New regs from Transport Canada

Model Aeronautics Association of Canada

Re: New regs from Transport Canada

New postby MarkL on Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:56 am

The order applies to all model aircraft over 250g not just "drones"

I've spent much of the last two days speaking to media on this. Lots of confusion and upset people.
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Re: New regs from Transport Canada

New postby retiredVTT on Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:05 pm

The below letter was received today from Great Hobbies owner, Jim E.

Bill

Great Hobbies CEO Jim Ewing writes about the recently announced drone laws in Canada:

As many of you know, Transport Canada has just implemented very strict rules with regard to "drone" operation in Canada. This also adversely affects the operation of model aviation activities as a whole. Unfortunately, some of these restrictions have gone beyond reason. I have chosen to write an open letter to the Hon. Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport for Canada, stating my concerns. It is attached here. Please feel free to share.

Hon. Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Mr. Garneau,

I can fully appreciate your concern with regard to the safe operation of unmanned flying vehicles, especially in relation to other person-carrying aircraft or when flying in close proximity to people and property on the ground. Sadly, there are a minority of operators that have disregarded courtesy and common sense, operating their vehicles where the safety of others could be a concern.

BUT, I have serious reservations on how this is being handled by Transport Canada, applying an overreaching, heavy hammer, that will affect model aviation in general.

I am writing to you as someone with a wide range of experience and perspectives:

• I am a member of the general public
• I am a hobbyist who enjoys flying model aircraft
• I am a private pilot with 1100 hours, flying regularly over the past ten years
• I am a business owner, being principle partner in Great Hobbies Inc., the largest radio control model supplier in Canada

So, I cannot take the operation of drones (quadcopters and model aircraft), or how they are regulated, lightly. Regulations have to be implemented within reason, to curb the serious offenders, but not to basically devastate an activity completely. The rules as they currently stand, effectively do that for thousands of hobby enthusiasts—both “drone” operators, and model airplane enthusiasts, who have been unwittingly dragged into this as well.

I appreciate that you are working with the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada in recognizing the value of knowledgeable model enthusiasts, and allowing us, as members, to fly at our normally sanctioned flying fields and events. However, there are those of us that also choose to fly our models in a safe manner at other locations.

Case in point. I currently live on 7 acres of land in Stratford, a community adjacent to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. My property is surrounded by houses, but there is a tall tree-line buffer between my property and virtually every other adjacent property. I am 8 km from CYYG, the Charlottetown airport and 4 km from the helipad at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

I like to have the ability to fly hand launch radio control gliders or small electric aircraft (not heavy, but some may be greater than 250g) on my property. It is possible to do so without disturbing or being a threat to my neighbors. This flying is usually done at treetop level or below—probably at most 30 meters. THIS IS IN NO WAY A THREAT TO FULL SCALE AVIATION! If there is a full-scale aircraft close enough to be impeded by this kind of flying, there are a lot more serious issues to be dealt with, namely the offending aircraft involved.

With the current heavy-handed regulations, I cannot legally do so. As a matter of fact, any passer by is encouraged to call 911 to report me! This is ridiculous!

I fail to see why regulatory bodies cannot put more thought into their rule-making— addressing the problem where it exists, rather than impeding many other innocent people in the process.

We seem to live in a fear-based society where everything is becoming regulated to death. Kids have to take buses to school if they live more than a kilometer away—now there’s a childhood obesity epidemic! We want people to be outside and active, but towns are outlawing tobogganing on local hills and skating on local ponds for fear of liability. We want to get young people involved in activities where they are outside, learning skills, learning about technology in such activities as model aviation and again we want to regulate it out of existence.

We are supposed to be a free country, but fear and regulation eats away at that one little bite at a time!

Sir, you have had the privilege of being involved in aviation and flying in space. This opportunity was facilitated by many people who first experimented with models and technology, later applying what they learned to the development of vehicles such as the Space Shuttle. Please keep that in mind and help be an inspiration to young people and those interested in aviation and technology, rather than being a wet blanket. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!

A Look at the Rules as They Currently Stand

I do not have an issue with most of the rules, but there are a couple of very troubling ones.

