As drones have become more widespread in the consumer market, new regulation has been needed to ensure air traffic safety. In 2018, the U.S. introduced the FAA Reauthorization Act, which helped provide clarity to pilots of unmanned vehicles. Now, Transport Canada has announced new drone regulations that will go into effect in the middle of 2019.
Similar to the U.S. Act, Canadian regulations hope to guide expectations for commercial pilots and hobbyists. Drone manufacturers are being affected as well, as their products will need to be reviewed for compliancy. Microdrones’ Sales Manager for US/Canada, Sebastien Long, shares his outlook on how these regulations will affect the market. Listen to our latest podcast, Propelling, or review the summary below.
The Canadian Region has just recently announced that Transport Canada is going to bring a new set of regulations that will take place on June 1st of 2019. Microdrones’ Sales Manager for US/Canada, Sebastien Long, recognizes these regulations mean new rules for compliance, both for commercial and hobby drones, so it’s important to understand compliancy. Sebastien explains, “We have to make sure our pilots, customers and everyone involved is compliant and stays ahead of these new regulations. The new rules are designed to help people know what to expect. Currently, there were no real certificate requirements to be a drone operator. There was no approval process or license required to operate a drone in Canada. Transport Canada has developed an online test to receive the proper certification to pilot a drone. The license will basically classify the pilot as either a hobbyist or commercial pilot.”
Under the new set of regulations provided by Transport Canada, Canadian drone pilots must follow the rules in the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs). Part IX – Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems contains most of the rules that apply to drones. Drone pilots will also be required to carry a valid drone pilot certificate and only fly drones that are marked and registered.
Compliance: Can I Fly My Drone?
With new regulations and levels of compliance, Transport Canada has identified two main categories of operation, basic or advanced, which are based on distance from bystanders and airspace rules. Drone pilots who need to fly outside the rules for basic or advanced operations will need to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC).
Long feels this is welcome news for Microdrones and other professional drone companies. He says, “Right now, the new guidelines help give a better definition and operating procedure for drone use. So, if you want to fly drones as a hobby, you can pilot as a Basic operator. This means you may fly in uncontrolled airspace, more than 30 metres from bystanders and never over their heads. For Microdrones, we would qualify as an Advanced Operator, so that we may fly in controlled airspace, within 30 meters of bystanders and possibly, over their heads. That makes a big difference for drone operators and businesses who fly their drones and perform applications in and around the job-site. Furthermore, Microdrones was already listed under the compliant list in Transport Canada. That means our md4-1000 and md4-3000 will be grandfathered in. So, anyone already flying our drones will have approval. However, they should still ensure they are operating within the new regulations that begin on June 1, 2019.”
Regulations vs. Manufacturing
It’s obvious that a pilot will need to be aware of these new regulations, to safely operate and fly their drone. Manufacturers like Microdrones, are also paying close attention to new rules and regulations, to make certain their customers have the latest compliant drones and support to operate them safely.
Long says, “Usually regulations like this are pretty well received by anyone operating drones. They want clarity on where they can and can’t fly. When it comes to manufacturing drones, not only do we want to make sure our products are in compliance with all regional rules and regulations, we also want to exceed all safety expectations. One of the advantages of flying a Microdrones Integrated System is that we can ensure reliability, quality of components, verification of the system and the overall engineering. Our team has developed the highest-quality aircraft while integrating the most advanced sensors, accessories, and kits. We wanted our clients, operators and customers to have an advantage over cheap systems."
For more information on the new Canadia rules and regulations for flying a drone safely click here.
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