follows its preprogrammed procedures or operates in a predictable or planned manner. (dérive)

mandatory action means the inspection, repair or modification of an unmanned aircraft system that the manufacturer of the system considers necessary to prevent an unsafe or potentially unsafe condition. (mesure obligatoire)

payload means a system, an object or a collection of objects that is on board or is otherwise connected to an unmanned aircraft and that performs or is related to a mission function, but that is not required for flight. (charge utile)

sense and avoid means the capability to see, sense or detect conflicting air traffic or other hazards and take the appropriate action. (fonctions de détection et d’évitement)

visual line-of-sight or VLOS means unaided visual contact with an unmanned aircraft that is sufficient to be able to maintain control of the aircraft, know its location, and be able to scan the airspace in which it is operating to sense and avoid other aircraft or objects. (visibilité directe ou VLOS)

visual observer means a trained crew member who assists the pilot-in-command in ensuring the safe conduct of a flight under visual line-of-sight. (observateur visuel)

Application

900.02 (1) This Part applies in respect of the operation of unmanned aircraft systems that include unmanned aircraft having a maximum take-off weight of more than 250 g (0.55 pounds).

(2) For greater certainty, the following provisions also apply in respect of the operation of unmanned aircraft systems:

  • (a) the provisions of Subpart 2 of Part II respecting aircraft marking and registration;
  • (b) the provisions of Subparts 1 and 4 of Part IV respecting personnel training and the issuance of permits;
  • (c) the provisions of Division I of Subpart 1 of Part VI respecting the structure, classification and use of airspace;
  • (d) the provisions of Divisions V, VIII and IX of Subpart 2 of Part VI respecting operations at or in the vicinity of an aerodrome, radiocommunications and emergency communications and security; and
  • (e) section 606.01 respecting the carrying of weapons, ammunition or other equipment designed for use in war on board an aircraft.

[900.03 to 900.05 reserved]

Division II — General Operating and Flight Rules
Contact Information Unmanned Aircraft Operator

900.06 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system unless the name, address and telephone number of the operator is clearly visible on the aircraft.

Fitness for Flight

900.07 No person shall conduct the take-off or launch of an unmanned aircraft, or permit the take-off or launch of an unmanned aircraft to be conducted, unless

  • (a) the pilot-in-command determines that the aircraft is serviceable;
  • (b) the unmanned aircraft system has been maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions;
  • (c) all mandatory actions have been completed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions; and
  • (d) all equipment required by these Regulations or the manufacturer’s instructions are installed and serviceable.
Prohibition — Canadian Domestic Airspace

900.08 No person operating an unmanned aircraft system shall cause the aircraft to leave Canadian Domestic Airspace.

Inadvertent Entry into Controlled Airspace

900.09 A pilot of an unmanned aircraft shall ensure that the appropriate air traffic control unit or flight service station is notified immediately any time the flight is no longer under the pilot’s control and inadvertent entry into controlled airspace occurs or is likely to occur.

Reckless or Negligent Operation

900.10 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system in such a reckless or negligent manner as to endanger or be likely to endanger the life or property of any person.

Right of Way

900.11 A pilot of an unmanned aircraft shall give way to manned aircraft at all times.

Avoidance of Collision

900.12 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft in such proximity to another aircraft as to create a risk of collision.

Visual Line-of-sight

900.13 No pilot shall operate an unmanned aircraft system unless the pilot or a visual observer has the aircraft in visual line-of-sight at all times during flight.

Visual Observers

900.14 (1) No pilot shall operate an unmanned aircraft system if visual observers are used to assist the pilot in the provision of sense and avoid functions unless reliable and timely communication is maintained between the pilot and each visual observer during the operation.

(2) A visual observer shall communicate information to the pilot in a timely manner, during the operation, whenever the visual observer detects conflicting air traffic, hazards to aviation safety or hazards to persons and property on the surface.

(3) No visual observer shall perform visual observer duties for more than one unmanned aircraft at a time.

(4) No visual observer shall perform visual observer duties from a moving aircraft, vehicle or vessel unless the pilot may conduct an operation set out in subsection 902.51(2) and those duties are conducted under a special flight operations certificate — UAS issued under section 904.03.

Minimum Altitude

900.15 Except when conducting a take-off, launch, approach, landing or recovery, no pilot shall operate an unmanned aircraft at an altitude less than the altitude necessary for the purpose of the operation or at an altitude less than the altitude necessary to allow the aircraft, in the event of an engine failure or any other emergency necessitating an immediate landing or recovery, to land or recover without creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface.

Flight Safety

900.16 A pilot-in-command that operates unmanned aircraft system shall immediately cease operations if at any time aviation safety or the safety or property of any person is endangered or likely to be endangered.

Fitness of Crew Members

900.17 (1) No person shall act as a crew member of an unmanned aircraft system if the person is suffering or is likely to suffer from fatigue or is otherwise unfit to perform properly the person’s duties as a crew member.

(2) No person shall act as a crew member of an unmanned aircraft system

  • (a) within 12 hours after consuming an alcoholic beverage;
  • (b) while under the influence of alcohol; or
  • (c) while using any drug that impairs the person’s faculties to the extent that aviation safety or the safety or property of any person is endangered or likely to be endangered.
Living Creatures

900.18 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft that transports or carries on board a living creature.

Take-offs, Launches, Approaches, Landings and Recovery

900.19 A pilot of an unmanned aircraft shall, before take-off, launch, approach, landing or recovery, ensure that

  • (a) there is no likelihood of collision with another aircraft, person or obstacle; and
  • (b) the site set aside for take-off, launch, landing or recovery, as the case may be, is suitable for the intended operation.
Pre-flight Information

900.20 A pilot of an unmanned aircraft shall, before commencing a flight, be familiar with the available information that is relevant to the intended flight, including

  • (a) the appropriate aeronautical charts;
  • (b) the Canada Flight Supplement and the Designated Airspace Handbook; and
  • (c) the NOTAM for the proposed area of operation.
Weather Information

900.21 A pilot of an unmanned aircraft shall, before commencing a flight, be familiar with the available weather information that is relevant to the intended flight.

