Transport Canada "Engagement" session (Montreal - 2017-09-18)

Mar 10, 2017
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Hôtel Bonaventure, Montréal. 2017-09-18, 13:00 ... ~16:30 ish.

Approximately 100 people attended. TC had 4 people on the panel and odds and enders in the audience. Session was in French, but the presentations were shown on separate screens in French and English. I'll attach the English version here. Both English and French versions can be found on the TC site.

One of the panel members was a "political" type. I came to understand that that's a good thing in the sense that they are looking to moderate the bureaucrats from over regulating. OTOH, I didn't hear him utter a word.

The majority of the hard working, tax paying, enterprising attendees there were commercial operators.

Many from Montreal's vibrant and very drone experienced cinematography industry. Most of the commercial people there had standing (regional) SFOC's. These folks had many of the most informed questions and concerns esp. where aircraft "requirements" are emerging from TC that (eg: DJI) would have to comply to. Grandfathering to Dec 2017. But very equivocal as to whether that's a good thing or bad thing based on the many comments I heard. (ie: if an existing drone is non-compliant for commercial work, then would that drone still be legal for commercial work after that date; if so, legal if "sold"? etc).

Only 2 or 3 there were "recreational" flyers. The rest were at varying degrees of setting up or very involved in commercial operations.

About 1/4 of the attendees were licensed airplane/rotorcraft pilots with about 5 or 10 of us with commercial licenses.

One other MavicPilots member was there and recognized me (and me not him - you're getting younger Fritz! - Or I'm going senile).

While the panel heard everyone out, the gist of it is they want to ram a complex set of rules down our throats well coated with bureaucratic nonsense and procedure (though far less than the current, "improved/simplified" morass).

We have until Oct 13 to submit, in writing, our concerns to [email protected] . The verbally heard comments and questions will not form any part of their input to rule making. If you submit comments, I suggest you do so in a very structured and well researched manner.

I won't summarize the rules here. Far too much detail. see the attachment. Unfortunately a summary table that was in the session presentation is not included in the presentation I downloaded. Fritz noted that there may be some discrepancies between the English and French versions - I havent't looked yet.

For my part, I blasted the proposed rules as complex and not conducive to safety. I "informed" them that the US has roughly 10x more of everything (airports, airplanes, pax movements) in a higher density environment and yet their rules are far less imposing and complex.

I also pointed out that they were rule making based on the technology as it was 3 years ago and that by the time the new rules come out (mid/late 2018), that the technology will have made new leaps and bounds rendering their weight based rules as useless (ie: the "Complex" UAS is 1 .. 25 kg - but by then people will very likely be doing "complex" operations with sub-Kg drones.)

I further added that Canada and US aviation rules are very similar and thus Canadian drone rules should be similar to the US. At another point one of the panelists pointed out that Canadian and Australian government types were comparing notes and identifying similar concerns, pop density, etc. and influencing each other. The geographical truth is we're pretty far from Australia and next door to ______________.

Brother Fritz pushed for non-personal idntifying info on drones (names/address) as someone could use the info in an unwelcome way. Better some "traceable" info. The TC rep suggested that perhaps a bar code would be an alternative.

(Note: for complex commercial ops, drones will be registered and have commercial aircraft id: C-YABC. I believe this is because such ops will require ATC contact and probably radio contact with ATC in class D/C airspace, and possibly with other aircraft in "E" space).

Some fellow (with possible self interest in mind) wants ALL drone operators to be school trained. Pretty transparent a la taxi industry. (He wants a regulatory guaranteed business / barrier to entry).

The above is but a sliver of what I heard. If you have an opportunity to attend a session (very few remaining) I heartily recommend you do so).

Toronto: September 26th, 9am - 12pm
Toronto: September 26th, 2pm-5pm (extra session added Sept 1)
Ottawa French: October 3rd, 9am - 12am
Ottawa English: October 3rd, 1pm - 4pm

Edits will follow.

Personal note: a 6 km Bixi bikeshare ride in 27°C humid, sunny conditions to get to the session is not conducive to a professional looking appearance on arrival.


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Feb 21, 2017
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thanks for that well written and informative post. hopefully TC will pull their heads out of the sand before consumer grade uavs are taken away from, or become financially out of reach of responsible recreational users to fly and enjoy.
Apr 2, 2016
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Thanks for the info. As I looked at the TC general provisions I really liked the part "Minimum altitude –able to glide clear" ......GLIDE CLEAR! I guess I should read my manual again because I don't know how to do that! The people drafting these regulations are taking a shotgun approach and try to cover all UAV's. I don't think they have a clue of the technology that many of our birds have. I believe that most of these rules would apply to RC planes more than quad copters. I would be curious to know how many in this task force has ever flown a quad. Leave it to our government to include a licensing fee and renewable every 5 years, wonder if the exam has to be re-done also, funny I don't need that to drive my car. Well at least i'm over 16 years old, I got that part covered quite few times over.
Apr 10, 2016
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Sarnia ON Canada
To be "compliant" according to the ASTM Standard F2910 it needs to still fly after 1 engine failure... that eliminates ALL quads... but same standard considers having an observers as adequate collision avoidance

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