The Canadian government has launched a national drone safety campaign and reiterated the country’s intention to propose new regulations for the technology.
Yesterday, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Canada’s minister of transport, introduced the campaign along with representatives of the Ottawa Police Service, the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, and 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 operate their aircraft only in approved areas. The signs will be distributed to a number of airports and other organizations to deter operators from flying in areas that put aviation safety at risk. Transport Canada recommends that airports, parks, municipalities and event organizers post the signage around the perimeter of their property or event when it is unsafe or illegal to fly drones.
“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,” says Garneau. “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.”
Transport Canada says it 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.
The Air Canada Pilots Association believes that registration should become mandatory in the country:
“We are concerned that Canadian regulations are falling behind in this area,” says Captain Ed Bunoza, chair of the ACPA’s flight safety division. “At least in the U.S., if there were ever an incident involving a drone, authorities can track the responsible party to ensure appropriate consequences.”
Transport Canada notes that Canadians are encouraged to learn more about drone safety by using the #NoDroneZone hashtag on Twitter and visiting www.canada.ca/drone-safety.