New Transport Canada Drone Rules

March 17, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Leigh Miller |

Well, it's finally happened. Every single thing I worried about each time I saw some nut-job flying a drone irresponsibly led to this:

Prior to this order most of these were just "general" guidance based on common sense. Don't fly near airports etc, overhead of crowds of people etc. I've always felt badly for law enforcement because they really didn't have any tools to address the idiots except for the criminal code...which can be heavy handed. Now this order goes way beyond common sense and basically makes flying a drone recreationally all but impossible unless you live in the middle of nowhere. We can thank the idiots for that.

It's a crying shame but I do see where Transport Canada is coming from. For them it's strictly a safety issue and in Canada we take our right to privacy extremely seriously. This is part of the reason I did a lateral move to the smaller form factor DJI Mavic Pro from the Inspire 1 UAV. It's less intrusive in the air and easier to travel with. I'm extremely sensitive about flying it in any manner that will irritate others in the area.

Leigh Miller | Over the past few years I've watch footage after footage of drone operations within clear sight of major airports. I've seen a handful buzzing over my condo, one went right up the side of the building with it's camera aimed towards the windows and on and on and on. I wonder what took the government so long to do this given the number of recorded bad behaviour.


(5) (1) A person must not operate a model aircraft

  1. (a) at an altitude greater than 300 feet AGL;
  2. (b) at a lateral distance of less than 250 feet (75m) from buildings, structures, vehicles, vessels, animals and the public including spectators, bystanders or any person not associated with the operation of the aircraft;
  3. (c) within 9 km of the centre of an aerodrome;
  4. (d) within controlled airspace;
  5. (e) within restricted airspace;
  6. (f) over or within a forest fire area, or any area that is located within 9 km of a forest fire area;
  7. (g) over or within the security perimeter of a police or first responder emergency operation site;
  8. (h) over or within an open-air assembly of persons;
  9. (i) at night; or
  10. (j) in cloud.

(2)  A person must not operate more than one model aircraft at a time.

Essentially these rules now make flying say...on Victoria Island, British Columbia impossible due to the fact that float planes criss-cross frequently. It's possibly one of the most beautiful areas of Canada, perfect for drone footage. Toronto where I live is entirely restricted under these new rules. many positive uses for drones. At least those who operate them for commercial purposes can apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC). One of the requirements is that you must maintain insurance coverage of no less than $100,000. Seems like an arbitrary amount though since every insurer I've contacted won't sell you one for less than $500,000 in coverage at a cost anywhere between $500-1,000.


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