Recreational

Transport Canada UAS Task Force

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.

Proposed Canadian UAV Regs Review – Give Your Feedback

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:

Chief,
Regulatory Affairs,
Civil Aviation,
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 carrac@tc.gc.ca

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.

Transport Canada Stakeholder Engagement Sessions

In support of the new regulatory framework for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) published in Canada Gazette, Part I on July 14, 2017, Transport Canada (TC) is hosting a series of stakeholder engagement sessions in select cities across the country from August 1– October 3rd, 2017

These sessions will focus on TC’s risk-based approach to regulating UAS 25 kilograms or less that operate within visual line-of-sight.
Each session will comprise of a briefing by TC officials on the department’s work in support of the UAS sector, the new regulatory framework and an open discussion with TC departmental officials followed by a question and answer period. The sessions are open to members of the aviation community, UAS industry, law enforcement agencies, provinces, territories and municipalities and to the general public with an interest in the future of UAS.

Participation will be limited and will be on a first come, first served basis so we invite you to register quickly to ensure a seat in the following locations:

Calgary: August 1st, 9am-12pm
Winnipeg: August 2nd, 1pm-4pm
Halifax: August 16th, 1pm – 4pm
Moncton: August 17th, 1pm – 4pm
Vancouver: September 6th, 1pm – 4pm
Kelowna: September 8th, 9am -12pm
Montreal: September 18th, 1pm-4pm
Toronto: September 26th, 9am – 12pm
Ottawa French: October 3rd, 9am – 12am
Ottawa English: October 3rd, 1pm – 4pm
* All times listed are local

http://www.cvent.com/events/unmanned-aircraft-systems/event-summary-b974c84339f44bc5b97b9e680ea854ab.aspx

Written comments can be sent to carrac@tc.gc.ca

Halifax/HRM No Drone Policy

We recently were passed along information from a client that was denied access to HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality – Nova Scotia) property for UAV use.  We had heard conflicting reports from other operators stating that this was not the case.  For clarity we reached out to HRM for an official statement on this.  The following was received via HRM Risk & Insurance Services:

“Commercial and recreational drone use is relatively new and therefore what we call a new and emerging risk. Until sufficient time has passed and data available to enable additional research including tracking of claims or incidents, regretfully, there will be no permits or approvals issued for commercial or recreational drone usage from HRM property.

With the exception of HRM’s emergency response Teams, HRM has made the decision not to allow commercial or recreational drone use from HRM property. This extends to and includes the issues of permits and approvals for commercial or recreational drone use from HRM parks and open spaces. Drone use over streets and sidewalks may cause a distraction or hazard for motor vehicle operators -including Metro Transit and is especially concerning.

Prior to reaching this decision, significant research on the use of drones- both commercially and recreationally in other Canadian Municipalities and across North America was completed. All applicable legislation, drone design, the variety of uses and industry standards were reviewed.”

This essentially puts all HRM operated/manged areas, such as parks, sports fields, green spaces off limits to recreational & commercial drone use.  It is unclear what the penalties may be for violation, however it would be a violation of SFOC conditions as property owner permission is required.  This applies only to use from HRM property directly, operations based on private area or areas managed by other agencies should still be possible as HRM can only control property access not airspace.

We are disappointed in this backward approach with a complete ban on all use.  UAVs offer the potential of many great uses when done properly, legally, by insured and trained operators, tasks that may otherwise be done via riskier traditional means.  HRM’s approach to stop all use limits growth of the industry within the region.

Many/most other cities in Canada, while may have bylaws on recreational use, do have processes to allow for commercial operation of UAVs and see the value and benefit of their use, unfortunately HRM seems to feel a complete ban is the easier solution.

Halifax promotes itself as an innovative technical region for business, however policies such as this paint a different picture.  Those with concerns we suggest reach out to your Councillor to voice concerns.

Proposed Canadian UAV Regs Review – UAV Categories

Under the upcoming Canadian UAV regulations multiple operating categories are proposed to mitigate the risks by requiring increasingly more stringent requirements as the weight of the UAV increases, as well as the areas of operation.

  • 250 g or less – unregulated (micro)
  • more than 250 g but not more than 1 kg (very small)
  • more than 1 kg but not more than 25 kg (small)

Within the small category there is a distinction based on the complexity of the operation and area it is being flow within:

  • limited operations
  • complex operations

Operation of a UA this size in a rural location (see footnote 6) would be referred to as a “limited operation,” whereas in a built-up area, near an aerodrome or within controlled airspace, as a “complex operation.”

For the purposes of these proposed Regulations, a definition of the term built-up area (see footnote 7) is proposed and would allow a person to be able to identify if they are in a built-up area.

Footnote 7
Built-up area means a populated or developed area of a locality, including a city, a town, a village or a hamlet.

Each of these comes with its own restrictions and allowances:

tc-new-regs

For the majority of most current commercial operators, small complex will be the primary category.

Full requirements & restrictions for each category are as follows:

UA of more than 250 g but not more than 25 kg

The following requirements, for example, would apply to all UAS pilots/operators irrespective of the weight of the UA and areas of operation:

  • Clearly mark the UA with the name, address and telephone number of the operator;
  • Notify air traffic control if the UA inadvertently enters or is likely to enter controlled airspace;
  • Operate in manner that is not reckless or negligent (that could not endanger life or property);
  • Give right of way to manned aircraft;
  • Use another person as a visual observer if using a device that generates a streaming video also known as a first-person view (FPV) device;
  • Confirm that no radio interference could affect the flight of the UA;
  • Do not operate in cloud; and
  • Have liability insurance of at least $100,000.