Fuel or Energy Requirements

900.22 A pilot of an unmanned aircraft shall, before commencing a flight, ensure that there is a sufficient amount of fuel or energy for safe completion of the flight.

Crew Member Instructions

900.23 A pilot-in-command of an unmanned aircraft shall ensure that each crew member, before acting as a crew member, has been instructed

  • (a) with respect to the duties that the crew member is to perform; and
  • (b) on the location and use of all emergency equipment associated with the operation of the unmanned aircraft system.
Compliance with Instructions

900.24 Every crew member of an unmanned aircraft system shall, during flight time, comply with the instructions of the pilot-in-command or of any person whom the pilot-in-command has authorized to act on behalf of the pilot-in-command.

Incidents and Accidents — Associated Measures

900.25 A pilot of an unmanned aircraft shall cease operations if any of the following incidents or accidents occurs until such time as the cause of the occurrence has been determined and corrective actions have been taken to eliminate the risk of recurrence:

  • (a) injuries to any person requiring medical attention;
  • (b) unintended contact between the unmanned aircraft and persons, animals, vehicles, vessels, buildings or structures;
  • (c) unanticipated damage incurred to the airframe, control station, payload or command and control links that adversely affects the performance or flight characteristics of the unmanned aircraft;
  • (d) anytime the unmanned aircraft is not kept within lateral boundaries or altitude limits;
  • (e) any collision with or loss of separation from another aircraft;
  • (f) anytime the unmanned aircraft becomes uncontrollable, experiences a fly-away or is missing; and
  • (g) any incident not referred to in paragraphs (a) to (f) for which a Canadian Aviation Daily Occurrence Report (CADORS) has resulted.
Payloads

900.26 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft if the aircraft is transporting explosive, corrosive, flammable or biohazardous material or a payload consisting of a directed bright light source as defined in section 601.14 or a payload that can be jettisoned, self-propelled, dispersed or dropped unless the operation is conducted under a special flight operations certificate — UAS issued under section 904.03 and the pilot may conduct an operation set out in subsection 902.51(2).

Operation from Moving Vehicles, Vessels and Aircraft

900.27 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft from a moving aircraft, vehicle or vessel unless the operation is conducted under a special flight operations certificate — UAS issued under section 904.03 and the pilot may conduct an operation set out in subsection 902.51(2).

Unmanned Aircraft Operating Limitations

900.28 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system unless it is operated in accordance with the operating limitations specified by the manufacturer.

Portable Electronic Devices

900.29 (1) No person operating an unmanned aircraft system shall permit the use of a portable electronic device at a control station if the device may impair the functioning of the system or any equipment associated with the operation.

(2) No person shall use a portable electronic device at a control station except with the permission of the aircraft’s operator.

Radio Interference

900.30 No pilot shall conduct the take-off or launch of an unmanned aircraft unless the pilot confirms that radio frequency interference that may result in the loss of the command and control link is not present before flight, and is not likely to be present during flight.

Special Effects or Pyrotechnics

900.31 No pilot shall conduct the take-off or launch of an unmanned aircraft unless the pilot confirms that the radio emissions from the unmanned aircraft system will not activate wireless triggering devices for special effects or pyrotechnics.

Control of Unmanned Aircraft Systems

900.32 No pilot shall operate an autonomous unmanned aircraft system or any other unmanned aircraft system for which they are unable to take immediate control of the aircraft at any time.

Use of First-person View Devices

900.33 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system using a first-person view device unless a visual observer who is not using a first-person view device is providing sense and avoid functions at all times during flight.

Prohibition — Multiple Unmanned Aircraft

900.34 No pilot shall operate more than one unmanned aircraft at a time.

Handovers

900.35 (1) No pilot shall handover pilot-in-command responsibilities to another pilot-in-command during flight unless the handover is conducted in accordance with a special flight operations certificate — UAS issued under section 904.03 and the pilot may conduct an operation set out in subsection 902.51(2).

(2) No pilot shall transfer control of an unmanned aircraft from one control station to another control station during flight unless

  • (a) both control stations are immediately available to the pilot; or
  • (b) the transfer is conducted in accordance with a special flight operations certificate — UAS issued under section 904.03 and the pilot may conduct an operation set out in subsection 902.51(2).
Flight Termination System

900.36 No pilot of an unmanned aircraft equipped with a flight termination system shall activate the system if it will endanger or will likely endanger other airspace users or persons or property on the surface.

Use of Oxygen

900.37 If an unmanned aircraft is operated from a control station that is at an altitude above 10,000 feet ASL, each crew member shall wear an oxygen mask and use supplemental oxygen at all times during the flight.

Availability of Unmanned Aircraft System Operating Manual

900.38 No person shall conduct the take-off or launch of an unmanned aircraft for which the manufacturer has provided an unmanned aircraft system operating manual unless the manual is immediately available to crew members at their duty stations.

Flight Control Locks

900.39 No person who operates an unmanned aircraft system shall permit the use of a flight control lock in respect of the unmanned aircraft unless

  • (a) the flight control lock is incapable of becoming engaged when the aircraft is being operated; and
  • (b) an unmistakable warning is provided to the person operating the aircraft whenever the flight control lock is engaged.
Transponder and Automatic Pressure-altitude Reporting Equipment

900.40 (1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system, if the aircraft is in the transponder airspace referred to in section 601.03 unless the aircraft is equipped with a transponder and automatic pressure-altitude reporting equipment.

(2) An air traffic control unit may authorize a person to operate an unmanned aircraft that is not equipped in accordance with subsection (1) within the airspace referred to in section 601.03 if

  • (a) the air traffic control unit provides an air traffic control service in respect of that airspace;
  • (b) the person made a request to the air traffic control unit to operate the aircraft within that airspace before the aircraft entered the airspace; and
  • (c) aviation safety is not likely to be affected.
ELT

900.41 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft equipped with an ELT.

Liability Insurance

900.42 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system unless, in respect of every incident related to the operation of the aircraft, liability insurance covering risks of public liability has been taken out in an amount that is not less than $100,000 for each person involved in the operation of the aircraft.

Special Aviation Events

900.43 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system at any special aviation event, except in accordance with a special flight operations certificate — UAS issued under section 904.03.

