Ottawa sets new rules for drones, including mandatory registration

January 9, 2019

By: The Working Forest Staff

The federal government is imposing a series of new restrictions on the use of drones, requiring operators to be at least 14 years old and calling on all owners to register their recreational and commercial devices with Transport Canada, federal and industry officials said.

According to a report in the Globe & Mail, the new, more stringent rules, covering drones that weigh less than 25 kilograms, will be unveiled today (Wednesday). They will also include an obligation for drone users to undergo online training and to inscribe a federal registration number on their devices, the officials said.

The announcement comes after a series of drone sightings led to runway closings and hundreds of cancelled flights at Gatwick and Heathrow airports in Britain in recent weeks. Airport authorities fear that drones could damage a plane in flight or cause a deadly crash after being sucked into a plane’s engine.

The officials said the new rules for drone use in Canada will include restrictions on their use within nine kilometres of airports. The three officials were granted anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the new rules before they were formally announced in the Canada Gazette.

One of the biggest associations of drone operators in the country, Unmanned Systems Canada (USC), has been working with the government to develop the new rules for nearly a decade.

“The industry has been waiting for this a long time,” said USC chair Mark Aruja. “It’s going to be good for business, good for investors and, in this case, it’s going to be really good for safe operations.”

See full report here.

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