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International UAS Operator Survey – Request for participation

July 28, 2017  By Unmanned Systems Canada

July 28, 2017 – Canadian companies are encouraged to take a few moments to complete this UVSI survey.

This survey is not only important to develop a better international perspective on the state of the UAS industry today, but also is a mechanism for Canadian companies to promote their capabilities to an international audience. All respondents will receive the survey conclusions free of charge. Unmanned Systems Canada is a long-standing member of UVSI.

Dear UAS/RPAS/Drone Community Members,

Currently, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems/Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems/Drone (UAS/RPAS/Drone) community, as well as the regulatory authorities and the press, make suppositions concerning the drone market (the market sectors involved), as well as the flight operations actually taking place in these market sectors. These suppositions are not based on justifiable numbers. In addition, there are no commonly accepted definitions of the terms to be used to describe the market sectors and flight operations. The consequence is that the messages getting out to potential customers, investors and regulatory authorities, as well as the general public, are not always clear.


This survey has as purpose to contribute to correcting this situation and at the same time contribute to harmonizing the terminology used by all, when referring to the non-military UAS/RPAS/ Drone market (Commercial & Non-Commercial).

This survey is the opportunity for Canadian UAS / RPAS / Drone operators (current and future) to make sure that their operations are taken into account by the international regulatory authorities.

The objective of this survey is to:

1. Identify the market sectors in which drone flight operations are currently taking place;

2. Quantify the mission purposes of the flight operations [Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) & Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)] currently taking place in compliance with the applicable national rules or regulations;

3. Identify the market sectors in which Very Low Level (VLL) BVLOS flight operations (below 500 feet AGL) are anticipated to take place in the near term (1 to 2 years);

4. Identify the market sectors where BVLOS flight operations (above 500 feet AGL) are envisaged to take place in the medium term (2 to 5 years); and

5. Quantify the flight mission purposes in the categories indicated in points 3 & 4 above in the medium/long term (2 to 10 years).

This generic survey is aimed at the worldwide UAS/RPAS/Drone operator community and is an opportunity for all drone operators to make sure that their specific flight missions/applications are taken into account.

In addition, this survey will permit to create a factual & realistic representation of the current & upcoming UAS/RPAS/Drone market sectors and flight missions.

It has an operation-centric approach and does not make a distinction between UAS /RPAS/Drones according to their mass.

This survey has been published in five languages (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish).

The responses supplied to this survey will NOT be nominally attributed to the companies/organizations having supplied them.

The conclusions of this survey will be enlightening for all, and will have an impact on the thinking of national & international regulatory authorities and defining priorities.

The Canadian UAS/RPAS/Drone operators community is invited to contribute to the Survey on UAS/RPAS/Drone Operations.

Completing the survey will only take 10 minutes.

The submission deadline is September 15, 2017.

The document “The Non-Military RPAS Market (Commercial & Non-Commercial)” supplies additional information & examples that may be useful. It is available (downloadable) along with the survey.

Other relevant reference documents can be found at

All operators contributing with inputs to this survey will be nominally listed as “Survey Contributors” in the final conclusions and will receive a copy of the conclusions.

Publication of Conclusions
The conclusions will be published during the first half of October 2017 and will be made available, free-of-charge, to the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO), European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS), European Commission (DG ECHO, DG ENV, DG GROW, DG HOME, DG MOVE, DG R&I), European Union agencies (EASA, EMSA, ESA, FRONTEX, GSA, SESAR), EUROCONTROL, as well as national aviation authorities in multiple countries worldwide, national public-private partnerships/civil drone councils, UVS International members, national drone associations (incl. the 32 members of the International RPAS Coordination Council) & their respective members, the international UAS / RPAS / drone operators community (all applications), model aircraft associations, international aviation community stakeholders (e.g. AIA, ASD, ATCA, CANSO, CoESS, EBAA, ECA, EuroSDR, FAI, GSMA, IAOPA, IATA, IFATCA), the international press, and all other interested parties.

Since this survey was launched on 28 June 2017, we have received completed survey forms from 41 countries: Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Rep., Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Zambia.

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