The height restriction is an important rule and I do not have an issue with this. A height restriction is the key to keeping unmanned vehicles from interfering with full-scale operation. The chosen 90 meters is a bit lower than I may have initially suggested (400’, as per the decision of the FAA south of the border), but I can live with 90 meters.

I am also ok with other such rules as always fly within 500 meters of the user, not flying at night, not flying into the clouds, having identification on the vehicle, not flying near forest fires or other such identified emergency situations.

I do have issue with the other two rules, however, when they are applied as a blanket restriction.

No Flying Within 75 Meters of Buildings, Vehicles, Vessels, Animals or People

I can certainly see why one should not fly models or drones of any kind in a busy city core. I cringe at the Youtube videos where someone is launching a camera drone off their 23rd story deck in the middle of a large city. That should simply not happen. It is for a situation like this that the noted type of rule should be intended.
It should also cover situations where there are crowds gathered. Crowds should not be flown over, and the device must maintain a reasonable distance, such as 75 meters in a lateral direction from a crowd.

However, there are many instances where it is completely safe to fly something while still being within that distance of any of those items. Again, refer to my situation. I am on 7 acres, but I am certainly going to be closer than 75 meters to my house, my workshop building, my vehicle, my dog, me, my wife, and most likely even a neighbor’s house, albeit buffered by a tree line.

This is where a blanket rule overreaches. Common sense must prevail.

No Flying Within 9 km of an Aerodrome

Again, I can certainly see where you don’t want any drone or model aircraft to be flying at any significant height close to a place where full scale aircraft are landing and taking off. This is common sense. But 9 whole kilometers!?

When you say “no flying within 9 kilometers” that is a very large area and needlessly completely eliminates any type of flying activity regardless of how low it may be to the ground. This rule should be balanced with a height restriction. If you’re within 2 km of the center of an aerodrome, you must be off the aerodrome property, away from the approach path, and not fly any higher than any adjacent trees or structures— let’s say 10 meters.

Between 2 kilometers and 5 kilometers, perhaps limit the height to 30 meters. Beyond the 5 kilometers, the 90-meter limit should suffice.
If the aerodrome is a helipad, then the radius should be smaller.

Conclusion

Knee jerk reactions are not the way to make legislation. This interim rule-making has all the earmarks of a knee jerk reaction without serious thought of repercussions being considered. A balance must always be made between ensuring safety without impeding perfectly safe activities.

I ask you to reconsider a couple of these onerous rules. If you have the view that “of course no one is going to fine or prosecute you if you happened to be flying a 325g hand launch glider in your private yard, that is not the intent of the rule” then the rule should be written to accommodate such. If you do have the intention of limiting such activity, then this rule-making is far overreaching and should be completely withdrawn, to be replaced with something reasonable.

Sincerely,
Jim Ewing
President & CEO
Great Hobbies Inc
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Re: New regs from Transport Canada

New postby saboo on Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:21 am

I completely agree with Jim Ewing.

The model regulations are in complete contrast to those for full size aviation.

Full sized aircraft regulations are based on many categories of aircraft. The most significant of these is by weight. Also aircraft are categorized by type e.g. fixed wing, rotary, glider, amphibian etc., and by application, private use, cargo, passenger, charter etc. These new regulations ignore those past principles. The blanket application from 250g or 8.8 oz to 25 kg or 55.1 pounds is just plain unacceptable.

It seems MAAC administration, in an effort to get along with Transport Canada, accepted these rules as long as they got an exception.

Immediately it made most long used flying sites illegal to use.

I feel it is important for those with similar feelings to work together to come up with more prudent and practical regulations than those announced last week, March 16, 2017.

As a suggestions I put forward these changes.

Weight categories

0 - 249g, 250g - 999g, 1000g - 2999g, 3000g - 4999g. 5000g and above to the weight limit. Or some other range to be determined. A new set of weight based flight limits by class. I see no reason why a 999g model should be restricted to 75 metres from the nearest anything.

Over 5000g to 25,000g maybe should only be flown at a recognized or sanctioned flying field. For instance, I would be very reluctant to see a 5kg plane flying at Shannon park. I have no issue with a 2 or 3 kilo plane at Shannon.

