Transport Canada has proposed new drone regulations that will set strict limits on where drone operators can fly their drones and what they must do to operate one.
The regulations on Transport Canada’s website, cover “small drone operations” to “complex drone operations,” and include an interactive map of “no drone” areas.
One local commercial drone operator is concerned about how the proposed regulations could affect commercial businesses.
“I think a lot of the new laws that are coming out will just turn more people into criminals,” said Art Raham, a certified drone operator. He explained that the rules are changing drastically for commercial drone operators and soon, many won’t be able to keep a drone as part of their business.
Raham said that he brought his drone into his freelance camera business to add a new kind of camera service for his customers, but now it has become the most popular service that he offers.
Raham said that although he is in favour of Transport Canada’s regulations to make the airspace safer, he thinks they are going about it the wrong way. “If the drone laws were to change tomorrow, I would be flying illegally pretty much anywhere,” said Raham, as he explained his frustration over the regulations.
Although much will change for commercial operators, Raham says that he does not think the regulations will cause change for recreational drone users.
Some of the proposed regulations include:
- Having liability insurance
- Have a design standard drone
- Must get approval from air traffic control if flying in a controlled airspace
- Have a pilot permit (specific to small drones)
- Fly at least 150 meters from open-air assemblies of people
- Fly 30 meters from people, vehicles, vessels
Transport Canada has not yet released a date for when the regulations will be passed.