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Drone pilots applaud new regulations
Francois Biber, CTV Saskatoon
Published Thursday, January 10, 2019 6:17PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, January 10, 2019 7:01PM CST
When he first purchased his drone, Saskatoon media entrepreneur Alan Yuen said it was a free-for-all when it came to restrictions and rules around where he could fly it.
“You could do whatever you want as long as you didn’t cause any big scenes. I don’t think anyone really cared,” Yuen said.
However this week Transport Canada announced new parameters for drone pilots set to come into effect June 1.
Hobby drone pilots will need to take a quick online course and pass an exam, something Yuen said he welcomes as long as most people can pass it.
“These are dangerous items to be handling in the wrong hands so having the test is a good idea, but it remains to be seen how difficult it is to pass the test,” he said.
For the more intense commercial drone pilots, the online exam is just the first step. Companies looking to fly close to buildings and over the heads of bystanders must register their drones with Transport Canada, pass an advanced online exam and have a flight review by a Transport Canada official, similar to a road test for a vehicle license.
Andrew Carson with Draganfly Innovations said while it may look like a lot more hoops to jump through to get in the air and recording, the new rules from Transport Canada also help expedite the certification process for non-commercial users as they won’t need to apply for a special operations certificate.
The new rules also restrict drone pilots from operating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and pilots must be at least 14 years of age.
Drones must still fly no closer than 5.6 kilometers from an airport and 30 metres from homes and buildings.