Also full size aircraft must accept that models under certain conditions of use, mostly by people setting out to break any rules that exist, can create a level of risk. To mitigate that risk, it is essential that the minimum altitude for full size aviation, must change from the current 500 feet AGL to 1000 feet AGL and that a lateral component be introduced. My suggestion is that the 1000 foot AGL be applicable in a 1 kilometre distance from the nearest terrain or obstacle. So flying over Bedford Basin currently is acceptable at 500 feet. The top of the MacKay Bridge is 315 feet. So for example, new rules should require the full size plane be at 1000 feet + the height of the nearest obstacle. In the example of the MacKay Bridge and the Bedford Basin this would mean a new minimum altitude of about 1315 feet.

If Transport Canada is serious about safety, then those parties at risk of death or injury must take some of the burden of mitigating that risk. This will stick in the craw of many at TC because they come from the full size world. Several things stand in the way of TC being reasonable about this. Firstly is most of the rule makers and administrators, come from full sized aviation. They have little time or interest in model aviation. These regulations imply that many would like to see it go away. Secondly, a culture of protecting full sized aviation activities without adding any further limit on those activities. Thirdly, there is a culture of their role as being that of making regulations. They see their role as protecting the existing situation by enacting regulations to perpetuate it.

The technical capabilities of today's electronics based model aviation are very much a disruptive force. The latest drones are as much a disruptor to the status quo as Uber is to the taxi business. Transport Canada is not equipped technically or in mind set to accept this disruption.

As I firm up my proposal for regulatory changes, I will post them here. Suggestions are welcome.

In the meantime, it is important to contact your local MP. Ask them for some time and take them to a flying field with a plane. Show them how the new rules are draconian and out of step with reality. Get a printed copy of the new rules and explain why they are inappropriate.

Above all make your voice heard. That means contacting federal representatives. That means your MP , the Transport Minister and the Prime Minister.

Jim Haliburton
(902) 499-5250
jim.haliburton at gmail.com
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Re: New regs from Transport Canada

New postby saboo on Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:57 pm

For those who wish to send a personal letter in printed form, or to call and make an appointment with your local MP, here is a link to all those from Nova Scotia. Their local office and local phone number is listed.

http://halifax.foundlocally.com/Local/G ... ralMPs.htm

I strongly urge everyone to call and express a single fact or two about the new regs.

Jim Haliburton
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Re: New regs from Transport Canada

New postby CF Av8or on Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:47 pm

Saboo,

Although I am very much against the knee-jerk rulings agreed to by MAAC and Transport Canada regarding “drone” flying, I must disagree with your suggestion that full-size aviation rules for flight in Visual Flight Rules (VFR) conditions need to be changed.

The fact is that the rules that currently exist are, as they stand, safe and effective and provide plenty of separation from any reasonable dangers which can be expected both in controlled and uncontrolled airspace.

For your information I present here the rules that govern fixed-wing flight in VFR conditions:


All Airspace Minimum Weather Limits: Ceiling 1 500 feet Visibility 3 miles*

Aircraft Operating Requirements:

Minimum vertical distance from cloud - 500 feet
Minimum horizontal distance from cloud - 1 mile
Minimum height above ground or water - 1 000 feet**

Special VFR in Control Zones (Class B, C, D or E):

Minimum Visibility Limits - Ground Visibility 1 mile

Aircraft Operating Requirements - Must remain clear of cloud and within sight of the surface at all times. Minimum height above ground or water - 500 feet


The rules that govern rotary wing aircraft are similar, but allow lower minimum heights above ground or water in keeping with the nature of rotary-wing operations.


VFR All Controlled Airspace:

Minimum Weather Limits - Ceiling 1 000 feet Visibility 3 miles*

Aircraft Operating Requirements -
Minimum vertical distance from cloud - 500 feet
Minimum horizontal distance from cloud - 1 mile
Minimum height above ground or water - 500 feet

Class G (Uncontrolled):

Minimum Weather Limits - Flight Visibility - 1 mile day (3 miles night)

Aircraft Operating Requirements - Remain clear of cloud / Minimum height above ground or water - 500 feet

Special VFR in Control Zones (Class B, C, D or E):

Minimum Visibility Limits - Ground Visibility 1/2 mile

Aircraft Operating Requirements -
Must remain clear of cloud and within sight of the surface at all times. Minimum height above ground or water - 300 feet
Must be operated at a reduced airspeed that will allow the pilot to see and avoid other air traffic or obstructions.