Subpart 1 — Very Small Unmanned Aircraft
Application

901.01 This Subpart applies in respect of unmanned aircraft systems that include a very small unmanned aircraft.

Minimum Age

901.02 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system under this Subpart unless they are at least 14 years of age.

Pilot Knowledge

901.03 No pilot shall operate an unmanned aircraft system under this Subpart unless they hold a pilot permit — small unmanned aircraft (VLOS) or both of the following conditions are met:

  • (a) they have obtained a minimum of 60% on either the written examination “Unmanned Aircraft System — Very Small (UASVS)” or the written examination “Unmanned Aircraft System — Small Limited (UASSL)” which are based on the standard entitled Knowledge Requirements for Pilots of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) 25 kg or Less, Operating within Visual Line of Sight, TP 15263, published by the Minister of Transport, and which cover the following subjects:
    • (i) the applicable provisions of the Act and these Regulations,
    • (ii) air traffic rules and procedures,
    • (iii) UAS airframes, engines and systems,
    • (iv) human factors, including pilot decision-making,
    • (v) meteorology,
    • (vi) air navigation,
    • (vii) flight operations, and
    • (viii) operations carried out by unmanned aircraft systems; and
  • (b) a certificate issued by the examination administrator, demonstrating that they have successfully completed the examination within the last 60 months, is easily accessible during operation of the unmanned aircraft system.
Authorized Airspace

901.04 Despite sections 601.06 to 601.09, no person shall operate a very small unmanned aircraft in airspace other than Class G airspace.

Maximum Altitude

901.05 No person shall operate a very small unmanned aircraft at an altitude above 300 feet AGL.

Speed Limitation

901.06 No pilot shall operate a very small unmanned aircraft at a ground speed of more than 25 knots (29 mph).

Night Operations Prohibited

901.07 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system under this Subpart during the night.

Maximum Distance from Pilot

901.08 No pilot shall operate a very small unmanned aircraft beyond one quarter of a nautical mile from the location from which the pilot is operating the aircraft.

Minimum Distance from Aerodromes

901.09 (1) No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system under this Subpart if the aircraft or control station is less than three nautical miles from the centre of an aerodrome, other than a heliport, that is listed in the Canada Flight Supplement or the Water Aerodrome Supplement.

(2) No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system under this Subpart if the aircraft or control station is less than one nautical mile from the centre of a heliport or an aerodrome that is used exclusively by helicopters and that is listed in the Canada Flight Supplement or the Water Aerodrome Supplement.

Prohibition — Open-air Assemblies of Persons

901.10 (1) No pilot shall operate a very small unmanned aircraft over or within an open-air assembly of persons.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a very small unmanned aircraft shall be deemed to be operated over or within an open-air assembly of persons if the open-air assembly of persons is at a lateral distance of 100 feet or less from the aircraft.

Lateral Distance

901.11 No person shall operate a very small unmanned aircraft at a lateral distance of less than 100 feet from another person, except from a crew member or other person involved in the operation, unless

  • (a) the aircraft is operated without creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface;
  • (b) the aircraft is operated at an altitude above 100 feet AGL; and
  • (c) the aircraft is operated at a ground speed of less than 10 knots (11.5 mph).
Minimum Visual Meteorological Conditions

901.12 No pilot shall operate a very small unmanned aircraft unless

  • (a) the aircraft is operated clear of cloud; and
  • (b) the ground visibility as observed from the location of the control station is not less than two statute miles.
Subpart 2 — Small Unmanned Aircraft
Division I — General Provision
Application

902.01 This Subpart applies in respect of unmanned aircraft systems that include a small unmanned aircraft.

[902.02 to 902.05 reserved]

Division II — Limited Operations — Operating and Flight Rules
Minimum Age

902.06 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system under this Subpart unless they are at least 16 years of age.

Pilot Knowledge

902.07 No pilot shall operate an unmanned aircraft system under this Subpart unless they hold a pilot permit — small unmanned aircraft (VLOS) or both of the following conditions are met:

  • (a) they have obtained a minimum of 60% on the written examination “Unmanned Aircraft System — Small Limited (UASSL)” which is based on the standard entitled Knowledge Requirements for Pilots of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) 25 kg or Less, Operating within Visual Line of Sight, TP 15263, published by the Minister of Transport, and which cover the following subjects:
    • (i) the applicable provisions of the Act and these Regulations,
    • (ii) air traffic rules and procedures,
    • (iii) unmanned aircraft airframes, engines and systems,
    • (iv) human factors, including pilot decisionmaking,
    • (v) meteorology,
    • (vi) air navigation,
    • (vii) flight operations,
    • (viii) theory of flight, and
    • (ix) operations carried out by unmanned aircraft systems; and
  • (b) a certificate issued by the examination administrator, demonstrating that they have successfully completed the examination within the last 60 months, is easily accessible during operation of the unmanned aircraft system.
Crew Training

902.08 No operator shall permit the operation of an unmanned aircraft system under this Subpart unless all crew members are trained, proficient and competent to perform their functions and duties, and their qualifications are up-to-date.

Authorized Airspace

902.09 Despite sections 601.06 to 601.09, no person shall operate a small unmanned aircraft in airspace other than Class G airspace.

Maximum Altitude

902.10 No person shall operate a small unmanned aircraft at an altitude

  • (a) above 300 feet AGL, if the aircraft is being operated more than 200 feet laterally from a building or structure; or
  • (b) greater than 100 feet above any building or structure, if the aircraft is being operated at a lateral distance of 200 feet or less from the building or structure and is operated at a distance of more than three nautical miles from an aerodrome that is listed in the Canada Flight Supplement or the Water Aerodrome Supplement.
Speed Limitation

902.11 No pilot shall operate a small unmanned aircraft at a ground speed of more than 87 knots (100 mph).

Night Operations Prohibited

902.12 No pilot shall operate an unmanned aircraft system under this Subpart during the night.

Maximum Distance from Pilot

902.13 No pilot shall operate a small unmanned aircraft beyond one half of a nautical mile from the location from which the pilot is operating the aircraft.

Operations at an Aerodrome

902.14 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system under this Subpart at an aerodrome that is listed in the Canada Flight Supplement or the Water Aerodrome Supplement unless the operation is conducted under a special flight operations certificate — UAS issued under section 904.03 and the pilot may conduct an operation set out in subsection 902.51(2).

