No Drone Zone – Transport Canada’s Negative View on UAVs

Today Transport Canada and Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, kicked off a new campaign to address the growing concern over drones and aviation safety. While pushing drone safety forward is a positive, this particular event framed the entire UAV industry in a negative light and was little more than fear mongering on the potential for a major accident despite there not being any cases to date.

Mark Laroche, President and CEO, Ottawa International Airport Authority, went so far as to reference the recent incident in the UK of an apparent drone strike, that was unconfirmed and reported in many cases as being a plastic bag.

Daniel-Robert Gooch President, Canadian Airports Council used the term “growing threat” in relation to UAVs:

“We thank the government for recognizing the rapidly growing threat that UAVs pose to commercial aircraft near airports or in restricted airspace. Today’s announcement represents a positive step towards keeping Canada’s airspace safe and moving towards regulations to address this issue.”

While COPA had a voice for private pilots, in addition to Ottawa Police, and the Canadian Airports Council, the UAV industry and recreational users were not part of the press conference nor offered a time to give their take from safe and responsible drone users.

The main focus of the announcement was the introduction of “No Drone Zone” signage that will be put up at airports and available for event organizers and other areas that drones are not wanted.  Already the media is running with statements as fact such as “Currently, drones are not allowed to fly within nine kilometres of airports” when no regulation exists for such restrictions.  As we wrote about before, there is one law CAR 602.45 that regulates recreational model aircraft to not interfere with manned aviation, and commercial operators are allowed to fly in a variety of airspace with the proper SFOC and coordination.

We as an industry need a voice or we may well be regulated out of existence.  Misleading and fear mongering information such as that presented today makes our work harder when public and media question when and where we fly based on these new statements and signs.

While Canada promotes itself as a progressive leading UAV technology country it is clear that is not the case on all levels, and like many industries may end up with only the big players left in the game when the regulatory dust settles.  Today’s announcement only adds to that fear.

Travelling to Bahamas with your Drone

We recently heard about new information on travelling with your drone to the Bahamas.  Something to keep in mind, always check ahead with your airline and country you will be vising to see what drone rules may be in effect.

New Conditions governing the use of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) in The Bahamas as outlined in Special Regulation No. 1 of the 2016 Civil Aviation Department’s Safety Regulations. These regulations apply to commercial and recreational drones and are in immediate effect:

  • A Certificate of Registration must first be secured from the Civil Aviation Department in order to import a drone. The Customs Department will detain drones at the border if a Certificate of Registration has not been obtained.
  • Drones already in The Bahamas must be registered by February 29, 2016. Failure to do so may result in drones being detained by the Flight Standards Inspectorate of the Civil Aviation Department.
  • Drones may not be operated near airports, at excessive heights, near congested or populated areas, near an organized open-air assembly, near a vessel, vehicle or structure or within close proximity to any person.


Further details on the Special Regulations may be obtained from the Civil Aviation Department, JL Center Building, Blake Road and by contacting the Flight Standards Inspectorate of the Department at 397-4700.



Canada became the world leaders in safe aviation in remote areas with the invention of bush flying. The next big step is to do some of these most challenging tasks with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), where we can once again lead the world in innovation. Operations Beyond Visual Line of Sight(BVLOS) will lead to new innovation and economic growth as outlined in the attached USC position paper.

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Drones for the Mining and Rail Industries | Aerial Insights

Episode 009: Mining companies are looking to commercial drones to acquire information that can help them decrease operating costs and meet compliance requirements. Rail operators are utilizing commercial drones to help ensure safe and reliable operations by surveying right of ways to identify overgrown brush and trees and other potential hazards. In this episode of Aerial Insights, Emmanuel De Maistre, Co-founder & CEO of Redbird, a leader in processing aerial data via commercial drones in France, joins Airware’s Jesse Kallman to discuss current enterprise needs and the regulatory environment.