FAA certified and approved for drone operations

We are pleased to announce that SkyMotion Video is now fully FAA certified for drone operations throughout the USA!

While SkyMotion Video has enjoyed Standing SFOCs (Special Flight Operations Certificates) from Transport Canada to operate drones throughout Canada for years now, we have stayed away from conducting drone work within the USA. This was done due to the restrictions imposed by the FAA until the end of 2016. These restrictions had for the most part essentially banned the commercial use of drones.

SkyMotion Video’s Chuck Taylor completed the remote pilot examination last week and has since been issued his Airman Certification for Remotely Piloted sUAS (Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems).

While the certification is good nationally and for any areas controlled by the FAA, it should be pointed out that it does not mean that drones can be used anywhere. The biggest difference between operations here in Canada, and those in the USA occurs when operating within an airport control zone. While the SFOC from Transport Canada allows us to operate legally, it still has an array of conditions we must work within. One such condition is to coordinate through NAV CANADA when working within a control zone. In Canada, this is a fairly simple task and requires about 48 hours notice in most situations. However, in the USA, the FAA requires remote pilots to apply for a waiver using their web portal to get clearance for the control zone they wish to fly in. While this has the potential of being a nice streamlined solution where operators have a central point of contact for getting clearance, it is currently a very time-consuming procedure. At the time of this writing, the FAA asks for 90 days notice when applying for a waiver. That said, class G airspace does not require a waiver, and the certification allows us to operate in these areas quite freely. To learn more, check out our Regulations Page.

It is strange to have operated in about 30 countries around the world, but never next door. And so, with now being FAA certified and approved, we look forward to finally providing our world-class services for our neighbours to the south!

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