New drone safety reporting tool and initiatives released

Transport Canada improving safety for Canadians and supporting innovation in growing industry
Transport Canada
January 03, 2017
By Transport Canada
January 3, 2016 - Canadians expect to feel safe on the ground and in the sky, which is why Transport Canada is moving forward with a number of safety initiatives for drones.

Kate Young, MP for London West and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, on behalf of Minister Marc Garneau, recently outlined concrete steps that have been taken to improve safety and support innovation in one of Canada's fastest growing industries: drones. 

"Transport Canada is proud of the work that's been done over the past year to improve safety for Canadians and support innovation for the drone industry,” said Young. “Many Canadians will receive or purchase drones over the holidays this year and we encourage all new operators to learn the rules and help us keep the skies safe."

These steps include launching a new incident-reporting tool to keep Canadians safe from reckless drone use and issuing new exemptions for non-recreational operators that will help industry evolve and develop in a rapidly changing field.

"In the past few years, the use of drones in Canada has increased tremendously and it's a good time to be working with this industry,” said Minister of Transport Marc Garneau. “Transport Canada is taking a number of steps to improve safety and innovation in this sector, including engaging retailers so new drone users are aware of the rules from the start; introducing an efficient tool for Canadians to report safety issues; and helping drone users test new technology."

Over the past year, Transport Canada has made progress on drones, also known as unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). The department is focused on a number of key areas including:

•Helping Canadians report safety concerns through a new online tool
•Improving regulations for drone operators
•Simplifying rules for commercial operators with two new exemptions
•Supporting innovation for commercial operators at a new drone test site in Alberta
•Partnering with retailers to provide safety information at the point-of-sale
•Launching a No Drone Zone public awareness campaign

Canadians are encouraged to visit www.canada.ca/drone-safety for updates on the department's progress on drones.

"The growth and availability of drones and other unmanned aircraft have truly opened the skies,” said Stephen Patterson, Chair of Fanshawe's Norton Wolf School of Aviation Technology. “Whether you're flying for fun or work, it's important to always put safety first. Fanshawe is doing its part to keep the skies safe by offering Transport Canada-compliant training, developed to ensure drone pilots have the knowledge and skills to contribute to an industry culture marked by growing diligence and responsibility."

Quick facts
•Anyone who operates a drone in a reckless and negligent manner, violates controlled or restricted airspace, or endangers the safety of manned aircraft could face fines of up to $25,000 and/or prison.
•So far in 2016, the department has issued 4,298 SFOCs, compared to 2,480 SFOCs in 2015 (an increase of 73 %)
•If an operator does not follow the requirements of their SFOC, Transport Canada can issue fines of up to $3,000 for an individual and $15,000 for a business.

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