New safety measures for drones in Canada

With the rapid increase in the use of drones, also known as unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), Transport Canada is moving with a number of safety initiatives to keep the public safe on the ground and in the sky.

Transport Canada is moving with a number of safety initiatives around drones to keep the public safe on the ground and in the sky.
Photo courtesy Christopher Aylward

Kate Young, London West MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, outlined steps taken to improve safety and support innovation in one of Canada’s fastest growing industries.

One of the steps includes launching a new incident-reporting tool to keep Canadians safe from reckless drone use, and another is issuing new exemptions for non-recreational operators that will help industry evolve and develop in a rapidly changing field.

“Transport Canada is proud of the work that’s been done over the past year to improve safety for Canadians and support innovation for the drone industry. Many Canadians will receive or purchase drones over the holidays this year and we encourage all new operators to learn the rules and help us keep the skies safe,” said Young.

Stephen Patterson, chair of Fanshawe College’s Norton Wold School of Aviation Technology, said, “The growth and availability of drones and other unmanned aircraft have truly opened the skies. Whether you’re flying for fun or work, it’s important to always put safety first. Fanshawe is doing its part to keep the skies safe by offering Transport Canada-compliant training, developed to ensure drone pilots have the knowledge and skills to contribute to an industry culture marked by growing diligence and responsibility.”

Canadians are encouraged to visit drone safety for updates on the department’s progress on drones.

Over the past year, Transport Canada has made progress on drones, and is focused on a number of key areas including:
• Helping Canadians report safety concerns through a new online tool
• Improving regulations for drone operators
• Simplifying rules for commercial operators with two new exemptions
• Supporting innovation for commercial operators at a new drone test site in Alberta
• Partnering with retailers to provide safety information at the point-of-sale
• Launching a No Drone Zone public awareness campaign

Quick Facts
• Anyone who operates a drone in a reckless and negligent manner, violates controlled or restricted airspace, or endangers the safety of manned aircraft could face fines of up to $25,000 and/or prison.
• So far in 2016, the department has issued 4,298 SFOCs, compared to 2,480 SFOCs in 2015 (an increase of 73 %)
• If an operator does not follow the requirements of their SFOC, Transport Canada can issue fines of up to $3,000 for an individual and $15,000 for a business.
Drone safety website
• Backgrounder: Transport Canada’s drone safety initiatives
Report a drone incident (online form)

Drone video courtesy Chris Aylward



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