Two Simple Questions To Ask When Hiring A Drone Operator in Canada


Drone operators are popping up everywhere, and it may be easiest to just hire 'someone you know with a drone,' but commercial operators have to follow specific rules laid out by Transport Canada.

Here are two questions to ask your potential UAV Operator:

Do you have a valid SFOC (Special Flight Operations Certificate) to cover this location?

You don’t need to go so far as to actually look at their SFOC, but be clear about where and when you expect them to operate so they can give you an honest answer.

Some operators are only approved for certain areas and regions. There are also other restrictions (like nearby airports) that they’ll need to consider when taking the job.

If they say they are exempt from the SFOC requirement it may be time to find a new drone operator. Transport Canada issued a highly misunderstood exemption from the SFOC requirement that many operators think they qualify for. Unless you’re asking them to fly in the middle of nowhere at least 9 km from the nearest village, hamlet, small grouping of buildings, etc, then they are NOT exempt.

Do you have UAV insurance?

General Liability and business insurance does not cover UAV flights. The operator needs sufficient UAV liability insurance to cover any potential risks associated with the contracted job. Be sure to ask so they, and you, are covered in the event of an accident.

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