The deadline to respond to Transport Canada for the proposed changes to the regulations for Unmanned Aircraft Systems is fast approaching. Written comments should be sent to email@example.com by October 13, 2017.
For anyone who hasn’t yet read the proposals you can find them here: http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2017/2017-07-15/html/reg2-eng.php
Here is a very high level summary of the changes.
UAS systems that are less than 250g AUW (all up weight) will be unregulated under the Canadian Aviation Regulations. Operators will still need to comply with Privacy and Safety laws.
Most home inspections will be considered to be in the “Small Complex” bracket for the regulations.
Inspectors will need to comply with the following:
- Clearly mark the UA with the name, address and telephone number of the operator;
- Notify air traffic control if the UA inadvertently enters or is likely to enter controlled airspace;
- Operate in manner that is not reckless or negligent (that could not endanger life or property);
- Give right of way to manned aircraft;
- Use another person as a visual observer if using a device that generates a streaming video also known as a first-person view (FPV) device;
- Confirm that no radio interference could affect the flight of the UA;
- Do not operate in cloud; and
- Have liability insurance of at least $100,000.
In addition BEFORE each flight you will be required to perform a site survey to identify any obstacles. You will also need to keep UAS maintenance records and flight records.
The fundamentals are that for inspections you will
- Have a UAS that is in compliance with a standard published by a standards organization accredited by a national or international standards accrediting body; (see footnote 9) have available the statement from the manufacturer that the UAS meets the standard; and do not modify the UAS. Transport Canada would alleviate the requirement for a pilot/operator to have a UAS that meets the design standards for operation in a complex operating area if that pilot/operator has bought a UAS prior to the coming-into-force date of the new regulations;
- Register the UAS with Transport Canada and ensure that the certificate of registration is readily available by the pilot-in-command; and
- Obtain a pilot permit that would be valid for five years.
The pilot permit application to Transport Canada would include, for example, the following:
- An attestation of piloting skills by another UA pilot, and
- The successful completion of a comprehensive knowledge exam.
The following requirements and limits would also apply:
- Pass a comprehensive written knowledge test (part of the pilot permit requirement above);
- Be at least 16 years of age;
- Request and receive authorization for flight in airspace which is a control zone for an aerodrome from the appropriate air traffic control unit;
- Operate at least 100 feet (30.48 m) from a person. A distance of less than 100 feet would be possible for operations if conditions such as a maximum allowed speed of 10 knots (11.5 mph) and a minimum altitude of 100 feet are respected;
- Operate at a maximum distance of 0.5 NM (0.93 km) from the pilot;
- Operate over or within open-air assemblies of persons if operated at an altitude of greater than 300 feet, but less than 400 feet, and from which, in the event of an emergency necessitating an immediate landing, it would be possible to land the aircraft without creating a hazard to persons or property on the surface;
- Operate at a maximum of 400 feet (121.92 m) or 100 feet above a building or structure with conditions; and
- Night operations would be allowed with conditions.
OntarioACHI have been working with Transport Canada as stakeholders in the negotiations for these changes, and we feel that they bring a measurement of fairness to the actual regulator component while allowing Home Inspectors to achieve operational status much faster than the current SFOC process allows.
We are not so happy about the fact that even though Transport Canada sees the risks for small complex operations as being the same for recreational users and non-recreational users, the cost for entry to the non-recreational use is estimated at nearly $850 in the first year as opposed to $195 for a causal flyer.
OntarioACHI will be making a submission to Transport-Canada and the submission will be made available to our members on the OntarioACHI website and linked to from here.