Recreational

Air Transportation Safety Investigation Report A17Q016

The TSB – Transportation Safety Board of Canada has released their report on the suspected drone/aircraft collision over Quebec in October 2017:

http://www.bst-tsb.gc.ca/eng/rapports-reports/aviation/2017/a17q0162/a17q0162.asp

Noted items:

The damage was limited to a dent at the point of impact on the left wing de-icing boot, as well as scratches on the upper surface of the left wing. The damage was minor and had no effect on the airworthiness of the aircraft. The aircraft was returned to service the same day.

The investigation was unable to identify the operator of the drone involved in the collision with the Sky Jet M.G. Inc. aircraft. No debris from the drone could be found, and it could not be determined with certainty whether it was used for recreational or non-recreational purposes.

The CYQB control tower had not been informed of any UAV activity in the Class C control zone under its jurisdiction, no SFOC had been issued, and no Notices to Airmen had reported any such activity on 12 October 2017. The presence of a drone within controlled airspace had not been detected by the radar in the CYQB control tower. Because neither TC nor NAV CANADA was aware of this drone operation in the control zone, the investigation concluded that the regulations governing the operation of drones were not followed.

It is still unclear as to if this was a drone or misreporting of another object, given that no evidence was found to positively identify the drone or operator.  While we do not deny it may have been a drone, the evidence seems thin.

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.