New Canadian Drone Regulations – Maritime Info Sessions

Transport Canada will be holding information sessions on the new regulations.  Below is the schedule for the first events in the Maritimes.


Following the publication of the Regulations Amending the Canadian Aviation Regulations (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems) on January 9, 2019, Transport Canada officials will be hosting public information sessions to answer questions on the new regulations.

The first sessions will be held:

Date Time Venue Registration
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 1400-1600 Halifax Central Library – Paul O-Regan Hall

5440 Spring Garden Road

Halifax, NS

B3J 1E9

In-person
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 1800-2000 University of Prince Edward Island – Climate Research Lab

550 University Avenue

Charlottetown, PEI

C1A 4P3

Space is limited so please contact climate@upei.ca with your name, affiliation, email and mailing address to reserve your spot
Thursday, February 21, 2019 1900-2100 Fredericton Convention Centre – Pointe Sainte Anne Room

670 Queen Street

Fredericton NB

E3B 1C2

In-person

Additional sessions in other regions will be scheduled shortly.

For further information on drone safety rules, please visit Canada.ca/drone-safety.

New Canadian Drone Regulations – DND Aerodromes

As we previously wrote, operations within 3nm of a DND managed aerodrome will still require SFOCs under the new regulations, and are not part of standard Advanced operations.

For clarification on this issue and its impact on operators that fly frequently in these zones, we reached out to Transport Canada for clarification on how this will be managed:

Our intention is to issue a standing SFOC to cover these types of situations and you should be able to work with DND and NAV Canada to continue to operate as you have been.

This is reassuring to know it can be dealt with under Standing SFOCs.

We have asked further on if an assured UAV is required under such an SFOC and are awaiting further information.

 

TC RPAS SAFE Assurance Draft & Associated Manufacturer Info

Attached are the drafted and associated documents from Transport Canada for the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Safety Assurance process.

These were provided to us by:
J. A. Martin
RPAS Task Force Engineering
Chief Engineer
Transport Canada / Transports Canada (AARV) Tower C, Place de Ville

car part ix – srpas manufacturer regulatory overview

rod – part ix srpas manufacturer regulatory review – jan 24

draft – ac 922-001 – rpas safety assurance

New Canadian Drone Regulations – Site Survey

One item that may seem obvious to some but not others is the requirement to do a site survey prior to any flights under the new regulations.

As per the CARs:

Site Survey
901.27 No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system unless, before commencing operations, they determine that the site for take-off, launch, landing or recovery is suitable for the proposed operation by conducting a site survey that takes into account the following factors:

(a) the boundaries of the area of operation;
(b) the type of airspace and the applicable regulatory requirements;
(c) the altitudes and routes to be used on the approach to and departure from the area of operation;
(d) the proximity of manned aircraft operations;
(e) the proximity of aerodromes, airports and heliports;
(f) the location and height of obstacles, including wires, masts, buildings, cell phone towers and wind turbines;
(g) the predominant weather and environmental conditions for the area of operation; and
(h) the horizontal distances from persons not involved in the operation.

This process has been mandatory for sometime for commercial SFOC holders, but for new users or previous recreational flyers it is something to keep in mind.

The process is really about knowing your surroundings in order to know where it is safe to fly and elements to avoid.  A simple step beyond merely jumping out and flying.

The biggest and most complex part of this may be knowing the airspace and where nearby airports and helipads may be.  Many not familiar with manned aviation may be unaware especially of helipads on nearby buildings for example.  Currently there are not a lot of easy to use tools readily accessible to the general public for determine this. Online tools like the the NRC Site Selection Tool are not 100% accurate and at this stage not been updated to reflect the new regulations.  There are third party tools available such as Airmarket FLYSAFE which now have a free recreational version.  Hopefully TC will work to provide better solutions in this area.

 

New Canadian Drone Regulations – Weather/Environmental Factors

With the new  Canadian drone regulations that come into effect June 1 2019 are some changes to the weather and environmental factors around when and where you can operate a drone/uav/rpas.

Gone are the minimum ceiling and visibility restrictions of the prior regulations.  Now the main factor is being able to keep the aircraft within line of sight.

Minimum Weather Conditions
901.34 No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system unless the weather conditions at the time of flight permit

(a) the operation to be conducted in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions; and
(b) the pilot of the system and any visual observer to conduct the entire flight within visual line-of-sight.

The biggest item in the above that may catch some out is “in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions” which implies within the specified operating limits such as temperature and wind speed.

On a DJI Phantom 4 Pro for example it has an Operating Temperature Range 32° to 104°F (0° to 40°C), which could restrict use during much of the year in Canada.

In addition as before, care must be taken around potential icing conditions as well:

Icing
901.35 (1) No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system when icing conditions are observed, are reported to exist or are likely to be encountered along the route of flight unless the aircraft is equipped with de-icing or anti-icing equipment and equipment designed to detect icing.

(2) No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system with frost, ice or snow adhering to any part of the remotely piloted aircraft.

As before you must keep clear of clouds as a general safety condition:

602.45 No person shall fly a kite or launch a model rocket or a rocket of a type used in a fireworks display into cloud or in a manner that is or is likely to be hazardous to aviation safety.

One big allowance now for many recreational users that had been limited to SFOC holders before is the ability to fly at night:

Night Flight Requirements
901.39 (1) No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system during the night unless the remotely piloted aircraft is equipped with position lights sufficient to allow the aircraft to be visible to the pilot and any visual observer, whether with or without night-vision goggles, and those lights are turned on.

(2) No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system using night-vision goggles unless the goggles are capable of, or the person has another means of, detecting all light within the visual spectrum.

Aerodromes vs Airports

One area of confusion when it comes to dealing with Transport Canada aviation regulations is the subtle differences between aerodrome and airport.  While the definitions are very similar and overlap there are slight differences that impact which regulations may apply and how they are applied.

The following document on the TC website provides further details: https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/publications/tp13549-chapter6-406.htm

Aerodrome or airport—what’s the difference?
The terms airport and aerodrome are often used interchangeably by the aviation industry; legislation and regulation—at least in Canada—make primary use of the latter. For instance, the Canadian Aeronautics Act defines an aerodrome as:

“Any area of land, water (including the frozen surface thereof) or other supporting surface used, designed, prepared, equipped or set apart for use either in whole or in part for the arrival, departure movement or servicing thereon or associated therewith.”

Aerodrome categories
There are three different categories of aerodromes, each presenting progressively different safety requirements. In order of ascending safety level, the categories are listed below:

  • aerodromes (small airstrips located on private property that are neither registered nor certified),
  • registered aerodromes, and
  • certified aerodromes, referred to as airports.

Registered aerodromes
While listed, registered aerodromes are not certified as airports in the Canada Flight Supplement (CFS)—a publication for pilots containing operating information for registered aerodromes and airports. Registered aerodromes are not subject to ongoing inspection by Transport Canada; however, they are inspected periodically to verify compliance with Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) and to ensure the accuracy of information published in the CFS and the Water Aerodrome Supplement (WAS). In spite of these efforts, pilots planning to use a registered aerodrome are still expected to contact aerodrome operators to confirm CFS information is current.

Certified aerodromes
Airports are aerodromes certified under Subsection 302.03 of the CARs. Despite regulations that govern registered and non-registered aerodromes, the onus remains on a pilot to determine whether an aerodrome is safe and suitable. Regulations are in place primarily to protect those unfamiliar with an airport environment—the fare-paying public and those residing in the vicinity who could be affected by unsafe airport operations.

So it summary, an airport is a certified aerodrome as per the Canadian Flight Supplement & Water Aerodrome Supplement designations.