Minimum Distance from Aerodromes

902.15 (1) No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system under this Subpart if the aircraft or control station is less than three nautical miles from the centre of an aerodrome, other than a heliport, that is listed in the Canada Flight Supplement or the Water Aerodrome Supplement.

(2) No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system under this Subpart if the aircraft or control station is less than one nautical mile from the centre of a heliport or an aerodrome that is used exclusively by helicopters and that is listed in the Canada Flight Supplement or the Water Aerodrome Supplement.

Prohibition — Open-air Assemblies of Persons

902.16 (1) No person shall operate a small unmanned aircraft over or within an open-air assembly of persons.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a small unmanned aircraft is deemed to be operated over or within an open-air assembly of persons if the open-air assembly is within a lateral distance of 500 feet from the unmanned aircraft.

Minimum Distance from Built-up Areas

902.17 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system under this Subpart if the aircraft or control station is less than one half of a nautical mile from the outside boundary of a built-up area.

Lateral Distance

902.18 (1) No person shall operate a small unmanned aircraft at a lateral distance of less than 250 feet from another person, except from a crew member or other person involved in the operation, unless

  • (a) the aircraft is operated without creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface;
  • (b) the aircraft is operated at an altitude above 250 feet AGL; and
  • (c) the aircraft is operated at a ground speed of less than 10 knots (11.5 mph).

(2) No person shall operate a small unmanned aircraft at a lateral distance of less than 250 feet from any operating vehicle or vessel, except for a vehicle or vessel used in the operation unless

  • (a) the aircraft is operated without creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface;
  • (b) the aircraft is operated at an altitude above 250 feet AGL; and
  • (c) the aircraft is operated at a ground speed of less than 10 knots (11.5 mph).
Minimum Visual Meteorological Conditions

902.19 No pilot shall operate a small unmanned aircraft unless

  • (a) the aircraft is operated clear of cloud; and
  • (b) the ground visibility as observed from the location of the control station is not less than two statute miles.
Site Survey

902.20 No pilot shall operate an unmanned aircraft system under this Subpart unless, before commencing operations, they determine that the site for take-off, launch, landing or recovery is suitable for the proposed operation by conducting a physical site survey that takes into account the following factors:

  • (a) the boundaries of the area of operation;
  • (b) the class of airspace and the applicable regulatory requirements;
  • (c) the altitudes and routes to be used on the approach to and departure from the area of operation;
  • (d) the proximity of manned aircraft operations;
  • (e) the proximity of aerodromes;
  • (f) the hazards associated with nearby industrial sites;
  • (g) the proximity to areas of high-intensity radio transmissions or electromagnetic interference;
  • (h) the location and height of obstacles, including wires, masts, buildings, cell phone towers and wind turbines;
  • (i) the proximity of built-up areas, major roadways and recreational activity sites;
  • (j) the security measures to limit public access to the site;
  • (k) the predominant weather conditions for the area of operation; and
  • (l) the minimum separation distances from persons, vehicles, buildings and structures.
Normal Procedures

902.21 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system under this Subpart unless the following procedures are established or the following information is made available regarding normal operations are established:

  • (a) the assembly of the system;
  • (b) pre-flight checks and tests;
  • (c) take-off or launch procedures;
  • (d) landing or recovery procedures;
  • (e) performance limitations of the system;
  • (f) refuelling or battery charging and replacement; and
  • (g) the use of checklists.
Emergency Procedures

902.22 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system under this Subpart unless emergency procedures with respect to the following are established:

  • (a) an engine failure or fire;
  • (b) gliding;
  • (c) an emergency landing or recovery;
  • (d) a structural failure of the unmanned aircraft;
  • (e) a control station failure;
  • (f) an equipment failure;
  • (g) a pilot incapacitation; and
  • (h) a potential conflict with other aircraft.
Lost Command and Control Link Procedures

902.23 (1) No pilot shall conduct a take-off or launch of a small unmanned aircraft unless they

  • (a) assess the risk that would arise from a lost command and control link; and
  • (b) determine when auto-recovery manœuvres or flight termination should be initiated.

(2) No person shall operate a small unmanned aircraft unless lost command and control link contingency procedures with respect to the following are established:

  • (a) the route of flight during a lost command and control link event;
  • (b) the use of transponders;
  • (c) orbit points in the event of a lost link;
  • (d) communications with the appropriate air traffic service unit if applicable; and
  • (e) contingency planning measures in the event that a lost command and control link cannot be re-established, including
    • (i) pre-programmed flight termination points, and
    • (ii) automatic landing or recovery procedures.

(3) No pilot shall conduct a take-off or launch of a small unmanned aircraft unless the lost command and control link contingency procedures are immediately available to the pilot.

Fly-away Contingency Procedures

902.24 (1) No person shall operate a small unmanned aircraft unless fly-away contingency procedures with respect to the following are established:

  • (a) how to determine if the aircraft has inadvertently enter controlled airspace; and
  • (b) how to contact the appropriate air traffic service unit when the aircraft inadvertently enters controlled airspace and cannot be immediately returned to the area of operation.

(2) No pilot shall conduct a take-off or launch of a small unmanned aircraft unless the fly-away contingency procedures are immediately available to the pilot.

Flight Termination Contingency Procedures

902.25 (1) No person shall operate a small unmanned aircraft equipped with a flight termination system unless flight termination procedures with respect to the following are established:

  • (a) how to determine when flight termination is required;
  • (b) how to contact the appropriate emergency services or air traffic service unit, if applicable;
  • (c) pre-programmed flight termination points, if applicable; and
  • (d) flight routes to flight termination points, if applicable.

(2) No pilot shall conduct a take-off or launch of a small unmanned aircraft equipped with a flight termination system unless the flight termination procedures are immediately available to the pilot.

Altimeter-setting Procedures

902.26 When a small unmanned aircraft with an adjustable barometric altimeter is operated in the altimetersetting region or standard pressure region, the pilot-in-command shall, immediately before take-off or launch from an aerodrome or location of the take-off or launch, set the altimeter to the altimeter setting of the aerodrome or location of the take-off or launch or, if that altimeter setting is not available, to the elevation of the aerodrome or location of the take-off or launch.

