Transport Canada comes out with new Recreational UAV rules

Today, Minister Garneau announced on behalf of Transport Canada, new rules for recreational UAV or “drone” flyers.

Here the link from TC’s website.

The summary looks like this…  You can find more details on the Transport Canada website.

Recreational users will face a fine of up to $3,000 if they are caught flying drones weighing more than 250 grams flying:

  • Higher than 90 metres.
  • Within 75 metres of buildings, vehicles, vessels, animals or people.
  • More than 500 metres away from the user.
  • At night, in clouds or somewhere you can’t see it.
  • Within nine kilometres of places where aircraft take off or land, or a forest fire.
  • Without your name, address and phone number marked on the drone itself.
  • Over forest fires, emergency response scenes or controlled airspace.

These rules are an interim order that will renew every 14 days.

As a professional operator, we think it’s important to make sure that all UAV/drone operators fly safely under the TC rules. These new measures, unfortunately,  just turned pretty much all the reasonable recreational flyers into criminals.

This is disappointing for a number of reasons;

  • Recreational flyers will more than likely ignore these rules and risk the fines;
  • Recreational pilots are the feeder teams for our commercial operations; as they learn how to fly safely, they acquire a number of the key skills that are useful for commercial pilots;
  • and these rules will make it more likely that the police and other law enforcement offices will hassle and delay legitimate commercial operators during their SFOC operations. 

We, along with others in the UAV  community in Canada in calling on Transport Canada to sit down with Recreational and Commercial users, as well as Industry groups to find out a better way to protect the public safety instead of outlawing a whole class of pilots!

More details here on Transport Canada’s website:

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