Transport Canada Backs Drone Pilots in 2021 AIM!
On the first 2021 edition of the transport canada aim document has been published and they’ve actually addressed. All of my concerns about the embarrassing mix up in the previous edition and they’ve come to the defense of drone pilots with one new paragraph it’s, almost a rant, let’s check it out the aim or aviation information manual is a living document published by transport, canada. Every six months and is basically the layman’s guide to canadian aviation. The march 2021 edition of the aim is the third one, with a dedicated, rpa or remotely piloted aircraft. Chapter it’s definitely worth a read for new and experienced drone pilots and they even make it easy to review updates by shading changed paragraphs. In a light, blue color they’ve made a number of minor clarifications about sub 250 gram, drones, differentiating between agl and asl and the use of transponders. But there are two really important changes i’d like to share with you. First of all, the section on reporting of incidents and accidents – section 3.2.37 has been corrected and, thank goodness, you no longer have to report to the transportation safety board. If you smash your drone into a tree, this section now correctly states that there are three criteria for reporting a drone incident to the tsb number one. If the drone is a big boy over 25 kilograms, two, if someone is killed or sustains a serious injury or three if you’ve hit a manned aircraft, all good check out my video on this subject there’s a link up in the top right.
I guess that right, the other major change they’ve made is in two sections that talk about flying drones near aerodromes. The first one section 3.2.35 has been rewritten and now makes sense. This section discusses operations near aerodromes, airports and heliports, and in the previous edition of the aim, actually contradicted later sections in the same document. Well, it’s all been fixed up now and makes it crystal clear how to differentiate certified aerodromes from non certified. What level of pilot certificate you need and how advanced pilots properly, coordinate flights near airports, all good and even better transport? Canada has also corrected the corresponding drone safety webpage, where they had an astonishingly incorrect definition of basic operations. For many many months, it’s now fixed and is consistent with the regulations and the aim document. The second section discussing operations in the vicinity of aerodromes is section 3.4.5. This section describes procedures for advanced pilots operating near airports or heliports, not in controlled airspace and was newly introduced in the last edition of the aim. This is the section that says: first, try to coordinate with the airport operator and, if you can’t, get hold of them to a nati. Initiate an aviation radio call well they’ve combed through this and made lots of little edits to make it much more clear. For example, it used to say that the radio call should be made to, and i quote, attract attention now. It says more sensibly that the call quote could mean making a general position report initially to attract attention and inform other airport airspace users.
This exactly corresponds to the protocol. I recommend in my radio knowledge for drone pilots etiquette, video, oh and they have have also removed generic water aerodromes from being part of this procedure, now it’s only certified water airports, along with certified airports and heliports. Of course, thank goodness. So the only thing that they haven’t dealt with in this area is publishing gis mapping, data for the so called runway sausages, where these rules are supposed to be used. According to the new head of the rpas team, they’re working on a strategy for that, but putting that aside the last paragraph of this section is what made me so excited it’s, almost like a rant. Now there have been a number of incidents where drone operators have been doing their due diligence and contacting airports to coordinate a flight and being told no by the airport operator. I’Ve referred a couple of people to transport canada for resolution. Well, they’ve come out with the definitive statement and it’s like a breath of fresh air. I’Ll read it verbatim. Although registered and certified aerodrome operators can prohibit someone from using their ground installations, they cannot forbid the use of the airspace surrounding a registered or certified aerodrome airspace access is regulated through the cars and any aircraft and pilot meeting the requirements therein could use the airspace. In other words, an airport operator can tell you not to use their property for landing or taking off that’s just standard property, trespassing stuff, but they cannot stop you from flying in the airspace around their airport.
Obviously, you need to follow the air aviation regulations and be extremely careful flying around an airport, but you have rights as a certified drone pilot and transport canada. Now has your back i’m really glad to see these guys are listening to feedback from drone pilots like me and others, and improving their communications material? I encourage you to download the rpa chapter of the aim and read the latest updates yourself there’s a link in the description below.