A proposed set of measures by Transport Canada threatens to place heavy drone regulations. Read on for the reaction from DJI.
Transport Canada has released a series of proposed measures that aim to reduce the security and administrative issues caused by the use of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs or drones). The various restrictions cover different categories of drone models based on weight, as well as an overall set of measures for all drone pilots.
Among the general proposed drone regulations is a clause that all pilots operating a drone weighing over 250g must have an obligatory liability insurance of $100,000.
Regulations among the “very small” category of drone models — those ranging from 250g to 1kg, which would include models such as the DJI Spark and DJI Mavic Pro — include a mandatory written knowledge test and operating no closer than 100 feet (30.5 m) from a person. The “small” category of up to 25kg — which would include the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, DJI Inspire and more — adds further restrictions and, depending on whether its a rural or urban environment, could restrict pilots from flying closer than 250 feet (76.20 m) from a person.
It is worth mentioning that some of these proposed measures make no distinction between recreational and commercial use. Could this mean that people wanting to use their drones to shoot films – whether commercially or not – would be legally prevented from getting close to their actors?
In a press release published on 19th July, drone manufacturer DJI expressed its disappointment at Canada’s “overly restrictive” approach, claiming that some of its overarching measures would “discourage schools, students and hobbyists from experimenting with drones in science, engineering or photography”. This comes less than a month after after the manufacturer applauded Canada’s revised Interim Order which removed earlier heavy restrictions on drone usage.
DJI encourages users to submit comments and feedback on the proposed restrictions here as part of a consultation with the Canadian government. Submissions are open until October 13th, 2017.
The topic of drone regulation is still a hot debate. With recent dangerous incidents compromising safety around airports, it is clear that there must be some kind of control. While DJI has tried to implement certain features to prevent unsafe flying, workarounds are already being developed to bypass drone No Fly Zones. The question remains if stringent regulation is the only way forward.
Are you a Canadian shooter who would be professionally affected by these new proposed measures? Let us know in the comments!