As STAC has long anticipated, the federal government released on Saturday proposed new regulations pertaining to commercial and recreational uses of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), which includes several proposed revisions to areas of interest to STAC Members.
Most notably, the proposed new regulatory framework would:
- Eliminate the distinction between recreational and commercial uses;
- Create new categories for UAS operations based on vehicle weight and the location of the specific operation, with differing regulatory requirements for each classification;
- Eliminate the current SFOC requirements for most UAS operations;
- Significantly reduce regulatory requirements relating to operations utilizing a “very small” UAS, as well as some using a “small” UAS.
In particular, STAC believes that the new system of classifying UAS operations by weight and location – and the related regulatory relief for operations using smaller UAS or in more rural locations – will permit increased use of UAS in the tower industry over time.
During its initial preparatory work on this anticipated consultation, STAC’s New & Emerging Technologies Committee identified nine “areas of interest” that were likely to come up during this regulatory review, including:
1. Operator Training
2. Built-Up Areas
3. Aircraft Compliance
4. Recreational Distinction
5. UAV Markings
6. Liability Requirements
7. Visual Line of Sight
8. Weather Conditions
9. UAV Classifications
Notably, Transport Canada’s newly proposed regulatory regime would implement numerous changes within these areas of interest, including by defining the previously vague term “built-up areas,” by altering the insurance requirements for most operators; and by creating a new UAS classification system.
Because the STAC New & Emerging Technologies Committee has already taken steps to prepare for the government’s consultation on these proposed regulations, we are confident that STAC will have sufficient time to finalize a formal response to government within the 90-day consultation period.
Please note that this process will begin at the next meeting of the STAC New & Emerging Technologies Committee, and may be continued through the use of a dedicated project team. Please email Nick Kyonka at [email protected] if you would like to be added to the New & Emerging Technologies Committee distribution list, or if you would like to indicate your desire to be included on a dedicated project team if one is created.
In the meantime, we are sharing here the link to the Canada Gazette Pt. I notice (as reprinted on Transport Canada’s website) and will also work to make notes from this consultation available to the STAC New & Emerging Technologies Committee.