New Transport Canada Drone Regulations - Effective June 1, 2019

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New Transport Canada Drone Regulations - Effective June 1, 2019

Post by neilmack » Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:30 am

copy / paste from The Winnipeg Free Press, June 1, 2019
250 grams = .55 pounds = 8.8 ounces

New drone regulations draw praise
Commercial operators believe updated rules will benefit industry

May 31, 2019, 8:47 PM Martin Cash
Canadrone chief drone pilot Walter Weselowski (left) and managing director Rob Walker hold specialized drones from the company’s fleet.

Commercial drone operators believe new Transport Canada rules for the operation of drones, which come into effect today, are going to clear up misconceptions and ultimately allow the commercial drone-service business to take off.

Transport Canada has been talking to industry players and trying to figure out a regulatory framework for a few years. In January it announced that the new regulation would come into effect June 1, 2019.

There had been a number of regulations in place that did not take into account the growing popularity of drones as a hobby or drones as commercial application.

The fundamental changes in the new law are that, as of today, every drone weighing 250 grams and more will now have to be registered and must display a little licence plate, and all drone operators must be licensed. There are two categories of licences — basic and advanced — that are based on distance from bystanders and airspace rules.

The basic classification would be for hobbyists who are flying their drones far away from people, buildings and regulated airspace. The $10 online exam for the basic licence requires only general knowledge. For the advanced licence, a far more rigorous exam must be passed, which would typically require some kind of flight training that could cost about $200.

“We kind of like the new regulations,” said Rob Walker, managing director of Canadrone Inspection & Imaging Services Inc., a Winnipeg drone service that does mapping, survey and inspection work for municipalities, the agricultural sector and engineering and transportation firms.

“For commercial operators, it makes it very clear what you can and cannot do,” he said.

For instance, the regulation basically ends the distinction between flying a drone for fun or for work if the vehicle is more than 250 grams. So, the drone owned by an employee that sometimes get used for little jobs for the company will now have to be registered and the operator licenced.

Matthew Johnson, president and CEO of M3 Aerial Productions, has trained more than 700 drone pilots across the country and operates a commercial service. He also believes the new regulations will be a boon for business.

“I think this is a big step in the right direction,” Johnson said while on a job in southern Ontario inspecting wind farm turbine arms. “I think it will move Canada ahead of lots of other countries in terms of allowing business to flourish.”

Operators who break the new rules could face fines of between $1,000 and $25,000.

While there are only two different classes of licences, jobs that require drones to operate within a six-kilometre radius of the centre of an airport or greater than 100 feet from the presence of people, buildings or vehicles will require a special flight operations certificate from Transport Canada.

Walker said that while marketing the commercial services of drones is still somewhat of a pioneering concept, demand is growing. His firm has done work for the likes of CN, the Canadian Pacific Railway and the City of Winnipeg.

The regulations (available on a Transport Canada website a might seem like an intrusion to some, but Walker says it is really only a $15 annual expense to register the vehicle and licence the operator.

Commercial drones cost between $30,000 and $40,000, depending on how they are outfitted, and their services can cost between $200 and $500 per hour depending on what’s being done.

New drone technologies and applications are being developed all the time. In Europe, drones are being used to clean windows in highrises, Walker said.

The wind farm job Johnson was doing on Friday is a case in point.

“In the past, people needed to scale the wind turbine shaft and inspect them manually, which was dangerous and labour-intensive,” Johnson said. “We are using specialized sensors that allow the drones to map the entire surface of the wind turbine blades automatically.”

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Re: New Transport Canada Drone Regulations - Effective June 1, 2019

Post by mcdunc » Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:02 am

Thanks Neil :mexican:

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