New UAV exemptions come into effect today

On December 21st, 2016 Transport Canada (TC) released the new criteria for exemptions from SFOC requirements for operations of UAV’s with a max takeoff weight of 25 kilograms. These exemption requirements are in effect as of today, and all operators are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the changes. Specific details regarding the requirements, including rationales are contained in the newly revised Advisory Circular 600-004.

Some notable changes include a weight limit reduction from 2kg to 1kg, the introduction of a ¼ nautical mile distance limit, and removal of the requirement to be 5 nautical miles from a built up area for the lower weight class. In the 1-25kg weight class the new requirements introduce a ½ nautical mile distance limit, and reduce the distance from built up areas to 3 nautical miles. Additionally, for both classes it is now necessary to submit a notification request to TC prior to conducting operations, and proof of having completed appropriate training is required. Unmanned Systems Canada will endeavor to get clarification from TC regarding what constitutes acceptable proof of training.

To assist UAV operators in understanding how the new requirements differ from the previous requirements that expired on Dec 21st 2016 Unmanned Systems Canada has prepared a spreadsheet contrasting both sets of requirements and highlighting differences in yellow.

You can get the spreadsheet comparing the differences in the members only area

Kris Ellis
Unmanned Systems Canada


  1. Kristin Kozuback says

    Thanks for the notice, links and summary comparing the old and new reg’s.
    Wishing the USC community a healthy, happy and prosperous 2017! .FLY-SAFE, everyone =)

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