Towing

902.27 No person shall operate a small unmanned aircraft towing an object unless the operation is conducted under a special flight operations certificate — UAS issued under section 904.03 and the pilot may conduct an operation set out in subsection 902.51(2).

Formation Flight

902.28 No person shall operate a small unmanned aircraft in formation with other aircraft unless the operation is conducted under a special flight operations certificate — UAS issued under section 904.03 and the pilot may conduct an operation set out in subsection 902.51(2).

Aerobatic Manœuvres

902.29 No person shall conduct aerobatic manœuvres with a small unmanned aircraft unless the manœuvres are conducted under a special flight operations certificate — UAS issued under section 904.03 and the pilot may conduct an operation set out in subsection 902.51(2).

Operational and Emergency Equipment

902.30 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system under this Subpart unless the following operational and emergency equipment is easily accessible to each crew member:

  • (a) a checklist or placards that enable the aircraft to be operated in accordance with the limitations specified in the unmanned aircraft system operating manual, pilot operating handbook or any equivalent document provided by the manufacturer; and
  • (b) a means for extinguishing the types of fires that are likely to occur.
Capability Requirements

902.31 No pilot shall conduct a take-off or launch of a small unmanned aircraft unless there is a means of

  • (a) controlling the flight of the aircraft;
  • (b) monitoring the proper functioning of the unmanned aircraft system;
  • (c) navigating the aircraft;
  • (d) performing the communications required by sections 601.08, 601.09, 602.96 and 602.101;
  • (e) detecting hazardous environmental flight conditions;
  • (f) mitigating the risk of loss of control of the aircraft;
  • (g) providing the sense and avoid functions; and
  • (h) remaining clear of cloud at the required distance in accordance with section 902.19 or 902.57, as the case may be.
Unmanned Aircraft Icing

902.32 (1) In this section, critical surfaces means the wings, control surfaces, rotors, propellers, horizontal stabilizers, vertical stabilizers or any other stabilizing surfaces of an aircraft and, in the case of an aircraft that has rear-mounted engines, the upper surface of the fuselage.

(2) No person shall conduct the take-off or launch of a small unmanned aircraft that has frost, ice or snow adhering to any of its critical surfaces.

(3) Despite subsection (2), a person may conduct the take-off or launch of a small unmanned aircraft that has frost that is caused by cold-soaked fuel and is adhering to the underside of its wings, if the take-off or launch is conducted in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions for take-off or launch under those conditions.

(4) If conditions are such that frost, ice or snow may reasonably be expected to adhere to the aircraft, no person shall conduct a take-off or launch of a small unmanned aircraft unless the aircraft has been inspected immediately before take-off or launch to determine whether any frost, ice or snow is adhering to any of the critical surfaces.

(5) The inspection referred to in subsection (4) shall be performed by

  • (a) the pilot-in-command; or
  • (b) a crew member designated by the pilot-in-command.

(6) If, before commencing take-off or launch, a crew member of a small unmanned aircraft observes that there is frost, ice or snow adhering to the wings of the aircraft, the crew member shall immediately report that observation to the pilot-in-command, and the pilot-in-command or a crew member designated by the pilot-in-command shall inspect the wings of the aircraft before take-off or launch.

(7) Before a small unmanned aircraft is de-iced or anti-iced, the pilot-in-command shall ensure that the crew members are informed of the decision to do so.

De-icing or Anti-icing Equipment

902.33 No person shall conduct a take-off or launch or continue a flight of a small unmanned aircraft if icing conditions are reported to exist or are forecast to be encountered unless

  • (a) the pilot-in-command determines that the aircraft has the equipment necessary to operate in icing conditions; or
  • (b) current weather reports or pilot reports indicate that icing conditions no longer exist.
Technical Records

902.34 (1) Every operator of an unmanned aircraft system operated under this Subpart shall keep the following technical records in respect of the system:

  • (a) the air time of each flight or series of flights, the cumulative total air time and, where applicable, the number of operating cycles or landings since the date of manufacture; and
  • (b) particulars of any maintenance action, modification or repair performed.

(2) Every operator of an unmanned aircraft system operated under this Subpart who transfers ownership of the system to another person shall, at the time of transfer, also deliver to that person all of the technical records that relate to that system.

[902.35 to 902.50 reserved]

Division III — Complex Operations
Conditions

902.51 (1) Despite the requirements of Division II, a person may operate an unmanned aircraft system under this Division to conduct an operation set out in subsection (2) if

  • (a) the pilot of the system holds a pilot permit — small unmanned aircraft (VLOS) issued under Subpart 1 of Part IV;
  • (b) the unmanned aircraft is marked and registered in Canada in accordance with the requirements of Part II;
  • (c) in the case of an unmanned aircraft system that the operator purchased after December 15, 2017, the system is designed and constructed in accordance with a standard set out in section 902.72; and
  • (d) in the case of an unmanned aircraft system in respect of which markings or placards are required by the manufacturer, markings or placards are affixed to the aircraft or attached to an element of the unmanned aircraft system in accordance with those requirements.

(2) The operations referred to in subsection (1) are the following:

  • (a) operations at an altitude that is above that set out in paragraph 902.10(b) under the circumstances set out in that paragraph, but not above 400 feet AGL;
  • (b) operations where the distance of the aircraft from the location from which the pilot is operating the aircraft is more than that set out in section 902.13, but not more than one nautical mile;
  • (c) operations at a distance that is less than the minimum distance from the centre of an aerodrome set out in section 902.15;
  • (d) operations at a distance that is less than the minimum distance from a built-up area set out in section 902.17;
  • (e) operations at night conducted in accordance with sections 902.52 and 902.53;
  • (f) operations over or within an open-air assembly of persons, conducted in accordance with section 902.54;
  • (g) operations over or within a built-up area, conducted in accordance with sections 902.54 and 902.55, except operations carried out for the purposes of conducting flight training, research and development, or testing and evaluation;
  • (h) operations conducted in accordance with section 902.56, where the lateral distance of the aircraft from persons, vehicles or vessels is less than the minimum required by section 902.18;
  • (i) operations in Class C, D or E airspace that meet the requirements of sections 902.57 to 902.59, except operations conducted for the purposes of conducting flight training, research and development, or testing and evaluation; and
  • (j) operations in Class F airspace, except operations in
    • (i) Class F Special Use Restricted Airspace — UAS Operations unless authorized under a special flight operations certificate — UAS issued under section 904.03, and
    • (ii) Class F Special Use Restricted Airspace — Military Operations unless authorized under section 902.60.

