It’s happened. The proposed UAV regulations from Transport Canada have finally come into enforceable effect. That’s a good thing, and not much has actually changed.
- 90m altitude max is roughly 300ft, same as it’s been for a while
- stay 75m (250ft roughly) away from EVERYTHING. Someone coming over to talk to you about your cool drone? Land. Now.
- no more backyard flying unless you have a huge country backyard
- no flying in parks where people are
- weight classifications changed – there are now separate exemptions for <1kg and 1-25kg
- you still need a minimum of $100k insurance recreationally
- you still need to be 18+
- you still can’t fly at night
- 90% of consumer units now fall into the <1kg category, including but not limited to:
- Yuneec Breeze
- Yuneec Q500
- Yuneec Typhoon H
- DJI Phantom series
- DJI Mavic
- Will units like the Hubsan be subject to this?
- There is a chance, no matter how remote, that when flying even a 46g unit outdoors, you may still be subject to these regulations. Remember, fly safe.
- NEW – Your full legal name and mailing address need to be on your drone in case of an incident. Makes sense. And easier than having to register in a federal database.
- NEW – 500m LOS distance – as a recreational pilot there is really no circumstance where you need to fly more than half a kilometre from where you are. This new addition makes perfect sense to us. We do think this one may upset many traditional plane and fixed wing pilots as those units can quickly get beyond 500m. We shall see what comes of this.
- NEW – Notification form – EVERY time you want to fly, you are now required to fill out the Notification form so Transport Canada is aware of your operation, even recreationally. To us, this seems a bit excessive and will likely change, but the reasoning is solid: if you want to be treated like an aircraft pilot, you will have to register every single flight you make, just like an aircraft pilot.
- NEW – Well, technically changed not new. We had always the chance of a minimum $5,000 fine recreationally, though some would debate if it would stand up in court. Now we have an up to $3,000 fine that will most definitely stick.
- NEW – Training is now required to fly a UAV. This is the best news we’ve heard all day. Fortunately, we offer a full day UAV Operator that will get you the information you need.
- NEW – No Drone Zone signage allows anyone to essentially post a sign on their property which prevents drones from flying there with federal repercussions if ignored.
So yeah, drones are being taken seriously now. Is it possible things are becoming too restrictive? Perhaps. Maybe there will be adjustments as time goes on. The primary concern of any governing body should be the safety of its people, and with the few irresponsible UAV operators out there, we personally think these new regulations aren’t too bad. It really will come down to enforcement.
Think of it like car traffic. On a daily basis we all see people driving poorly, perhaps even ourselves. We know it’s cost prohibitive for government to hire enough enforcement officers to catch every offence, but do you want to take the chance of the being the one made example of?