Canada’s Minister of Transport has issued an interim order which provides relief from a previous mandate that was especially onerous to drone enthusiasts. The revised order reduces the no-fly-zone near airports to five kilometers from nine kilometers, and reduces the required distance from people or vehicles to 30 meters, assuming the drone weighs less than one kilogram. You can find Transport Canada’s interim order here.
The changes may very well have come about as a result of effective lobbying from NODE, The Network of Drone Enthusiasts. This initiative, backed by DJI, began in the US and has expanded into Canada.
Here is DJI’s statement”
DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, today expressed its appreciation to the Hon. Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, for Transport Canada’s revised Interim Order on drone use. The new Interim Order replaces an earlier version that put unreasonable restrictions on safe and responsible drone use across Canada.
The revised Interim Order, summarized in this Transport Canada fact sheet, reduces or removes earlier restrictions that had effectively barred drones from flying in most settled parts of Canada. The changes come after more than 2,000 drone advocates across Canada sent thousands of messages urging Transport Canada to improve the Interim Order, making clear that their voices have been heard.
DJI had called on Minister Garneau to make reasonable changes to the Interim Order that would allow drone enthusiasts the ability to fly their drones safely until a new regulatory regime comes into force. While DJI believes some of the restrictions in the new Interim Order can be further improved in draft regulations expected to be released soon, it appreciates Minister Garneau’s efforts to respond to the concerns of safe and responsible drone pilots.
“The revised Interim Order is a step in the right direction,” said Brendan Schulman, DJI Vice President of Policy and Legal Affairs. “The extremely restrictive rules in the original Order prohibited a wide range of perfectly safe activities that are permitted by many other jurisdictions worldwide. The new version delivers some improvements. We commend the government for taking this step while working on permanent rules.”
“An ideal regulatory regime would adequately mitigate the risk of injury and property damage while allowing innovators the freedom to experiment and to use drones with minimal burdens or barriers to entry,” said Eric Ebenstein, DJI Head of North America Public Policy. “We believe Canada can craft a world-leading regulatory regime that protects safety while encouraging innovation.”
DJI will continue to work with the Government of Canada to help shape a regulatory regime that allows for the emergence of a vibrant drone industry in Canada, contributing to innovation and enhancing public safety in a wide variety of applications.