Calgary

Calgary police outline dos and don'ts of drone flying

Heading into the holidays, police know drones will be a popular gift this year. They also know a lot of people getting them won’t be familiar with the rules around flying above the city.

Flying above houses cause of most complaints

With drones becoming more popular, police held a seminar to go over the rules. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

Heading into the holidays, police know drones will be a popular gift this year.

They also know a lot of people getting them won't be familiar with the rules around flying above the city.

So in an effort to keep the skies clutter free, a seminar was held Saturday to educate potential drone pilots.

"Drones, or UAVs as we prefer to call them, they're a great toy, they're a great tool for a variety of different disciplines, we just want to make sure that people are fully aware of the rules and regulations that pertain to these devices," said Sgt. Colin Foster.

"The biggest problem we have at the moment though is that legislation is trying to catch up to the industry and one of the reasons we're hosting this event today is to show what is currently applicable and what's coming down the pipeline shortly."

Chris Jones bought a drone last year and called the seminar eye opening.

"Mostly for photography reasons because I'm an amateur photographer and this was kind of taking it to another level, do some video," he said.

"I've had a drone for about a year, I haven't really used it as much as I'd like to use it because there's a lot of restrictions involved with it so I really did come to see what can I do and what can't I do, and I found out there's a whole lot less I can do than I thought I could."

Amateur photographer Chris Jones bought a drone last year and said he was unfamiliar with the rules. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

Foster says the number of calls to police about drones is going up.

"One of the biggest things that we are getting at the moment is drones flying over people's home addresses, they're flying in public places, that's one of the biggest no-nos," he said.

Other rules include not flying higher than 90 metres, and not operating over a park, or over a street. Doing that could result in a mandatory court appearance.

And Foster says more rules are on the way.

"In the States, they've introduced legislation that is now enacted that requires people to be a certain age, restricts the size of these devices, there's also licensing considerations as well so what's happening in the states is going to happen here," he said.

For a list of drone dos and don'ts, visit Transport Canada's website.

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