Transport Canada to Authorize Advanced Drone Operations

Late last week Transport minister Omar Alghabra announced proposed changes to CARs Part 9 (which concerns Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems) that would allow the routine operation of drones beyond visual line-of-sight (commonly referred to as BVLOS). Measures that must be met to allow such operations include the automatic detection and avoidance of other air traffic. Additional proposed changes include the introduction of a new class of medical certification for the pilot who is operating the drone remotely.

The minister’s announcement states that these changes would allow for routine operations such as remote package delivery, aerial surveys and first responder operations.

“The proposed regulations, with a focus on mitigating safety risks while also supporting economic growth and innovation, would provide direct benefits to Canadians and unlock significant economic opportunities in Canada,” said Alghabra in a press release.

Formal adoption of some of the proposed changes would occur in 2024, and the remainder in 2025, after being published in the Canada Gazette, according to the press release.

Transport Canada reports that more than 90,000 drones have been registered in Canada to date.