Drone innovation and collaboration

We are working to safely integrate drones into Canada’s transport system. We’re doing this through trials and test sites, and through partnerships with key Canadian and international organizations.

Find out what we’re doing to support drone safety and innovation in Canada.

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Improving service delivery for commercial drone operators

In 2017, we opened a Centre of Expertise to focus on processing Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) applications. The Centre of Expertise is based in Dorval, Quebec and has staff in each Transport Canada region.

Helping operators to gain flight experience and test their systems

In February 2018, we invited industry to create concepts of operation (ConOps) for beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations.

Industry members applied to be one of up to four BVLOS trials in 2018. These trials will allow operators to gain flight experience and test their systems. They will also inform potential BVLOS regulations in the future.

Four organizations were selected for these trials:

  • Canada Post will explore the deployment of drones in Canada’s remote and rural regions.
  • Canadian UAVs will conduct a long-range pipeline survey in Western Alberta to prove the feasibility and capability of using a ground-based radar system.
  • Drone Delivery Canada will explore using drones for the safe delivery of food and medical services in Moosonee, Ontario.
  • ING Robotic Aviation will conduct a trial to perform infrastructure surveys in western Canada with support from key partners.

Collaborating at home

Drones in the Canadian Arctic

Drones could soon be used to monitor Northern Canada’s safety, security and environment as part of the Arctic Unmanned Aircraft System Initiative. To prepare for this, we are conducting several flight trials until March 31, 2019.

Drone test ranges

We have approved 2 drone test ranges in Canada:

These test ranges support research and development in the drone industry.

Both test ranges have access to restricted airspace. They are safe environments for operators to do tests without putting others at risk.

Collaborating abroad

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

Canada is a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization. As a participant, we can learn from other countries’ experience regulating drones. Standards developed at ICAO help improve the safety of aircraft in Canada.

Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC)

Since 2015, Transport Canada and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States have collaborated in the area of drones under the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC). RCC participation has helped Canada and the United States harmonize regulations and promote business.

We share information on four aspects of drone safety:

  • rule-making activities
  • outreach, compliance and enforcement
  • research and development
  • international collaboration and advancing common interests

Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS)

Canada is a member of the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems. JARUS members are representatives from national aviation authorities of over 50 countries and international organizations.

As a participant in JARUS sessions, we can stay up to date with global trends in drone regulation and technological development.

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