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Transport Canada Plans Major Restrictions on Small UAVs Like the DJI Phantom

Discussion in 'News' started by kjopc, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. kjopc

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    Transport Canada is preparing to clamp down hard in 2016 on the use of "drones" by hobbyists and photographers. For example, it will be illegal to use a flying camera after dark or take pictures above 300 feet at any time.

    Of course in the era of Internet trolls, this means foes of the hobby will be scanning social media for shots that prove you violated the rules. Police or Transport Canada inspectors can seize your aircraft and logs to prove a case against you.

    The visual line-of-sight rule hits those of us in a forest setting where trees often block a clear view of the device even though we can fly safely with first person view.

    The DJI Phantom models will fall under the Very Small UAV category which means these rules:
    • Devices cannot be flown at night
    • Operator must always be in visual line-of-sight of the device (even when under waypoint navigation)
    • Maximum altitude 300 feet above ground level
    • Must pass a knowledge test concerning air law, airspace, navigation and flight operations
    • Owner identification permanently affixed to the UAV
    • Cannot fly over people
    The Model Aeronautics Association of Canada appears to have powerful friends at Transport Canada leading to proposals for major exemptions for members' model aircraft. Clearly, quadcopters are the main target of the new rules.

    If you're concerned about what's going on, read the Notice of Proposed Amendment - Unmanned Air Vehicles (http://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/Saf-Sec-Sur/2/NPA-APM/actr.aspx?id=17&aType=1&lang=eng) and send your comments to carrack@tc.gc.ca by August 28, 2015.

    http://kjopc.blogspot.ca/2015/06/transport-canada-plans-major.html
     
  2. Torcan

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    not too hard to follow, not really earth shattering

    For UAVs falling under the proposed Very Small UAV (lower threshold) category, in addition to some of the rules proposed in the Small UAV (complex operations) category,

    Transport Canada proposes to incorporate operational restrictions addressing the following areas:
     operate only during the day.
     never operate in Class C, D, E or F airspace.
     comply with the minimum distance from aerodromes of 5nm (9 km).
     comply with maximum altitude requirements – not above 300 feet above ground level

    Currently, in accordance with section 606.02 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations, all aircraft owners are required to subscribe for public liability insurance coverage. Transport Canada is proposing that there be no public liability insurance requirement for the lower threshold category of UAV.
    The department is seeking comment on this proposal.

    http://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/Saf-Sec-Sur/2/NPA-APM/doc.aspx?id=10294
     
  3. Hendricks

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    Here is the big logistical problem with these new Transport Canada regulations as they relate to small UAVs.
    Good luck enforcing most of these regulations, unless they are going to have drone police scanning the skies.

    I've been flying several versions of the Phantom now for over a year and I have a small photography business going and I'm OK with rules and regulations on drone use;however, I don't see any real way for most of these rules to be enforced.

    For example, the height restriction of 300 or 400 feet(which Transport Canada cannot seem to make up its mind on) will never be able to be enforced UNLESS manufacturers(like DJI) are forced to put performance restrictions on the aircraft they wish to sell in Canada.
    That is in affect now because if you purchase a new Phantom today, it comes with a ceiling performance limit of 400 feet.

    A year ago, you could buy Phantoms that had no such limitations.

    For those wishing to do so, the software can always be modified and there are ways to get around the altitude limitations now.

    Personally, for my photography business, I have never found the need to be any higher than 400 feet to do the work that I do.
     
  4. acherman

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    My P3P that I bought 2 months ago has a ceiling of 500m. I am still running the 1.1.9 firmware it came with though. I haven't seen any mention of that limit being lowered in new firmware.

    Proving line of site is almost impossible after the fact, unless a video clearly shows you flying a long distance away, or unless the flight logs are seized somehow to see how far you were away at any given moment. A photo can not show if I am 300 feet behind it or 3000 feet behind it, or if anything is in between the controller and the aircraft. While I try my best to follow these since most of them seem appropriate, I do find myself outside of my visual field at times, and I did exceed the height restriction a couple of times - you gotta see what she can do, right? Anyway, let's enjoy things now while they are relaxed, and be prepared for when they are not so relaxed.
     
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  5. Oesau

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    Interesting - it's much the same as it is here in Australia other than the requirement - "Must pass a knowledge test concerning air law, airspace, navigation and flight operations".
     
  6. Ezookiel

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    And it's 400 feet in Australia, and that still generally gives a 100 feet clearance between yourself and the bottom of most airspace at 500 feet. Obviously there are times planes are below 500, but that seems to me to be a fair buffer in general, given how rarely they'll even be at 500, let alone below it given the other rules such as near airports etc. I think 300 is a tad too low, I've needed the 400 on occasions for the shot I want. Never needed to be more than that yet.
     
  7. jhcheung

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    So where is this "knowledge test" available in? and how do you even obtain a "self identification sticker"?

    I've re-read the materials to obtain an OSFC and I think the Phantoms are all exempted unless it's for commercial use correct? I really wish there were more organized information in one place. A person contacted me on facebook today and told me he has filed a report to Transport Canada after seeing one of my videos I made on Facebook. I have not broken any of the rules that I've read, and now I just want to obtain an OSFC despite all the exemptions and stuff just to be sure.
     
  8. yojo182

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    I entirely agree with all these rules except one. The airport distance restriction. I am absolutely not saying it should be zero don't get me wrong I defiantly understand why it's there. However 9km is too large. If you go open UAV forecast and set the airport/helipad distance to 9km and look around southern Ontario you will see I have next to nowhere to fly.


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  9. Air Ontario

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  10. jhcheung

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    right, it's very true. Have you applied for an OFSC before? I'm also worried that his allegations will somehow work against me in some way or another, and want to find any way to defend myself.
     
  11. yojo182

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    I am applying for my first SFOC now it won't be active until summer but yeah not much a lowly internet user like myself can help you with.


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  12. jhcheung

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    Would love to hear from you on how to apply for one. You can private message me! Thanks so much


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  13. launchpad26

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    How might this effect me when I travel to Canada to film? Or does it effect me already? One motivating reason I got into drones was for the purpose to film the Elora Gorge. I would hate to lose my opportunity this summer.


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  14. yojo182

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    You will need an SFOC if you have insurance and the filming location is not over a town/city you should be good but I'm just another drone user trying to get by without breaking the rules.


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