HRM No Drone Policy

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HRM No Drone Policy

New postby MarkL on Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:03 am

Just an FYI for those that may fly outside MAAC fields at HRM parks and sports fields. We ran into a recent new policy passed along to us from HRM Risk & Insurance Services concerning HRM’s standpoint of the use of drones:

“Commercial and recreational drone use is relatively new and therefore what we call a new and emerging risk. Until sufficient time has passed and data available to enable additional research including tracking of claims or incidents, regretfully, there will be no permits or approvals issued for commercial or recreational drone usage from HRM property.

With the exception of HRM’s emergency response Teams, HRM has made the decision not to allow commercial or recreational drone use from HRM property. This extends to and includes the issues of permits and approvals for commercial or recreational drone use from HRM parks and open spaces. Drone use over streets and sidewalks may cause a distraction or hazard for motor vehicle operators -including Metro Transit and is especially concerning.

Prior to reaching this decision, significant research on the use of drones- both commercially and recreationally in other Canadian Municipalities and across North America was completed. All applicable legislation, drone design, the variety of uses and industry standards were reviewed.”

So basically no drones on HRM property. Not sure if "drones" refers to all RC aircraft, given HRM's limited knowledge it is hard to know what they are lumping in but I would assume all.
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Re: HRM No Drone Policy

New postby retiredVTT on Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:24 pm

Hi Mark,

Thanks for posting the above; it's best that we all are kept abreast of any new local regulations.

I hope when they did their " significant research on the use of drones" other Canadian Municipalities, that they learned that in many cases there have been designated flying sites set aside, for their citizens to partake in the fascinating hobby of radio controlled flying of miniature aircraft and drones, and that most Clubs that do this are affiliated with the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada because as members we are provided with liability insurance in the amount of seven million dollars.

Our club, HEFA, has just been granted another extension on it's flying field at Shannon Park by land owner Canada Lands. This lease has been in existence for three years and we are thankful to Canada Lands for their assistance. We know that we are on borrowed time at this site. We have initiated talks with HRM over the past 12 months for their assistance in obtaining another flying site, however to date these talks have not borne fruit.

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Re: HRM No Drone Policy

New postby wildblue30 on Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:54 pm

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Re: HRM No Drone Policy

New postby bdg on Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:42 pm

Did you see this in the Chronicle Herald today? ... urban-core

This is targeting commercial drone flights what I read as the downtown core. This continues to underscore the extreme benefit that we have at HEFA which, through MAAC, is allowing us to fly recreationally at the field. Also - that we need to continue to fly safely and responsibly within these guidelines.

The biggest municipality in Nova Scotia is grounding commercial drone operators, telling them they can’t fly their small aircraft within city limits.

“The urban core is a no-fly zone,” said Lucas Wide, a Halifax Regional Municipality spokesman, in an interview. “The risk tolerance is too high to allow a drone to fly over what is supposed to be emergency air space.”

Although the city’s spokesman says the Halifax Regional Municipality is just trying to follow Transport Canada regulations, commercial drone operators are outraged.

“I completely disagree,” said Trevor Bergmann, chief executive officer of AeroVision Canada, on Wednesday.

“I don’t think they’ve made a safety case or considered the implications to businesses that use (unmanned aerial vehicle) technology in a safe and reliable manner.”

A ban on flying commercial drones in Halifax would kill two projects Beechville-based AeroVision is about to undertake for a property owner with a hotel slated for a multi-million-dollar redevelopment. Bergmann estimates those two projects alone are worth about $25,000 to the company.

And say goodbye to aerial videos of Tall Ships on the waterfront or parades downtown.

In a strange twist, one of the users of AeroVision’s services in the past was the Halifax Regional Municipality itself. In 2015, the city contracted the commercial drone operator to conduct a full, 3-D scan of city hall with a drone. The video of that work is on the company’s website.

“My company, as a commercial operator of (unmanned aerial vehicle) technology, is permitted to operate within the proscribed no-fly zone such as the Halifax Peninsula provided we comply with our flight certificate,” said Bergmann.

The commercial drone operator is planning to meet with the city officials who decided to ban commercial drones from flying in Halifax’s urban core, Mayor Mike Savage, and his city councillors.

The city’s ban on commercial drones stems from a request by a Toronto-based Frantic Films crew to shoot over a street in Dartmouth. Kip Spidell, producer for the upcoming Stats of Life CBC TV series, brought his crew of six to Halifax to shoot a segment and asked for permission to close off that street and have Mark Langille’s Flite Lab shoot some video from the air.

“We’ve been shooting a series for the CBC across the country and, in each case, we’ve worked with a local commercial drone operator and they’ve sought permits from the municipality,” said Spidell. “In every case other than Halifax, everything was fine.

“It was pretty disappointing. A better word would be baffling,” he said.

