How Canada handles "beyond visual line of sight" drone operation

From Diana Marina Cooper on Robohub:

The FAA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS) proposes to restrict operations that are completed beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS). However, the FAA has invited comments regarding the proposed BVLOS restriction. In Canada, BVLOS operations are not yet mainstream, however they are attainable under the Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) system.

Transport Canada’s Staff Instruction 623-001 establishes the following conditions for BVLOS operations:

  • BVLOS flights cannot take place outside of restricted airspace, unless the operator can mitigate risk to an acceptable level i.e. through the use of ground-based radar
  • BVLOS flights must not be conducted over populated areas
  • BVLOS flights must be conducted in visual meteorological conditions
  • BVLOS flights cannot be conducted within controlled airspace
  • BVLOS flights can only be conducted within 5 nautical miles of the point of departure
  • The take-off and landing/recovery must be conducted within visual line-of-sight
  • Direct radio line-of-sight capability must be maintained throughout the operating area

Canada is not alone in having established conditions for BVLOS operations. In fact, quite a few jurisdictions have more advanced regulations for BVLOS operations, including Australia, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Israel and Poland. As stakeholders submit comments to the FAA over the next two months, it’s important to look at how other jurisdictions are managing risk in BVLOS operations.

Views: 1430

Comment by Gary McCray on March 2, 2015 at 8:53pm

In light of the FAAs recent turnabout, I think it is quite possible also reasonable to expect that as time goes on the FAA will establish circumstances encompassing the majority of useful scenarios.

All we've really seen is their first batch intended for widest and most low level operation.

Of course at the speed the FAA moves we may well be using teleportation before non-LOS flying is permitted.

Still, definitely a good idea to link them to other countries with more reasonable conditions.

Best regards,


Comment by technicus acityone on March 3, 2015 at 7:50am

Well here they going again to torment a$$ ... ):

Mixing all the governing laws in one heap - without distinction of classes, sphere of application and characteristics of drones.   It's like how to implement the equal rules for toy cars and mining trucks.

Comment by Acorn on March 3, 2015 at 6:26pm


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