Canada introduces harsh drone-flying guidelines & mandatory pilot certificates
Following a spike in drone-related incidents over the years, which have compromised aviation safety, Canada this week introduced new guidelines on flying drones weighing between 250 grams and 25 kilograms. The rules, set to go into effect in June, will require drone owners to register and mark their unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and obtain a pilot certificate whether they plan to use them for “fun, work or research.” Operating the remote-controlled flying device will also require their owners to be alcohol- and drug-free.
“You are a pilot if you’re flying a drone and, because of the risks and responsibilities, it is imperative that you know the rules in effect in the sky,” Transport Minister Marc Garneau said Wednesday as he announced the new regulations.
Once summer arrives, “drone flight schools” across Canada will be issuing two types of flying certificates. A ‘basic’ license will be available to those over the age of 14, while those over 16 will be eligible to an ‘advanced’ certificate that allows for flying the devices in the vicinity of bystanders.Also on rt.com Passenger plane hit by drone while flying into Quebec airport
All certified operators will still be mandated to keep their aircraft below 122 meters and to stay clear of other air traffic. Those wishing to fly UAVs weighing over 25 kilograms will need special permission from Transport Canada. Any violations will be subject to a hefty fine or even prison time.
“Endangering the safety of an aircraft is a serious offense,” Transport Canada said. “Anyone who violates the regulations could be subject to additional fines of up to $25,000 and/or prison. This applies to drones of any size used for any purpose.”
Drone-related incidents near the airports have caused major safety concerns for the Canadian authorities, after the number of reported incidents more than tripled in just three years. In 2014, Transport Canada reported 38 cases of drones flying too close to airplanes and airports. That number ballooned to 135 in 2017.Also on rt.com UK airports spending millions on military-grade anti-drone tech after Christmas chaos at Gatwick
The change in Canadian regulations was introduced to avoid the kind of problems that drones have caused at London airports over the holiday season. Hundreds of flights were canceled because of a drone threat at Gatwick Airport before Christmas, while earlier this week a drone sighting disrupted flights at Heathrow.Also on rt.com Drone again? London Heathrow grounds flights after UAV sighting
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