Canada Explores Changes to UAV Regulations

Transport Canada has published a Notice of Proposed Amendment that highlights several proposed changes to unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) regulations, including new flight rules, aircraft marking and registration requirements, knowledge testing, minimum age limits, and pilot permits for certain UAV operators.

The department says it is exploring changes that will address the growing popularity and economic importance of UAVs and integrate them safely into Canadian airspace.

Transport Canada will hold stakeholder consultations over the next 90 days to ensure the new regulations are effective, balanced and fair. The first stakeholder roundtable took place on May 28 in Ottawa, and others will follow in different regions across the country.

Transport Canada says feedback received during the consultation process will help inform the regulatory changes. The Canadian public will also have the opportunity to provide comments when the proposed amendments are published in Canada Gazette, Part I.

The current rules will remain in effect until the new regulations are approved by the Governor in Council and published in Canada Gazette, Part II.

The proposed regulations apply to UAVs weighing 25 kg or under and operated within visual line-of-sight. Transport Canada intends to keep the Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) process for heavier UAVs and more complex operations.

The notice says Transport Canada is considering a ‘lower threshold’ category for very small UAVs (similar to the U.S.' proposed micro UAS rule) – which would cover the ‘vast majority of recreational users’ and would not require the pilot to register his or her aircraft or have a permit to fly.

Transport Canada’s Notice of Proposed Amendment can be found here.


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