Nav Canada to launch Nav Drone to support flight authorisations as part of nationwide UTM system

In anticipation of continued growth in drone traffic in Canada, NAV Canada has announced plans to launch NAV Drone in spring 2021. This is NAV Canada’s official application for drone flight authorisation applications. Available on desktop and mobile devices, NAV Drone will help provide pilots and drone operators with the tools they need to safely fly their drones in Canadian airspace. Nav Canada selected Unifly as Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) technology provider in February 2020.

Nav Drone Pilots and operators will be able to plan and schedule drone flights, receive clearance responses from NAV Canada, find out where they can and cannot fly, and obtain important information regarding Canadian airspace.

Currently, all applications for authorization to fly drones in controlled airspace are manually approved by NAV Canada employees and, depending on their complexity, can take up to 48 hours to be approved. With NAV Drone, NAV Canada predicts that approximately 70% of requests will be approved automatically in the app, reducing wait times for pilots and drone operators. NAV CANADA employees will therefore be able to focus on the growing number of requests for access to controlled airspace that require detailed reviews.

From June to December 2020, NAV Canada received nearly 16,000 remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) clearance requests, an increase of 54% over the same period in 2019. These applications for authorization to fly are assessed to ensure the safety of every device that circulates in Canadian airspace, including drones and cargo, military and passenger aircraft. More pilots and drone operators are aware of Transport Canada’s RPAS rules and regulations, which came into effect on 1 June 2019 and apply to any person or driver operating drones in Canada.

NAV Drone will be available in Apple and Google Play app stores. A web version will be available on the NAV Canada site .

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