(3) Despite paragraph (1)(c), no person shall conduct the operations set out in paragraphs (2)(a), (b), (d), (g) and (i) in respect of any system that the operator purchased on or before December 15, 2017 unless the system is designed and constructed in accordance with a standard set out in section 902.72.

(4) For greater certainty, sections 902.52 to 902.60 apply only in respect of the operation of unmanned aircraft systems by persons who, under subsection (1), may conduct the operations set out in subsection (2).

Night Flight Requirements

902.52 (1) Subject to subsection (3), no pilot shall conduct the take-off or launch of a small unmanned aircraft for the purpose of night flight unless it is equipped with position lights and anti-collision lights and those lights are turned on.

(2) If light-emitting diodes are used to meet the requirements of subsection (1), they shall be of an intensity, and use the appropriate spectrum, so as to be visible to other airspace users operating with or without night-vision goggles.

(3) A pilot operating a small unmanned aircraft during the night that is not equipped with position lights and anti-collision lights shall ensure that there is a means of illumination sufficient to maintain visual line-of-sight of the aircraft throughout the flight.

(4) Every crew member of the unmanned aircraft shall have a suitable portable emergency light source easily accessible to them.

(5) No crew member shall operate the unmanned aircraft if they suffer from visual limitations related to depth perception, colour blindness or visual acuity in low-light conditions.

(6) No pilot shall conduct the take-off, launch, landing or recovery of a small unmanned aircraft at night unless the site for take-off, launch, landing or recovery is lighted and operations are conducted under a special flight operations certificate — UAS issued under section 904.03.

Night-Vision Goggles

902.53 No person shall use night-vision goggles to perform the sense and avoid functions.

Overflight of Built-up Areas or Open-air Assemblies of Persons

902.54 (1) No person shall operate a small unmanned aircraft over or within a built-up area or an open-air assembly of persons unless the aircraft is operated at an altitude

  • (a) greater than 300 feet AGL; and
  • (b) from which, in the event of an emergency necessitating an immediate landing, it would be possible to land the aircraft without creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a small unmanned aircraft shall be deemed to be operated over or within a built-up area or an open-air assembly of persons if the built-up area or open-air assembly of persons is within a lateral distance of 500 feet of the unmanned aircraft.

Operations Over or Within a Built-up Area

902.55 (1) No person shall operate a small unmanned aircraft over or within a built-up area unless, before take-off or launch,

  • (a) a pilot has conducted an assessment of the hazards that may be present, including
    • (i) the meteorological conditions specific to the area of operation and the impact to aircraft performance, and
    • (ii) the increased probability of lost command and control links and fly-away due to radio frequency interference; and
  • (b) the procedures and precautions that relate to operations over or within a built-up area, to be taken to ensure no hazard is created to persons or property on the surface are established.

(2) No person shall operate a small unmanned aircraft over or within a built-up area unless a site for take-off, launch, landing or recovery

  • (a) is established that has a minimum diameter of 20 m from the point of take-off, launch, landing or recovery;
  • (b) has access restricted to crew members; and
  • (c) is clear of obstacles.

(3) A pilot who operates a small unmanned aircraft within a built-up area shall reach the minimum altitude required for the operation using an expedited rate of climb.

Lateral Distance

902.56 (1) No person shall operate a small unmanned aircraft at a lateral distance of less than 100 feet from another person, except from a crew member or other person involved in the operation, unless

  • (a) the aircraft is operated without creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface;
  • (b) the aircraft is operated at an altitude above 100 feet AGL; and
  • (c) the aircraft is operated at a ground speed of less than 10 knots (11.5 mph).

(2) No person shall operate a small unmanned aircraft at a lateral distance of less than 100 feet from any operating vehicle or vessel, except for a vehicle or vessel used in the operation, unless

  • (a) the aircraft is operated without creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface;
  • (b) the aircraft is operated at an altitude above 100 feet AGL; and
  • (c) the aircraft is operated at a ground speed of less than 10 knots (11.5 mph).
Minimum Visual Meteorological Conditions for VFR Flight in Controlled Airspace

902.57 No person shall operate a small unmanned aircraft, in VFR flight, within controlled airspace unless

  • (a) ground visibility is not less than three miles; and
  • (b) the distance of the aircraft from cloud is not less than 500 feet vertically and one mile horizontally.
Prior Coordination for Operations in Controlled Airspace

902.58 No pilot shall operate a small unmanned aircraft in controlled airspace unless the following information is provided to the provider of air traffic services in the area of operation at least seven days before a proposed operation:

  • (a) the date, time and duration of the operation;
  • (b) the type and registration of the aircraft, including aircraft capabilities and physical characteristics;
  • (c) the vertical and horizontal boundaries of the area of operation;
  • (d) the route of the flight to access the area of operation;
  • (e) the proximity of the area of operation to manned aircraft approaches and departures and to patterns of traffic formed by manned aircraft;
  • (f) the means by which two-way communications with the appropriate air traffic control unit will be maintained;
  • (g) the contact information of the operator of the aircraft;
  • (h) the name, contact information and pilot permit number or licence number of the pilot-in-command of the aircraft;
  • (i) the procedures and flight profiles to be followed in the case of a lost command and control link;
  • (j) the procedures to be followed in emergency situations;
  • (k) process and the time required to terminate the operation; and
  • (l) any other information required by the provider of air traffic services required for the provision of air traffic management.
Compliance with Air Traffic Control Instructions and Clearances

902.59 The pilot-in-command of a small unmanned aircraft shall

  • (a) comply with and acknowledge receipt of, to the appropriate air traffic control unit, all of the air traffic control instructions directed to and received by the pilot-in-command; and
  • (b) comply with all of the air traffic control clearances received and accepted by the pilot-in-command and, during VFR flight, read back to the appropriate air traffic control unit the text of any air traffic control clearance received, when so requested by the air traffic control unit.
Operations in Class F Special Use Restricted Airspace – Military Operations

902.60 No person shall operate a small unmanned aircraft in Class F Special Use Restricted Airspace — Military Operations unless, at least 30 days before the operation,

  • (a) the person obtains a written authorization from the Canadian Forces Base Range Control Officer or the Base or Wing Commander; and
  • (b) the person obtains a letter issued by the Minister of National Defence endorsing the authorization referred to in paragraph (a).