In addition, the follow rule governs the flying of aircraft over populated areas:

“An aircraft shall not be flown over the built-up area of any city, town or settlement,
or over an open air assembly of persons, except at an altitude that will permit, in the event of an emergency, the landing of the aircraft without undue hazard to persons or property on the surfaces. Such altitude shall not in any case be less than 1 000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2 000 feet from the aircraft, except when taking off, landing, conducting an authorized low approach to an aerodrome”.



The idea of changing these long established and safe aviation flight rules in order to mitigate the hazard posed by isolated cases of uneducated yahoos flying cheap box store drones in an irresponsible and often criminal manner is both unrealistic and unnecessary.

A reasonable and well thought out set of rules to control the safe operation of model aircraft (including so-called drones), that don’t tie the hands of responsible model aviators, is what we need to see come from thorough discussions between MAAC and Transport Canada.

Vic
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Re: New regs from Transport Canada

New postby saboo on Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:53 pm

Thanks Vic, for the clarification. I did not have the time to look up those regulations.

Yes, common sense rules are definitely needed. What came out last week, are far off the mark for reasonableness.

Jim H
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Re: New regs from Transport Canada

New postby saboo on Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:06 am

The FAA announced new figures for drone registrations.

From various news sources here is some material.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration says that more than 770,000 drone owners have registered to fly in U.S. airspace.

That’s up from the 670,000 figure FAA chief Michael Huerta shared during his talk at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas at the start of 2017. It also means that 100,000 drone owners have newly registered with the agency in less than three months.

The FAA first opened its drone registration system just over 15 months ago, in December 2015. Only weeks after the registration system started operating, the FAA announced that more than 181,000 drone owners had registered in its database.

To put that in perspective, Huerta said last year that the FAA currently counts around 320,000 manned aircraft registered with the agency, but that registration system has been operating for about 100 years. Drones have had registration requirements for not quite two years.

Last week, the FAA said that it projects drone usage to continue to soar. The agency estimates that small, hobbyist drones in use in the U.S. will more than triple in units in the next four years, shooting up from 1.1 million aircraft at the end of 2016 to more than 3.5 million by 2021.

The FAA allows one registration number to be used on multiple drones, which is why the agency counts more drones than it does pilots in its registry.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Put that in perspective. By 2021 there will be 10 times as many "drones" as there are registered aircraft. Right now there are more than 2.2 times as many registered "drones" as there are full sized aircraft. It begs the question, "Who owns the right to fly? Who owns the sky?" Why are the majority being punished and abused by regulations?

In Canada the ratio is probably very similar. The difference is Transport Canada could not put together a working reliable registry for unmanned aircraft under the current shared services model for Information Technology.

It is important to write to Minister Marc Garneau,, your local MP, and a copy to the Prime Minister's office. Do it soon and do it often. Each time add more information.

For somewhat more rational rules, check out Germany's.
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Re: New regs from Transport Canada

New postby retiredVTT on Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:27 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKcVKSf4GUA

I'm posting this video here rather than over in the "multi-copter" forum because I think it ties in with the above post about the rapid increase in drone use, both now and especially in the future.

So run the video and meet 'KARMA" ...a new drone experience from the Go-Pro people. Check out the fact that they have a built in simulator within the control unit, so that you learn to fly the unit, WITHOUT actually flying the drone itself. Talk about mastering the learning curve...!

Bill
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Re: New regs from Transport Canada

New postby retiredVTT on Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:28 pm

Another Canadian states his opinion on the new Regulations:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qtQIa5wm3Y

Bill
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Re: New regs from Transport Canada

New postby saboo on Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:56 pm

Sign a petition

https://www.change.org/p/marc-garneau-i ... -in-canada

Make your voice heard.
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