Exemptions to fly a drone without SFOC


Some drone operators whom may wish to operate light UAVs away from the built-up areas and at a safe distance from aerodromes can, in certain cases, benefit from the exemptions to articles 602.41 and 603.66 of the CARs. These exemptions allow an operator whom meets all their requirements to operate without having to obtain an SFOC.

There are two possible exemptions for drones used in direct visuel line of sight (VLOS). An exemption for UAVs with maximum take-off weight that does not exceed 1 kg and an exemption for UAVs with a maximum  take-off weight that is higher than 1 kg, but not exceeding 25 kg, with maximum speed of 87 knots or less. These exemptions were updated in December 2016 and will be valid until December 31st, 2019 inclusively.

In both cases, an operator must respect all the requirements of the exemption which he uses. If a condition is breached, the exemption will cease to apply to that person. In that case, the operator exposes himself to a fine of up to 5000$ for the pilot and 25.000$ for his company.