The Need to Set an Example Part 2 – Before It’s Too Late

Back in May we wrote about the need to set an example of some of those choosing to break the UAV regulations and general common sense guidelines.  In only a few short months with better weather arriving the need for setting an example has increased as idiocy has also risen.

Today was a near miss in Vancouver. Last week in Kelowna a drone caused issues with efforts fighting a forest fire.  In the US there was another incident at JFK in the past week. In July one of the Flitelab team spoke with CBC locally to these concerns with a number of cases in Halifax of drones flying over people at local outdoor events. A few days ago this video started making the rounds out of St. John’s, again an uneducated drone user flying over a public event with no concern for the people he put at risk, or the fact this area is on the approach to the airport, and within a few yards of the jail.

The “pilot” showed his ignorance even further with this reply to a comment on potential system failures:

Its completely  modified to ensure there wont be any system failure , I’m glad you like it 🙂 its not like other cheap quads other people fly that fail, my drone is so upgraded it has never ever failed once 🙂

Thank you for your concern, I check everything 1000% before I fly, even a full battery, the imu sensors, compass, I make sure everything is 100%. its a drone for film making, cost a lot with the upgrades and all the wires n everything were upgraded to ensure nothing can possably go wrong. I use it a lot around Bowring park a lot

And I have flown in flocks of birds they are afraid of it, down in Bowring park my friend and a lot of other places.

As use grows with more and more systems coming to market so too will the issues.  It is only a matter of time before we have a major incident that leads to a knee jerk lock down of the entire use of drones, one that penalizes the good and bad.

We need to have Transport Canada step up to take control of this issue, and with assistance from regional policing agencies, start a program beyond just education but one of fines and penalties to help drive home the serious nature of these growing incidents.

As part of the NPA for the new regulations proposed for 2016 there is discussion on how to handle the recreational vs commercial use and how to work with local law enforcement, however time is of the essence.  With the increasing sale of these aircraft, now available at many big box stores, the potential for a major accident increases by the day.  I fear we will see something bad happen long before new regulations roll in late 2016.

We as an industry need to continue to educate people as best we can and report anyone that puts the public or the industry and risk via CAIRS, but there needs to be enforcement beyond mere warnings and only Transport Canada can take up the slack in that area.

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