I just received an email from Transport Canada's Civil Aviations Communications Centre. It was in response to an email I sent them several weeks ago asking for infos about SFOCs, etc. In the following response, some of what you'll read is old news. But some of the details I wasn't aware of, include flying close to airports (aerodromes) which also include hospital helipads! I found the last paragraph the most interesting - looks like we'll eventually need to be licensed, our UAVs registered and trained with certification when flying commercially in SFOC type situations. UAV Operations If you are planning to use an UAV for recreational or any non-recreational purposes, please consult the following web page in order to apply the safety measures appropriate with how you plan to use it and to the weight of your vehicle. Safety First http://www.tc.gc.ca/safetyfirst This page details the information required to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) in order to operate an UAV. There is no form for this application, nor is there a fee. An application in accordance with the material outlined should be sent to the regional office for the area in which you would like to operate which is found in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the page above. There is currently no specified training required for UAV pilots (i.e. no specific ground school requirement, etc.). That being said, the SFOC application must include sufficient information regarding the training the pilot (and other crew members) has received to allow the inspector to determine if a safe operation can be conducted. Standing (blanket) SFOCs will not be issued to initial applicants, regardless of who they are. As a particular operator demonstrates a history of conducting safe operations the geographic area restrictions and validity periods could be extended. The UAV operator shall have subscribed for adequate liability insurance covering risks of public liability at the levels described in subsection 606.02(8) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs).This CAR requires a minimum of $100,000 coverage, however, the condition permits the UAV operator to determine the amount of insurance they require should they want/need higher levels of coverage. CAR 606.02 http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regu ... l#s-606.02 As you know there has been a press release from Transport Canada indicating that an exemption relating to unmanned air vehicles has been issued. When all the conditions of an exemption can be met, a UAV operator will be exempted from the requirement to operate a UAV in accordance with the provisions of a SFOC. Please check the web page linked to above for more information on the exemptions. The "Don't fly higher than 300 feet (90 metres)" reference included in recently published Transport Canada Civil Aviation material for model aircraft (and unmanned air vehicles) is intended as guidance to hobbyists and UAV operators to help ensure model aircraft and UAVs are not flown in a manner that is or is likely to be hazardous to aviation safety. Civil Aviation Regional Offices http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/o ... ns-139.htm While the legal mechanism to authorize unmanned air vehicle (UAV) system flights in Canada is presently an SFOC, Transport Canada has been working with industry since 2010 to develop the future regulatory framework for UAVs. While the final decisions have not yet been made, it is anticipated that, in future, pilots will need to be licensed, the aircraft will be marked and registered, the operators will require an operating certificate, the aircraft will hold a flight authority and will meet a design standard. In other words, UAV operators will need to be educated on current regulations, policies and procedures and develop safe business practices in a similar fashion to professional “manned” aviation companies. Please note as well, with regards to the provision requiring a distance of five (5) nautical from an aerodrome, the definition of “Aerodrome” has a broad scope. This includes not only major airports, but smaller airfields associated with private aviation, heliports – including hospital air ambulance landing pads, waterways where flight operations occur, and military installations with flight operations. It is the responsibility of the operator to ensure that they meet this requirement by researching area aerodromes.