KENTVILLE, N.S. - Playing with drones is a hot hobby, but new guidelines from Transport Canada are causing concern among recreational users of the flying devices.
The new rules announced March 16 for model aircraft include restrictions on when and where drones are used for fun.
Transport Canada’s restrictions say do not fly your drone:
· higher than 90 metres above the ground
· closer than 75 metres from buildings, vehicles, vessels, animals, people/crowds, etc.
· closer than nine kilometres from the centre of an aerodrome (any airport, heliport, seaplane base or anywhere that aircraft take-off and land)
· within controlled or restricted airspace
· within nine kilometres of a forest fire
· where it could interfere with police or first responders
· at night or in clouds
· if you can’t keep it in sight at all times
· if you are not within 500 metres of your drone
· if your name, address, and telephone number are not clearly marked on your drone.
St. John’s journalism instructor Jeff Ducharme says the regulations are necessary.
The issue is“… the guys who plop down $1,500 on a drone at the local electronics or hobby store, take the drone out of the box, slap the battery in it, read the quick reference guide — one of the worst things to ever happen to drones —start the engines up and straight up in the air,” Ducharme told TC Media March 29.He has been teaching a a drone journalism course at the College of the North Atlantic since 2013.
“People want to be YouTube cowboys. They want to put these videos up and get 100,000 views. They want to go to viral. This is a driving factor. They’re not interested in doing anything.”