THE FIRST COMPLIANT SFOC ISSUED IN QUEBEC
Transport Canada issued the first compliant operator SFOC to a company based in the province of Quebec.
On November 17, 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 Canada without prior notification to Transport Canada. Arpentage Parleciel becomes one of the first companies, if not the first company, to obtain a compliant SFOC covering all Canadian provinces and territories. 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.
General Manager of Spectral Aviation
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May 11th 2017 – An agreement between the Quebec UAS Centre of Excellence (UAS CE), the Texas Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation (LSUASC) and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) was made public on May 9th during the Canadian networking reception of the annual Xponential conference held in Dallas.
The three parties agreed to provide joint services and products to enhance the integration of Unmanned Aircraft / Aerial Systems (UAS) into the US and Canadian airspace. The agreement is aiming at areas of beneficial opportunities like service provider credentialing, UAS flight test partnering, test site policies and procedures collaboration as well as training joint support.
According to the Quebec UAS Centre of Excellence Director General Marc Moffatt, “UAS CE is very excited about this agreement with the Texas Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation (LSUASC) and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). We believe that this partnership represents a major step for the civil & commercial UAS community, which should allow us to work conjointly in various R&D fields, BVLOS and more, as well as sharing developments in both the Canadian and United States industries. The Quebec government has recently recognized the importance of developing an ecosystem dedicated to the civilian UAS industry where the UAS CE will play a leadership role in the initiative. This agreement should also benefit the Quebec ecosystem initiative underway”.
According to the Lone Star UAS Center Executive Director, Jerry H. Hendrix, “We are excited to be a part of this momentous occasion and to work collaboratively with the Quebec UAS Centre of Excellence and our friends at TEEX. This further signifies the global impact that unmanned aircraft systems are having across the world. Common research, testing and integration in Canadian domestic airspace and in the US national airspace will be of great benefit to Transport Canada, the FAA and global partners. In items like detect and avoid and beyond visual line of sight operations, better solutions for commercialization will evolve. Global partners will recognize the value of the agreement to provide them with a common solution addressing research, testing, training, credentialing and operating unmanned aircraft systems. This MOU and new collaborative relationship sets the framework for expansion of our global partners across country boundaries”.
“I am excited about this partnership between TEEX, UAS CE and LSUASC”, says Gary Sera, TEEX CEO. “TEEX looks forward to leveraging our 50+ years of training experience to enhance training and credentialing in the UAS industry both in the United States and in Canada”.
This agreement is the result of many discussions and consultations between the three parties, initiated in May 2016 at the occasion of the Quebec-Texas Seminar on Drones in New-Orleans and co-organized by the Quebec office in Texas. The agreement established a joint quarterly meeting structure which should focus on developing projects and identifying the necessary funding.
About Quebec UAS Centre of Excellence (UAS CE)
The Unmanned Aerial System Centre of Excellence (UAS CE) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop an international centre of expertise, services and innovation in design, applications and UAS operations. Since its incorporation in 2011, UAS CE participated in numerous industry meetings to support the regulation development in Canada and Transport Canada has recognized the UAS Centre of Excellence as the testing site in the province of Quebec. The Centre is also working closely with their partners and the Quebec Ministry of Economy (MÉSI) to develop fruitful collaboration with international partners.
About Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation (LSUASC)
The Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation (LSUASC), founded on the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 2013, was established in response to an FAA initiative to integrate UAS into the national airspace. LSUASC is composed of a team of highly engaged researchers, entrepreneurs and aviation industry professionals. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi led Texas’ successful efforts to become a FAA UAS test site, which includes numerous test ranges covering more than 68,000 square miles of airspace from the Gulf of Mexico to the Big Bend region of Texas.
About Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX)
TEEX is an internationally recognized leader in the delivery of emergency response, homeland security, workforce training and exercises, technical assistance, product testing and economic development. Last year, TEEX served more than 168,000 people from every US state and territory and 82 countries worldwide. TEEX makes a difference by providing training, developing practical solutions and saving lives.
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UAS Centre of Excellence (UAS CE)
Mr. Marc Moffatt, Director General
Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence & Innovation (LSUASC)
Mr. Joe Henry, Director Outreach & Commercialization
Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX)
Mr. Steve Williams, Director of Operations & Strategic Development