drone pilot flying with new regulations

New Drone Regulations And Limits For Your UAVs in Canada

Many individuals and organizations are increasingly adopting drone technology to perform various tasks. Some people use drones for recreational functions while organizations use them for commercial purposes like surveillance and monitoring in security and construction industries.

However, increased drone usage is becoming an issue of concern due to safety and security reasons. Some inexperienced users just start to fly the drone out of the box. It also seems that some of these people lack knowledge about the laws and regulations that guide drone use.

If you intend to buy a drone or you already have one, you should know that violating the law is an offense. You also need to know that it can be costly to lose your drone. Against this background, there are certain aspects that you should consider if you love drones.

Take Note Of New Drone Rules

With effect from June 1, 2019, the federal government in Canada will implement new drone regulations. You may be anxious to see your drone taking off into the skies as soon as you take it out of the box but wait a moment. You may lose your drone forever, or you risk violating new regulations.

Many inexperienced people often encounter what is called “flyaway” when they fail to control their drones. As a result, the drone loses track, and the operator may fail to locate it, or it crashes. Therefore, to avoid such incidents, it is crucial that you know the following new regulations.

The new regulations apply to all drones that weigh between 250 grams and 25 kilograms. All the drones weighing above 25 kilograms will require special registration from Transport Canada aviation department to operate it. The drone registration number needs to be displayed on the drone.

However, drones weighing less than 250 grams would not fall under these new regulations. All the same, the operators should use these drones responsibly.

Source: CBC News

Pilot Certification

The new regulation is that all commercial drone operators should obtain drone pilot certification from the responsible regulatory authorities. Commercial drone operators should be competent and can take online tests for drone pilot certificates. Commercial drone pilots need to get a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC).

The potential users of the drones will learn the basic rules when they take online tests. The other regulation is that all commercial drones need registration for easier identification. People flying personal drones should avoid operating at night.

Avoiding Airports

The drone incidents at Gatwick in December 2018 quickly come to mind where flights were delayed by about 36 hours due to drones. As a result, new regulations aim to prevent similar incidents in Canada. All drones should be operated at least 5.6 kilometers ways from the major airports and about two kilometers away from aerodromes.

Drone operators should also avoid flying at an altitude of more than 90 meters. They should also maintain a safe distance of 75 meters away from vehicles, people, animals, buildings as well as vessels. Anything can happen when you are flying your drone so you should take safety precautions to avoid causing harm to other people.

No Drunk Droning

The operation of machinery after the consumption of alcohol is not recommended. The same rule also applies to the drone industry. If you are intoxicated, you should stay away from your drone to avoid violating this important regulation.

When you are under the influence of alcohol, there are high chances of making poor judgments that can be dangerous.

Drone operators should also not transport live animals.

The other thing that you should take note of is to avoid flying a drone in clouds or freezing weather conditions. Some drones should not operate well in temperatures that are below zero degrees.

In some instances, if the weather is too hot, it is not advisable to fly your drone since it can overheat. As a result, it can malfunction and can pose a danger to other people.

The most important thing is for the drone users to read the instruction manuals that come with their devices when they are new. Many people often ignore this important step when they buy new drones. It is not advisable to assume that you know everything when you are flying your drone.

drone flying with a camera

Other Considerations For Drone Operators

  • Only citizens of Canada above 14 years, corporations, federal and municipal governments can register and own drones.
  • All individual users of drones should not respond to emergencies and fly above the security perimeter set by law enforcement agents. Only rescue and firefighters are allowed to operate their drones in such a scenario. Drones should also stay away from advertised events like concerts and parades.
  • Operation of a drone within 12 hours of drinking alcohol is prohibited. Your safety is endangered under the influence of alcohol so you should stay away from your drone.
  • If you feel tired, you should not operate your drone since this can lead to accidents.
  • You need a special certificate if you are to fly a drone in conditions where it is not always in the line of sight.
  • Under the new regulations, you can acquire drone liability insurance though not a requirement.
  • Flying a drone in poor weather conditions is not allowed. You should get special lights if you want to operate your drone at night.
  • You need a special flight certificate to fly your drone over a crowd of people or concert. The same license allows you to transport things like explosives, ammunition, and weapons.

The new drone regulations are there to stay. Hence you can only ignore them at your peril. If you break these new rules, you can face fines of about $3,000 while corporations can pay fines of up to $25,000.

People who deliberately disrupt traffic at an airport like the Gatwick incident will pay fines or could even face prison time. The Federal government is working on measures that can help to prevent a similar type of problems caused by drones. However, the primary challenge is that regular drone users already know the regulations; the issue lies in the new drone users.

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