OTTAWA, June 13, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, today launched a national safety campaign and reiterated the Government of Canada's intention to propose new regulations for UAVs, or drones as they are more commonly known. Minister Garneau was joined by representatives of the Ottawa Police Service, Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, the Canadian Airports Council, as well as the CEO of the Ottawa Airport.
The Minister unveiled a 'No Drone Zone' sign to remind users to only operate their aircraft in approved areas. The "No Drone Zone" signs will be distributed to a number of airports and other organizations to promote the safe use of drones and to deter operators from flying in areas that put aviation safety at risk. Transport Canada recommends that airports, parks, municipalities and event organizers post "No Drone Zone" signs around the perimeter of their property or event, when it is unsafe or illegal to fly drones.
As a world leader in drone safety, Transport Canada will propose new regulations in the coming months and is looking at a number of changes, including:
- establishing categories of drones;
- simplifying the registration process for operators; and
- instituting marking requirements.
Canadians are encouraged to learn more about drone safety by using the #NoDroneZone hashtag and visiting www.canada.ca/drone-safety.
"While Transport Canada is working on new regulations to integrate drones into Canadian airspace, I urge all users to learn how to fly safely and legally. As a responsible drone user, think twice about where you fly, stay away from airports and aircraft, and know that there are serious consequences to unsafe use. The "No Drone Zone" signs are a reminder that not all places are appropriate to fly a drone – always think safety first."
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport
"Even small drones can cause big problems for airports and aircraft. It's important that users understand the risk associated with flying them, and learn the rules of responsible use for the safety and security of the entire community."
President and CEO, Ottawa International Airport Authority
"From an enforcement perspective, drone users can't fly wherever they like. You are responsible to fly your drone safely and legally. If you feel someone has committed a crime, or breached your privacy, report it to your local police service right away. The Ottawa Police Service is committed to public safety and takes reported incidents seriously."
Staff Sergeant, Ottawa Police Service Airport Unit
"We thank the government for recognizing the rapidly growing threat that UAVs pose to commercial aircraft near airports or in restricted airspace. Today's announcement represents a positive step towards keeping Canada's airspace safe and moving towards regulations to address this issue."
President, Canadian Airports Council
- 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 jail time.
- Flying a drone around an airport without permission is a dangerous act with serious consequences.
- Anyone using a drone for commercial or research purposes must hold a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) from Transport Canada or be eligible to operate under one of the UAV exemptions.
- Backgrounder: Safe drone use in Canada
- Find out if you need permission from Transport Canada
- For information on drone safety in Canada, visit www.canada.ca/drone-safety.
- A list of safety guidelines is provided for recreational users to assist them in flying safely.
- To view the department's drone safety videos, visit http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/mediaroom/video-menu.htm.
Safe drone use in Canada
Canada is a world leader in unmanned air vehicles (UAV), commonly called drones. Transport Canada has had regulations in place for the safe use of drones since 1996. While the number of drones in Canada continue to increase so do the number of incidents of drones flying too close to airports and aircraft.
To respond to their growing use, Transport Canada is implementing a series of measures, including developing regulations, so that drones are used in a safe and responsible way.
One size does not fit all
Drones are used in a number of different ways—recreation, helping with law enforcement, search and rescue, and taking aerial photographs. If not operated safely, these aircraft can pose a hazard to other aircraft. Recognizing these challenges, and as part of its UAV regulatory development efforts, Transport Canada is looking at establishing different categories for drones depending on weight and operations.
A safe drone is one that is operated by someone who knows the flight rules and how to control their device effectively. Transport Canada is exploring knowledge testing requirements and studying minimum licensing age requirements to align with those in place for pilots of manned aircraft.
Proactive enforcement measures
While most people operating drones strive do so legally and safely, some don't understand the potential for danger, or the stiff penalties involved in breaking the rules. Anyone who operates a drone or model aircraft 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 jail time.
In 2015, Transport Canada investigated almost 100 incidents of unsafe practices. Transport Canada is exploring the possibility of partnerships with provinces, territories and municipalities to strengthen enforcement and hold those who break the law accountable.
Transport Canada will consult with Canadians once the new draft regulations are published in Canada Gazette in the first half of 2017.
This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.
SOURCE Transport Canada
For further information: Delphine Denis, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, Ottawa, 613-991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055, [email protected]; Media Relations, Ottawa International Airport Authority, 613-248-2050; Media Relations, Ottawa Police, 613-236-1222 ext 5366; Media Relations, Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, 613-236-4901 ext 102; Media Relations, Canadian Airports Council, 613-560-9302