Transport Canada made some changes to its regulations for companies or individuals wanting to fly UAVs or Drones in Canada. The move looks to simplify the application process for flying UAVs commercially and give a safer and more structured system for everyone in this ever-increasing brand of technology.
Previously, every time someone wanted to use a drone in Canada for commercial purposes, they had to send an application to Transport Canada for every flight, detailing everything from, the purpose for flying the aircraft to emergency plans in the event of an accident to receive a SFOC(Special Flight Safety Operators Ticket). For new operators, this process could take 20 days or more for an approval providing all the required information was given during the application process. Companies or persons with a proven track record of safety often got approval for 6 months to a years worth of flying without having to go through the 20 days process.
Under the new simpler rules for small unmanned air vehicles,persons operating a UAV of 2 kg or less do not have to apply for a SFOC providing the meet the exemption rules. Operating a UAV between 2.1 kg and 25 kg do not have to apply for a SFOC in certain situations, as long as they meet the exemption rules as well.
Proof of liability insurance, along with all the necessary safety precautions must be adhered to no matter what, according to Transport Canada. This move is a step in the right direction for Canadians wanting to use drone technology for many uses from, real estate aerial photography to construction progress updates. Currently in the U.S the FAA has a tight hold on allowing people to fly for commercial purposes. Many have come up with inventive ways to by-pass the FAA’s rules and have voiced their concerns for a while now.
It is legal in the U.S and Canada to fly for recreational purposes, and an application for a SFOC is not needed. Companies are manufacturing these flying machines in a way that anyone can pick one up and fly, with advanced features such as integrated GPS stabilization systems. Some can even return back to the launch point in the event the aircraft goes out-of-bounds, autonomously.
It’s great to see Canada moving ahead of other countries, who make it more difficult to fly unmanned aerial systems commercially and in some places not at all. The future is bright for this technology and we can expect more companies utilizing it in the near future.