[902.61 to 902.71 reserved]

Division IV — Manufacturer Requirements
Declaration of Compliance

902.72 (1) A manufacturer of an unmanned aircraft system that is intended for operation under Division III shall provide the Minister with a declaration of compliance attesting that the type definition for the system is in compliance with a standard

  • (a) published by a standards organization accredited by a national or international standards accrediting body; or
  • (b) that the Minister has determined provides at least an equivalent level of safety as a standard referred to in paragraph (a).

(2) The manufacturer’s declaration of compliance shall

  • (a) specify the manufacturer, the model of the unmanned aircraft system, the serial number range and the range of dates of manufacture; and
  • (b) state that the manufacturer has conducted tests and analyses to show that the system meets the requirements of the standard.
Statement of Conformity

902.73 (1) The manufacturer of an unmanned aircraft system in respect of which they have provided a declaration of compliance under section 902.72 shall provide to each purchaser of the system a statement of conformity attesting that the system has been manufactured in accordance with the standard referred to in that section.

(2) The manufacturer’s statement of conformity shall

  • (a) identify the unmanned aircraft system’s model, manufacturer and serial number; and
  • (b) include a statement that the system conforms to its type definition and can be operated safely.
Documentation

902.74 The manufacturer of an unmanned aircraft system in respect of which they have provided a declaration of compliance under section 902.72 shall provide to each purchaser of the system

  • (a) a maintenance program that includes maintenance instructions, an inspection program and any applicable mandatory actions or limitations; and
  • (b) an unmanned aircraft system operating manual that includes
    • (i) a description of the system,
    • (ii) performance data and operating limitations of the system,
    • (iii) procedures for operating the system in normal, abnormal and emergency conditions, and
    • (iv) assembly and adjustment instructions for the system.
Mandatory Actions

902.75 The manufacturer of an unmanned aircraft system in respect of which they have provided a declaration of compliance under section 902.72 shall make available to each operator of the system, in a timely manner, any mandatory action they issue to keep the system safely operable or in a condition of conformity to the applicable standard.

Record-Keeping

902.76 The manufacturer of an unmanned aircraft system in respect of which they have provided a declaration of compliance under section 902.72 shall keep, and make available to the Minister on request, a current record of all mandatory actions in respect of the system and the current type definition of that system.

Subpart 3 — [Reserved]
Subpart 4 — Special Air Operations — Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Prohibition

904.01 No person shall conduct any of the following operations except in accordance with a special flight operations certificate — UAS issued under section 904.03:

  • (a) the operation of an unmanned aircraft that has a maximum permissible take-off weight of more than 25 kg (55 pounds) and that is not used for recreational purposes;
  • (b) the operation, by a member of the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada (MAAC) or another Canadian aeromodelling association, of an unmanned aircraft that has a maximum take-off weight of more than 35 kg (77.2 pounds) and that is used for recreational purposes;
  • (c) the operation of an unmanned aircraft beyond visual line-of-sight;
  • (d) the operation of an unmanned aircraft by a foreign operator who has been authorized to operate unmanned aircraft systems by the foreign state;
  • (e) the operation of an unmanned aircraft at a special aviation event;
  • (f) the operation of an unmanned aircraft in Class F Special Use Restricted Airspace — UAS;
  • (g) the performance of visual observer duties from a moving aircraft, vehicle or vessel, as referred to in subsection 900.14(4);
  • (h) the operation of a unmanned aircraft to transport certain payloads, as referred to in section 900.26;
  • (i) the operation of an unmanned aircraft from a moving aircraft, vehicle or vessel, as referred to in section 900.27;
  • (j) the handover of pilot-in-command responsibilities, as referred to in subsection 900.35(1);
  • (k) the transfer of control of an unmanned aircraft, as referred to in subsection 900.35(2);
  • (l) the operation of a small unmanned aircraft at an aerodrome, as referred to in section 902.14;
  • (m) the operation of a small unmanned aircraft to tow an object, as referred to in section 902.27;
  • (n) the operation of a small unmanned aircraft to fly in formation with other aircraft, as referred to in section 902.28;
  • (o) the operation of a small unmanned aircraft to conduct aerobatic manœuvres, as referred to in section 902.29;
  • (p) the operation of a small unmanned aircraft at night at an unlighted site for take-off, launch, landing or recovery, as referred to in subsection 902.52(6); and
  • (q) any other operation of an unmanned aircraft for which the Minister determines that a special flight operations certificate — UAS is necessary to ensure aviation safety.
Application for Special Flight Operations Certificate — UAS

904.02 A person who proposes to operate an unmanned aircraft system for any operation set out in section 904.01 shall apply to the Minister for a special flight operations certificate — UAS with regard to that operation, by submitting the following information, to the appropriate Regional Transport Canada Civil Aviation Regional Office, at least 30 working days before the date of the proposed operation or by a date mutually agreed upon between the applicant and Transport Canada:

  • (a) the legal name, trade name, address and contact information of the applicant;
  • (b) the qualifications of the person designated as the operations manager and the person designated as the ground supervisor and a description of how those persons are qualified to exercise their duties;
  • (c) the means by which the operations manager and the ground supervisor may be contacted directly during operations;
  • (d) the operation for which the application is made;
  • (e) the purpose of the operation;
  • (f) the dates, alternate dates and times of the operation;
  • (g) the manufacturer, make and model of the unmanned aircraft system, including three-view drawings or photographs of the aircraft and a complete description of the aircraft, including performance, limitations and equipment;
  • (h) a description of the safety plan for the proposed area of operation;
  • (i) a description of the emergency contingency plan for the operation;
  • (j) a detailed plan describing how the operation is to be carried out;
  • (k) the names, licences, permits and qualifications of the crew members, including the pilots and visual observers, and the unmanned aircraft system maintenance personnel;
  • (l) the instructions regarding the maintenance of the unmanned aircraft system and a description of how the maintenance of the system will be performed;
  • (m) a description of weather minima for the operation;
  • (n) a description of separation and collision avoidance capability and procedures;
  • (o) a description of normal and emergency procedures for the operation;
  • (p) a description of the security plan for the unmanned aircraft system;
  • (q) a description of air traffic control services coordination, where applicable;
  • (r) proof of liability insurance coverage for the operation; and
  • (s) any other information requested by the Minister pertinent to the safe conduct of the operation.
Issuance of Special Flight Operations Certificate — UAS

904.03 The Minister shall, on receipt of an application submitted in accordance with section 904.02, issue a special flight operations certificate — UAS if the applicant demonstrates to the Minister the ability to conduct the operation without adversely affecting safety.

