The rising sales and evolving technology of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) make them a rapidly growing part of the aviation industry. However, as their popularity increases, so does interference with manned aircraft. This presents unique challenges in developing regulations to safely integrate UAVs into Canada’s airspace.
Transport Canada has a permissive regulatory framework that accommodates UAV operations by issuing Special Flight Operation Certificates (SFOCs). In 2010, Transport Canada established a joint industry and federal government working group to develop recommendations for regulatory changes, many of which are among the proposed changes of this document. The working group continues to develop regulatory recommendations for beyond visual line-of-sight operations.
Transport Canada seeks a balanced approach to both safely integrate UAVs into Canadian airspace and encourage innovation within this important new subsector of civil aviation. At the same time, it is important to recognize the unique risks UAVs and UAV users of varying degrees of aviation expertise, pose to other airspace users. Transport Canada must develop Canada’s future regulatory framework to be risk-based, flexible, and consistent with international partners, where appropriate.
In 2016, Transport Canada intends to introduce regulatory requirements for UAVs 25kgs or less that are operated within visual line-of-sight. The proposed regulatory amendments are intended to ensure the safe and reliable operation of UAVs in Canadian airspace and will:
- establish classifications including a proposal for the possibility of having a very small (lower threshold) category of aircraft;
- clarify terminology;
- establish aircraft marking & registration requirements;
- address personnel licensing & training; and
- create flight rules
Transport Canada also intends to preserve the SFOC process to focus on higher risk operations, including UAVs larger than 25kgs and those operated beyond visual line-of-sight.
Full document can be found here: http://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/Saf-Sec-Sur/2/NPA-APM/doc.aspx?id=10294