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New drone rules 'open the skies', head of training company says

(Courtesy: en.wikipedia.ca)

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – New regulations for drone use are something to be excited about, according to a B.C. based company.

Transport Canada’s new drone rules are set to come into effect June 1st.

The new regulations introduce two categories of drones permits: basic, that allows you to fly up to 100 feet away from people and in uncontrolled airspace, and advance, which lets you fly a device 100 feet and closer to people and in controlled airspace.

“We’ll be able to do a lot more because now drones are able to fly in more places closer to people, in better situations,” Aerobotika Founder and CEO Paul Bennett says.

The head of the Coquitlam-based company, that helps businesses bring drones into their operations and will soon educate recreational users, says the new rules announced by the federal government will lead to more people flying the devices.

“There’s been a lot of people that don’t understand the rules and because of that they just avoid it,” Bennett says. “There are drones sitting in people’s basements unused, ever, because people don’t understand the rules, because they were complex. This is going to see those drones out of the boxes and start being used.”

Related video: New rules for drone pilots in Canada

Bennett believes that the regulations will have a positive impact and are more inclusive, lowering the minimum age for a permit from 18 to 14.

“There are a lot of younger people that were really excited to go out and do, start a small side business doing real estate photography,” he explains. “They weren’t able to because of their age.”

When it comes to drone-use on a larger, more commercial scale, he says there are a number of positives with new rules in that sector, too.

For example, under current rules, Bennett says streets would have be closed if a business wanted to use drones to take photos of a building downtown.

“Because you couldn’t have people within 100 feet of your drone when you were flying. So that, for example, is going away.”

New rules will also clarify what needs to be done to get the proper permitting, Bennett adds.

He believes it’ll be interesting to see how the new regulations will be enforced, something that can be tricky.

“This is the thing with Transport Canada, is they’re very busy people,” he says. “They have jobs already, a lot of these inspectors. They’re out inspecting airlines, they’re inspecting airports and manned aviation training schools. To have the cycles to step up enforcement is something it sounds like they’re committing to, and I think really the frontline of enforcement is most likely going to be our local law enforcement.”

Before June, anyone operating a drone will have to comply with the old system.