Content of Special Flight Operations Certificate — UAS

904.04 A special flight operations certificate — UAS shall contain the following:

  • (a) the legal name, trade name and address of the certificate holder;
  • (b) the number of the certificate;
  • (c) the date of issue of the certificate;
  • (d) the validity period of the certificate;
  • (e) the make and model of the unmanned aircraft system to be used in the authorized operation and, if applicable, its registration;
  • (f) the type of authorized operation;
  • (g) the purpose of the operation; and
  • (h) the conditions in respect of the following that apply to the operation of the unmanned aircraft system:
    • (i) rights of way,
    • (ii) weather minima,
    • (iii) night or day operations, or both,
    • (iv) maximum altitude,
    • (v) minimum lateral distances,
    • (vi) sense and avoid functions,
    • (vii) other general operating and flight rules and limitations,
    • (viii) classes of airspace to which access is approved or prohibited,
    • (ix) coordination and procedures with regard to air traffic control services,
    • (x) unmanned aircraft system equipment requirements,
    • (xi) insurance liability coverage,
    • (xii) incident and accident reporting requirements, and
    • (xiii) any other condition relative to the operation that the Minister determines is necessary to ensure aviation safety.
Conditions of Certificate

904.05 No person shall conduct an operation referred to in section 904.01 unless the person complies with the conditions of their special flight operations certificate — UAS.

Coming into Force

27 These Regulations come into force on the day that, in the sixth month, has the same calendar number as the day on which they are registered or, if that sixth month has no day with that number, the last day of that sixth month.

[28-1-o]

  • Footnote 1
    Unless otherwise stated, all present values (PV) expressed represent amounts over 10 years discounted at a rate of 7%, with a base year of 2018.
  • Footnote 2
    The proposed regulatory amendment uses the terms “UAS” and “UA” as opposed to the terms “UAV” and “model aircraft” currently used in the Canadian Aviation Regulations.
  • Footnote 3
    http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/standards/standards-4179.html
  • Footnote 4
    Pleasure Craft Licence — Small Vessel Regulations of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.
  • Footnote 5
    When operating a very small UA, it would be deemed to be operated over or within an open-air assembly of persons if the open-air assembly of persons is at a lateral distance of 100 feet or less from the aircraft.
  • Footnote 6
    A rural location is other than a built-up location.
  • Footnote 7
    Built-up area means a populated or developed area of a locality, including a city, a town, a village or a hamlet.
  • Footnote 8
    When operating a UA in limited operation, it would be deemed to be over or within the open-air assembly of persons if the open-air assembly is within a lateral distance of 500 feet from the UA.
  • Footnote 9
    The current standard is an appendix of the SFOC staff instruction — Special Flight Operations Certificate for the Operation of an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) System. The standard is not yet published as of July 2017.
  • Footnote 10
    For example American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F2910-14 Standard Specification for Design and Construction of a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS).
  • Footnote 11
    Sato, Akira (2011, October). Civil UAV Applications in Japan and Related Safety & Certification. Presented at the 1st Annual Agricultural UAS Conference: Precision Agriculture, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Footnote 12
    An alphanumeric sequence unique to a UAS, similar to car licence plates.
  • Footnote 13
    2018 is the first year of cost-benefit evaluation and also the year on which prices are based.
  • Footnote 14
    The United States use the terms hobbyist and commercial.
  • Footnote 15
    Assumed mostly recreational initially but non-recreational usage will tend to increase over time. The ratio of recreational to commercial in the United States in 2016 is 3.17:1 and in 2020 the ratio will be 1.59:1. The ratio growth between those years is about 0.4 per year (or 40% per year).
  • Footnote 16
    http://jarus-rpas.org/who-we-are
  • Footnote 17
    https://www.astm.org/Standards/F2910.htm
  • Footnote 18
    Risk-based approach, performance-based approach, progressive, and operation-centric.
  • Footnote 19
    Unmanned Aircraft (UA) operations shall fall into one of the following three risk-based categories: 1. “Open” is a category of UA operation that, considering the risks involved, does not require a prior authorization by the competent authority before the operation takes place; 2. “Specific” is a category of UA operation that, considering the risks involved, requires an authorization by the competent authority before the operation takes place and takes into account the mitigation measures identified in an operational risk assessment, except for certain standard scenarios where a declaration by the operator is sufficient; 3. “Certified” is a category of UA operation that, considering the risks involved, requires the certification of the UA, a licensed remote pilot and an operator approved by the competent authority, in order to ensure an appropriate level of safety.
  • Footnote 20
    http://www.icao.int/Meetings/UAS/Documents/Circular%20328_en.pdf
  • Footnote 21
    SOR/96-433
  • Footnote a
    Analysis is over 10 years with a real discount rate of 7%.
  • Footnote b
    Present value.
  • Footnote c
    S.C. 2014, c. 39, s. 144
  • Footnote d
    S.C. 2015, c. 20, s. 12
  • Footnote e
    S.C. 2004, c. 15, s. 18
  • Footnote f
    R.S., c. A-2
  • Footnote a1
    Less with conditions.
  • Footnote a2
    Less with conditions.
  • Footnote a3
    Less with conditions.
  • Footnote b1
    1 NM if there is no control zone.
  • Footnote 1*
    Increased compliance of operators taken into account.
  • Footnote 2*
    Increased compliance of operators taken into account.
  • Footnote 3*
    Increased compliance of operators taken into account.