After bringing in a film crew and pumping roughly $15,000 into the local economy, Frantic Films had to leave Halifax without its aerial shots. The same kind of work commercial drone operators had done for the studio in Vancouver, Toronto, Winnipeg, Charlottetown, Kelowna, Victoria, Calgary and Maple Ridge in British Columbia was not allowed in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

“While other municipalities were able to deal with it, Halifax just washed their hands of it,” said Spidell. “I’m going to have to look for stock footage because I want to use aerials. I’m going to have to spend a lot more money.”

The extra cost of that stock footage Frantic Films will have to buy is about $2,500. And the experience has Spidell thinking he’ll have to be a lot more careful about choosing Halifax for TV segments.

“It’s a factor I’ll have to consider,” he said.

Langille grants that the Halifax Regional Municipality has jurisdiction over city-owned property but he dismisses the idea the municipality has any right to authorize or prohibit commercial drone usage in the city.

That’s the responsibility of Transport Canada, he said.

Flite Lab’s founder also expressed doubts that the Halifax Regional Municipality even has a policy to restrict commercial drone flights.

“I feel that the policy probably doesn’t exist,” he said. “They’re just saying no.”

Langille’s company is the one which takes aerial video of Halifax’s Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon every year. In all of Flite Lab’s years of flying commercial drones, it has never had an accident.

Despite that good safety record, it was the Legal Insurance and Risk Management Services business unit of the Halifax Regional Municipality that nixed commercial drone flights in the city.

“I’m not sure where they’re getting their statistics from,” said Langille. “You can go to Toronto or Vancouver and they have drones flying and getting aerial shots all the time.

“We’ve been flying for over four years and we’ve never crashed a system . . . It’s not like they’re falling out of the sky,” he said.

Transport Canada officials declined to comment Wednesday on whether urban cores of major cities are no-fly zones for commercial drones.

“There’s a dozen or more people whose jobs depend on this industry so if (the municipality feels) there’s a risk, then we would like to see the data,” said Bergmann. “I caution the city to not put out a policy statement that isn’t well thought out and in alignment with Transport Canada’s regulations.”

Halifax’s regional council has neither passed a bylaw nor approved a policy to ban the use of commercial drones within the municipality, said Wide.
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Re: HRM No Drone Policy

New postby bdg on Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:47 pm

We encountered a bit of an "interesting" discussion on Saturday. While at SP, two fairly knowledgeable gents arrived and seemed interested in the hobby. A very short while later, they launched two DJI Mavic quadcopters from the parking lot. One person was sitting in the back of his hatchback while the other stood adjacent to him, each with transmitters and each individually controlling a Mavic.

I initiated what I hoped would be a pleasant conversation just to mention about flying close to cars, behind the "pits" per our MAAC regulations and that we would not be doing such as part of HEFA. They suggested that they were flying below 90 me and within the latest TC rules. Without much to add, I left them to their flight. They were courteous and were flying responsibly but were not quite 100% in compliance of the "rules":
(1) TC requires that the Mavic (250g - 1kg) be a minimum of 30 me from vehicles, buildings, personnel. This was certainly not the case. I would suggest that they were within 5-10me which is part of the reason that their flights just felt too close.
(2) The whole question of this no-drone discussion is an interesting one. It would be nice to better understand where this is published on the HRM website.


This is from TC and represents the highlights of the current regulations for recreational use: ... _EN-V6.pdf
TC Rules.JPG
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Re: HRM No Drone Policy

New postby MarkL on Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:40 am

It's not published on the HRM site, that is one of the issues. It all depends on who you seem to ask unfortunately.
Some claim there is no policy, others say there is.
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Re: HRM No Drone Policy

New postby sedmonds on Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:07 am

There was some interesting chatter on the /r/halifax reddit about this, Councillor Waye Mason also piped in to share this "Federal rules. herald misreported it. Surprise. We will clear this up Tuesday at council."

The stuff about if Halifax is able to over-rule Transport Canada guidelines is an interesting topic, I'm certainly not an expert but I don't think they can state their own air space rules that fall outside of those set by TC.

Here is the link to the Reddit discussion: ... ource=link
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Re: HRM No Drone Policy

New postby MarkL on Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:01 pm

The issue is not airspace it is property access and usage. HRM doesn;t control airspace in anyway but they can prevent use of drones from their property which is what they are doing.
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Re: HRM No Drone Policy

New postby JohnOSullivan on Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:58 am

Transport Canada is holding a session on proposed Regulations on August 16 at the Four Points Sheraton.
Could be worth a visit.
Also, it would be a good chance to recommend to your HRM Councillors to educate themselves on the drone situation. ... ic-meeting
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Re: HRM No Drone Policy

New postby MarkL on Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:36 am

I've passed along info to a couple Councillors, they are supposed to bring it up tonight at council meeting.
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