Proposed drone rules for recreational fliers 'overkill,' enthusiast says
Hard to keep track of smaller drones owned by hobbyists, president of AVI Drone Aerospace says
Transport Canada is proposing rules for recreational drone users, but a Kitchener enthusiast who teaches drone controllers how to fly their machines says what's really needed is more public education about the small aircraft.
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"A lot of [current] rules are more focused on the commercial use of them – so when people are doing it for a job, or they're for hire or taking pictures," Scott Gray, president of AVI Drone Aerospace in Kitchener, told The Morning Edition's host Craig Norris Monday.
The proposed regulations would mean drones larger than toy-sized would need to be registered. The users would need to pass a knowledge test and pay for liability insurance.
'Pretty much a toy'
Gray teaches courses in piloting UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and said for smaller drones – those weighing less than 2 kg – "they're pretty much a toy" and regulating them would be difficult.
"Tens of thousands of them are being sold across the country. It's going to be hard to keep your thumb on that," he said, and the technology's popularity is growing. "In the last, five, six, seven years, it really exploded."
Some drone users, he said, "have no idea that there are regulations that sort of govern some of these things, what you can do with them.
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For example, you can't fly them more than 300 feet high, you have to stay away from airports, five miles out. And if people start breaking those rules, that's when you see them on the news, it's usually people who didn't even know there were rules."