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Canada and its 16th of March 2017 Regs for Recreational Users

Jan 28, 2017
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I know most of the pilots here are not based in Canada but I have to share this with you guys.
Please keep in mind that most of the major Canadian cities are very highly packed to the border of the USA, and in some regions such as the city of Vancouver British Columbia it is restrictive by its terrain by the Mountains to the North and East, the pacific ocean to the west, and the american border to the south.

I will leave links in the foot notes below.

It was just announced today on the 16th of march 2017 that pilots for recreational use Canada wide will have to abide by the following effective immediately:
  • No flying higher than 90m
  • No flying closer than 75m to people/crowds, buildings (anything structure than a farm stead), or other property
  • No night flying.
  • No flying in clouds.
  • No flying in controlled or restricted airspace.
  • No flying closer than 9km of any aerodrome.*
  • No flying closer than 9km of a forest fire area.
  • No flying over or within a security perimeter of RCMP or first responder emergency operation sight.
  • No flying if you are not within 500m of the UAV
  • Visual line of sight only
  • The UAV must be marked with the contact details of the one. (Name, Address Phone Number)
This will only apply to:
  • Recreational Users
  • UAV's at 250g - 35Kg
This will not apply to:
Failure of the new regulations
  • A fine of up to $3,000.00 Cad
RCMP (Canada's police) will be enforcing, and the public are urged to contact 911 if they witness an unsafe or questionable UAV flying around.

*Canada's definition of a registered aerodrome is a airport, air field, float plane landing site aka sea plane base, heliport.
A aerodrome can also apply to John Doe's field to use for crop dusting, Jane Doe's lake with a float plane, a remote landing or take off. Any manned aircraft that will use a location land or sea (or ice) as a place to land or take off.

Transport Canada News Release - New safety rules for recreational drone use take immediate effect - Canada.ca
Transport Canada Infographic - http://www.tc.gc.ca/media/documents/ca-opssvs/Infographic-New_rules_for_recreational_drone_users.pdf
CARAC Activity Details: CARAC Activity Details
2016 Executive Summary (of the 2015 Notice of proposed amendment - UAV) - http://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/Saf-Sec-Sur/2/NPA-APM/doc.aspx?id=10519
2015 Notice of proposed amendment - UAV - http://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/Saf-Sec-Sur/2/NPA-APM/doc.aspx?id=10294

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Interesting information. I fly at/near Port Huron Michigan, just across the river from Canada.
Had a bit of a time with the US Coast Guard trying to figure out how far across the river I could fly and stay in US airspace. They were most helpful.
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They are all fairly sensible regulations in my opinion and don't differ greatly from here in the UK! Should hopefully discourage some of the idiots but still allow decent pilots to get the shots they want
Still not too onerous. I am already doing all of these things. We already could not fly higher than 90 M (300 Ft). This is the only thing that I wish were more. My Q500 4K loses video feed around 850 ft (260 M) so this isn't a problem. Really, at that range it is getting harder to see it anyway. I put my contact information on the drone as soon as I bought it in the hopes that, if I have a fly-away it will be returned. I want to stay away from people and building so as not to cause injury or damage. Flying in clouds, well, that is simply floating water, not good for the electronics.

Hopefully, they don't get more heavy handed, but so far, I'm in agreement with the regulations
Has anyone seen a online online petition? If you think this is over reach by Transport CANADA. And that a sweeping "rule" like this shouldn't be possible and should require a bill in the house, not a simple stroke of a pen by some bureaucrat you should contact your MPP's and let them know. Nothing will change if you sit by and watch it happen. This summer this will be revised again, might even be worse. Stand up and let your government know your feelings before it to late.
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The New Drone Laws in Canada Are Confusing and Contradictory

That was a well thought our treatises delving into the new drone laws in Canada. He has actually pointed out things that I had overlooked. Here on the prairies, you can land a helicopter anywhere. A lot of farmers have a landing strip for their Cessna in the field. Any animal??? A squirrel can ground you? But, the most shocking part was, If you see anyone flying a drone in contravention to these laws, call 911. 911 should be for life threatening situations... accidents, violence, robberies.. people in harms way... fires.. Not for something that can be handled by a call to your local police station Non Emergency Line. 911 is overworked as it is. Their job is too important for this. These new interim laws are so badly worded that you don't know even if you are covered by them. They mention drones on the PDF handout, but exempt UAV's in the minutia. Are they 2 different things now? I was going to go fly my drone at my usual spot today, where I have permission, but... it is a storage lot... 24 km from the nearest town. There are vehicles there. I fly away from them, but there is no way to be 75 M from them when I take off or land.
Come on Minister Garneau, lets have a little thought into these regulations. We have spent thousands of dollars each on our hobbies. Don't make it impossible to actually enjoy the hobby without feeling like a criminal.
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I think this is great that someone from law enforcement "gets it"...what really scares me is what politicians in Canada are going to come up with once they legalize 'happy hay'...I am in the middle of drafting a letter to my local MP, who just happens to be a Liberal, objecting to the new laws...if we are not heard then we will not have a say
I have written my local MP, Rachael Harder, as well as the Minister of Transport Marc Garneau, the PM, Justin Trudeau, the Liberal party and leaders of all the oppositiion parties. Squeaky wheel gets the grease. I don't want to be the "silent majority" that can be ignored because we don't speak up and must therefore, in their mind, agree with them.
There are now a lot of groups out there trying to find some common ground to work with the Department Of Transport about the new Regs. The hard part is bring all of us together to work as one. One of the better Facebook pages to join is
Kinakailangan ang Pagtiyak sa Seguridad

There is a lot of movement on this page.
We actually received a letter back from the Privacy Commissioner's office. It's a slow process, but at least TC has been informed, and the pressure is on.


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Not sure if this is just speculation or if this is the way it is going to play out in 2018 for Canadian Regulations.

After doing some research, I see that TC has fixed the definition section about Model Aircraft in their Interim Order No. 8 dated 16 June 2017:
"model aircraft means an aircraft, including an unmanned aircraft commonly known as a drone, the total weight of which does not exceed 35 kg (77.2 pounds), that is mechanically driven or launched into flight for recreational purposes and that is not designed to carry persons or other living creatures." The loophole was plugged. I have no idea what this could be:
"unmanned air vehicle means a power-driven aircraft, other than a model aircraft, that is designed to fly without a human operator on board." In the US, an UAV is a drone!

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