Under existing regulations the use of laser payloads, such as LiDAR requires a special approval from Health Canada as well as a “special” SFOC for such use.
This will not change in the proposed new regulations, laser devices such as LiDAR will still require an SFOC, and are excluded under the new regulation primary allowances.
900.26 No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft if the aircraft is transporting explosive, corrosive, flammable or biohazardous material or a payload consisting of a directed bright light source as defined in section 601.14 or a payload that can be jettisoned, self-propelled, dispersed or dropped unless the operation is conducted under a special flight operations certificate — UAS issued under section 904.03 and the pilot may conduct an operation set out in subsection 902.51(2).
This is in our view short sighted by Transport Canada, given the growing industrial use of LiDAR on UAVs and the fact many are eye safe devices, used without restriction on ground based vehicles already.
As part of the recent Transport Canada regulatory engagement sessions on the proposed new UAV regulations was also the introduction of the newly created UAS Task Force. It was noted during the session that this new group was formed as a result of new budget in 2017.
As per the presentation the Task Force is described as follows:
Introduction to the Task Force
Budget 2017 committed to modernize Canada’s transportation system, with funding for UAS to:
“Develop regulations for the safe adoption of connected and autonomous vehicles and unmanned air vehicles… Work with industry, provinces, territories and municipalities to establish pilot projects… [and] Provide the standards and certifications that industry will need to safely use these new technologies”
TC will implement Budget 2017 commitments through a dedicated UAS Task Force.
Mandated to address safety and regulatory gaps, proactively address UAS as a disruptive technology, and foster economic success for the industry.
Will deliver regulations, certifications, and standards to lay the foundation for the future of UAS in Canada, support innovative pilot projects and test sites, and work with industry to integrate UAS into Canada’s air transportation system.
The following is a PDF copy of the Transport Canada UAS Regulatory Engagement Session slides that are being presented in the ongoing cross country meetings discussing the upcoming proposed UAV regulations:
We received the following from a reader in Ontario that was asked to share some info they received from Nav Canada London FIC in regards to NOTAMs, as outlined below:
All drone operators who file NOTAMs (Notice to Airmen) with the London FIC are requested to file these NOTAMs in the afternoon or evening (as opposed to in the morning or after midnight) whenever possible. Please keep in mind that NAVCANADA can only issue NOTAMs within 48 hours of when the activity starts. All FICs are open 24 HRS so if a job comes in with little notice, the FIC will still accommodate the NOTAM, but if that is not the case, and the job is within 48 hours, calling in the afternoon is optimal. This is especially important when a drone operator calls to file multiple NOTAMs.
In addition to this, it is also very helpful if the operator can provide the information requested as per the example provided below. The coordinates for your job-site can be determined using Google Maps by finding the location and left-clicking (to drop a pin) on the site. The coordinates will show up in a small dialog box at the bottom of the screen as a hyperlink (in decimal degrees). Clicking on the link will display the coordinates in DDMMSS in the blue area of the location box at the top left side of the page. Use the appropriate units of measurement when describing the drone. Don’t worry about the AD reference, we calculate it here.
If you feel that you will be filing numerous NOTAMs with the FIC, please enquire about setting up a template with us. This allows us to store your drone data and contact information so that when you call for a NOTAM, all we need to obtain is the specifics of the job itself. When we create a template, we usually call it by the operator’s name (eg. UAV-Smith).
Drone procedures are an ongoing work in progress for all the agencies involved (NAVCANADA, Transport Canada, airport operators, etc.) so I can’t speak for how other FICs are developing their procedures, but hopefully theirs will be similar.
150001 NOTAMN CYQF INNISFAIL CYQF UNMANNED AIR VEHICLE ACT RADIUS 0.25 NM CENTRE 515919N 1141010W (APRX 8 NM SSW AD) SFC TO 350 FT AGL. WINGSPAN 40 INS. WEIGHT 5.5 LB. COLOUR BLACK. YYMMDDHHMM TIL YYMMDDHHMM
As part of the new proposed Canadian UAV regulations is a comment period for public to make their voice heard on issues, thoughts and concerns with the coming changes. There are only 90 days to let Transport Canada know what you think. Send your feedback by October 13th to:
Safety and Security Group,
Department of Transport,
Place de Ville, Tower C,
330 Sparks Street, Ottawa,
Ontario K1A 0N5
Feedback may also be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
It should be noted that feedback during the UAS Task Force sessions being held across the country DOES NOT substitute written submissions, so be sure to also submit them via the methods above even if you voiced them in person.