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.

 

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