Do I need an SFOC if I'm flying my drone indoors?

Nov 16, 2016 8:00:00 AM

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Great question! Believe it or not, you aren't the first one to wonder this.

As you probably already know, if you're using your drone for anything besides the fun of flying — and you don't meet the exemption requirements — then you need a Special Flight Operations Certificate, or SFOC, from Transport Canada.

But maybe you're using your drone in a warehouse, barn, or other large structure. Maybe you're using it to film a virtual tour of a house, or do an interior building inspection. All of these are increasingly more common ways that drones are being used. And a lot of people are wondering if they still need an SFOC for that.


Read also: Am I SFOC-exhempt if my drone is under two kilograms?


Basically, Transport Canada's take on it is that if the only people present are the flight crew or people participating in the operation, everyone understands the risks involved, and you have the consent of the property owner, then you don't need an SFOC.

Here's Transport Canada's official response, taken from their website:

If you want to fly within a structure where people are present (e.g., at a sporting event, trade show, or demonstration), you must apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC).

You do not need an SFOC to fly indoors when only the UAV crew or people directly participating in the UAV operation (e.g., actors on a movie set) are present. The UAV operator should ensure that everyone present understands any possible hazards or risks.

Before you fly indoors, you also need the property owner’s consent.

So there you have it. As long as you follow those rules, you should be able to fly indoors without an SFOC!

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