From The Canadian Press
Oct 21, 2014
Federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt has launched a public campaign to help make sure Canadians are flying drones safely.
Raitt announced new guidelines for the increasingly popular unmanned aircraft, and trumpeted the Transport Canada website, which gives operators of drones an easy-to-read list of do’s and don’ts.
Online ads and a social media campaign are to follow.
Those flying drones for commercial use or using devices over 35 kilograms must apply for a special permit from the federal regulator.
Transport Canada has seen a spike in those applications, issuing 945 certificates last year — a 500 per cent jump from 2011.
Drones are being used for a range of purposes — from hobbyists to farmers surveying crops and even movie productions looking for an epic aerial shot.
Most drones range in price from a few hundred dollars for personal aircraft up to $200,000 for commercial grade units and can be operated with a controller, similar to ones used for video games, or by a tablet or an iPhone.
Transport Canada states that UAVs can not be flown higher than 90 metres, to limit safety concerns with other aircraft, and are required to be within the line of sight of the pilot or someone who is in contact with a pilot.
Helping Canadians understand their responsibilities and comply with Canada’s safety laws
October 21, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario – Transport Canada
The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today launched the Government of Canada’s safety awareness campaign for unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), or drones. The national campaign will help ensure UAV users—both recreational and commercial—understand the rules of the skies and always think safety first.
The first phase of the campaign, unveiled today, provides the public with new safety guidelines and an easy to follow infographic that clarifies when to apply for Transport Canada permission to fly their UAV. This winter, the second phase of the campaign will include search engine and social media advertising, awareness videos and a simpler process to apply for permission to fly. Transport Canada has also launched tc.gc.ca/SafetyFirst, which provides Canadians with the information and advice they need to fly their UAV safely and legally.
The safety guidelines introduced today complement the existing requirements and will help ensure Canadians understand the risks and responsibilities of operating an unmanned aircraft. In addition to respecting the Canadian Aviation Regulations, UAV operators must follow the rules in all acts and regulations, including the Criminal Code as well as all municipal, provincial, and territorial laws regarding trespassing and privacy.
-Transport Canada regulates the use of all aircraft, manned and unmanned, to keep the public and our airspace safe and secure.
-Canada has had safety regulations in place that govern the use of UAVs since 1996.
-Transport Canada is now working to develop new regulations that will help safely integrate unmanned aircraft into civil airspace, while maintaining the safety of those on the ground and in the skies.
-Operators must apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate if they use their UAV for commercial purposes or if it weighs more than 35 kilograms (regardless of how it’s used).
-If a UAV is operated without a Special Flight Operations Certificate and should be, Transport Canada can issue fines of up to $5,000 for an individual and $25,000 for a company.
-If an operator does not follow the requirements of their Special Flight Operations Certificate, Transport Canada can issue fines of up to $3,000 for an individual and $15,000 for a business.
-Flying an UAV too close to passenger jets or closer than 8 kilometres to airports can lead to criminal charges and steep fines for individuals and companies.
Quote “As Minister of Transport, it’s my job to make sure we keep our skies safe for aircraft of all sizes. This campaign will help build awareness so that Canadians always think safety first and understand how to operate their drones safely and legally.” The Honourable Lisa Raitt Minister of Transport
Infographic: Flying a UAV? You may need special permission from Transport Canada: http://www.tc.gc.ca/safetyfirst
Safety Guidelines: how and where to fly your UAV: http://www.tc.gc.ca/safetyfirst