The popularity of drones for recreational use has grown rapidly in recent years. Today, it's commonplace to see drones flying around your local parks and neighbourhoods. Drone technology is also being adopted for commercial use to monitor land and properties in industries such as agriculture, oil and gas and construction and real estate.
Regulators are now trying to keep pace with this phenomenon. In January, Transport Canada announced that they would be introducing new regulations for drone use sometime in 2016. If you are currently using drones or considering it for tracking your construction projects, monitoring your properties, or gathering footage for marketing content, here are a few things you should know:
•Unless certain conditions apply, in order to operate a commercial drone, you will require a Special Flight Operations Certificate from the Minister of Transport. This certificate will include the terms you must abide by and the specific purpose and areas you are permitted to operate it within.
•You will likely need to secure separate liability coverage for your commercial drone usage. At minimum, even if you are exempt from permit requirements, you will require $100,000 in liability insurance.
•Before flying a drone over your property or construction site, keep in mind the adjacent areas. If you are close to an airport or high traffic areas, it may not be wise to fly a drone.
•It is important to be informed on all applicable laws. For example, you could run the risk of violating the Private Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) if your drone is collecting sensitive information or footage without express consent.
We will provide further updates once Transport Canada releases its new regulations on commercial drones. In the meantime, please contact a CapriCMW Risk Advisor for additional information and resources.