Update 17/11/17: On November 17 2017, Transport Canada issued a new SFOC to expand the area of operation to the rest of Canada. Consequently, Arpentage Parleciel becomes one of the first companies, if not the first company, to obtain a compliant SFOC valid in all Canadian provinces and territories.
Transport Canada issued the first compliant operator SFOC to a company based in the province of Quebec.
On November 1st, Arpentage Parleciel, a land survey firm based in New Richmond, Qc, received the first compliant operator Special Flight Operations Certificate. This type of SFOC, less restrictive than a complex or simplified operator type, allow the company to fly almost anywhere in the province of Quebec without prior notification to Transport Canada. Applying to this SFOC required Arpentage Parleciel to prove their compliance on three major criteria: UAV, pilot qualifications and manuals and procedures.
In the present case, the company chose the Infinitejib Surveyor 630. This UAV designed in Ontario for technical data acquisition is listed on the compliant UAV list since May 2016. Its 6 motors in a “Y” configuration enable the aircraft to lift loads up to 4 kg in winds gusting up to 80 km/h. The stability of the Surveyor 630 is making that UAV suitable for professional land surveying operations.
As for training, all the pilots of the company were trained by Spectral Aviation. Based on Transport Canada’s TP15263, the courses allowed Arpentage Parleciel’s employee to gain the required level of knowledge. The certificate provided by the training organization then enabled the New Richmond company to show a solid proof of qualification to the civil aviation regulation body.
Regarding the development of procedures, the New Richmond based company called on the expertise of Spectral Aviation’s team in order to advise and guide them for the writing of an operations manual containing procedures to meet the requirements of a compliant small UAV operator as stated in the SI 623-001. It was then possible for Arpentage Parleciel to operate for several years under the conditions of complex operator SFOC and thus show their high degree of professionalism and their aptitude to carry out safe operations.
Unlike recent incidents involving UAVs being flown dangerously close to manned aircraft, it is encouraging to see companies increasingly concerned about their safe integration to the Canadian airspace and, while aiming for compliancy, being granted more operational freedom by Transport Canada.