UA of more than 250 g but not more than 1 kg (very small)

It is proposed that a recreational or non-recreational UA pilot who operates a UA that weighs between 250 g and 1 kg and who operates it anywhere must adhere to the following requirements and limits including, but not limited to:

  • (1) Pass a written knowledge test (similar to a boating (see footnote 4) test) to demonstrate aeronautical knowledge in specific subject areas, such as airspace classification and structure, the effects of weather and other areas;
  • (2) Be at least 14 years of age;
  • (3) Operate at the following minimum distance from an aerodrome: 3 nautical miles (NM) [5.56 km] from the centre of the aerodrome. The required distance from heliports and/or aerodromes used exclusively by helicopters would be 1 NM (1.85 km);
  • (4) Operate at least 100 feet (30.5 m) from a person. A distance of less than 100 feet laterally would be possible for operations if conditions such as a reduced maximum permitted speed of 10 knots (11.5 mph) and a minimum altitude of 100 feet are respected;
  • (5) Operate at a maximum distance of 0.25 NM (0.46 km) from the pilot;
  • (6) Operations over or within open-air assemblies of persons (see footnote 5) would not be allowed;
  • (7) Operate below 300 feet;
  • (8) Operate at less than 25 knots (29 mph); and
  • (9) Night operations would not be allowed.

UA of more than 1 kg but not more than 25 kg (small)

If a person intends to operate a UA that weighs more than 1 kg (2.2 lb.) but not more than 25 kg (55.1 lb.), it is proposed that they comply with increasingly stringent requirements depending on where they operate. Operation of a UA this size in a rural location (see footnote 6) would be referred to as a “limited operation,” whereas in a built-up area, near an aerodrome or within controlled airspace, as a “complex operation.”

For the purposes of these proposed Regulations, a definition of the term built-up area (see footnote 7) is proposed and would allow a person to be able to identify if they are in a built-up area. In addition to specific requirements/limitations pertaining to either a limited or complex operation, some common requirements are proposed. A person who wants to operate a small UA, for example, would be required to perform a site survey prior to launch to identify any obstacles and keep maintenance and flight records.

Small UA (limited operations)

If a person wants to operate a UA that weighs more than 1 kg but not more than 25 kg in an environment with a lower population and less air traffic (generally referred to as a “rural area”), it is proposed that they must adhere to the following requirements and limits, including, but not limited to:

  • (1) Pass a written knowledge test (similar to a boating test) to demonstrate aeronautical knowledge in specific subject areas, such as airspace classification and structure, the effects of weather and other areas;
  • (2) Be at least 16 years of age;
  • (3) Operate at the following minimum distance from an aerodrome: 3 NM (5.56 km) or greater, respecting the control zone; or 1 NM (1.85 km) if there is no control zone. The required distance from heliports and/or aerodromes used exclusively by helicopters would be 1 NM (1.85 km);
  • (4) Operate at least 250 feet (76.20 m) from a person. A lateral distance of less than 250 feet would be possible for operations if conditions such as a maximum permitted speed of 10 knots (11.5 mph) and a minimum altitude of 250 feet are respected;
  • (5) Operate at a minimum distance of 0.5 NM (0.93 km) from a built-up area;
  • (6) Operate at a maximum distance of 0.5 NM (0.93 km) from the pilot;
  • (7) Operations over or within open-air assemblies of persons (see footnote 8) would not be allowed;
  • (8) Operate below 300 feet (91.44 m) or 100 feet (30.48 m) above a building or structure with conditions;
  • (9) Operate at less than 87 knots (100 mph); and
  • (10) Night operations would not be allowed.

Small UA (complex operations)

Operating a heavier UA near populated areas may pose a greater probability and severity of an incident or accident involving people or property. Operations within 0.5 NM (0.93 km) of a built-up area, near an aerodrome or in controlled airspace would necessarily need preparations and involve more than buying a UAS and reading the operating manual. If a person would want to operate a UA that weighs more than 1 kg but not more than 25 kg in this type of environment, it is proposed that they adhere to the following three unique requirements:

  • (1) Have a UAS that is in compliance with a standard published by a standards organization accredited by a national or international standards accrediting body; (see footnote 9) have available the statement from the manufacturer that the UAS meets the standard; and do not modify the UAS. Transport Canada would alleviate the requirement for a pilot/operator to have a UAS that meets the design standards for operation in a complex operating area if that pilot/operator has bought a UAS prior to the coming-into-force date of the new regulations;
  • (2) Register the UAS with Transport Canada and ensure that the certificate of registration is readily available by the pilot-in-command; and
  • (3) Obtain a pilot permit that would be valid for five years. The pilot permit application to Transport Canada would include, for example, the following:
    • • An attestation of piloting skills by another UA pilot, and
    • • The successful completion of a comprehensive knowledge exam.

The following requirements and limits would also apply:

  • (1) Pass a comprehensive written knowledge test (part of the pilot permit requirement above);
  • (2) Be at least 16 years of age;
  • (3) Request and receive authorization for flight in airspace which is a control zone for an aerodrome from the appropriate air traffic control unit;
  • (4) Operate at least 100 feet (30.48 m) from a person. A distance of less than 100 feet would be possible for operations if conditions such as a maximum allowed speed of 10 knots (11.5 mph) and a minimum altitude of 100 feet are respected;
  • (5) Operate at a maximum distance of 0.5 NM (0.93 km) from the pilot;
  • (6) Operate over or within open-air assemblies of persons if operated at an altitude of greater than 300 feet, but less than 400 feet, and from which, in the event of an emergency necessitating an immediate landing, it would be possible to land the aircraft without creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface;
  • (7) Operate at a maximum of 400 feet (121.92 m) or 100 feet above a building or structure with conditions; and
  • (8) Night operations would be allowed with conditions.