New RPAS Regulations Taking Enjoyment Out of RC Model Flying

Radio-controlled model aircraft hobbyist John Ferguson.

CARs Part 9, which regulates Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), a category that includes drones and was implemented in 2019, is pushing some radio-controlled (RC) model airplane operators to abandon their hobby, according to one long-time hobbyist.

Given the proliferation of drones in the past few years and the rapid advances in RPAS technology, more restrictive regulations have been introduced. Caught in the regulatory evolution are the operators of RC model aircraft, who used to be more or less self-regulated by following safety codes developed by the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada (MAAC). They are now captured in the RPAS definition and subject to its rules, especially the more onerous ones that apply to RPAs that weigh more than 249 grams, such as requirements for RPA registration and pilot licensing.

“I wrote the basic exam and I felt it was not easy. I passed but think many hobbyists will decide to retire from the hobby,” said John Ferguson in a letter to local media outlet in Ontario’s Prince Edward County.

Ferguson also mentioned that his RC model aircraft club had to move from Consecon because of its proximity to CFB Trenton.