On Our Radar: Transport Canada wants to teach Kamloops about its new drone rules

Are you a drone owner who’s confused about the new federal regulations that will take effect June 1?

Transport Canada is hosting an information session tomorrow night (April 24) at Thompson Rivers University. Staff will be answering questions and going over the aviation rules.

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the new measures are strict. Operators will be required to register their drones and mark them with the registration number. 

At the same time, pilots will have to keep their aircraft below 122 metres (400 feet) above ground level and stay away from air traffic.

Unless they obtain a special flight certificate from Transport Canada, operators will have to keep their drones within their sightline and at least 30 metres from other people at all times and avoid public events and police security perimeters.

The new rules, which cover drones weighing between 250 grams and 25 kilograms, are aimed at countering a growing trend of drone incursions into space reserved for air travel.

Fines begin at between $1,000 and $3,000 for individuals but can rise much higher for corporations or anyone deliberately breaking the rules. Violators who deliberately fly near an aircraft's flight path could be subject to fines of up to $25,000 and prison.

Transport Canada has documented a spike in the number of incidents posing a risk to aviation safety in recent years. The number of reported incidents more than tripled to 135 in 2017 from 38 when data collection began in 2014.

To register for the Kamloops workshop, click HERE. The info session, which runs from 6 to 8 p.m., will be hosted inside the university’s conference centre. — with files from The Canadian Press

On Our Radar is just a thing we do when we're looking forward to an event or think the public should be aware of it. Think you have something for it? Email us at [email protected].

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