The small recreational drones have experienced rapid development and equally rapid popularity.
In Canada, as elsewhere, there have been a number of incidents and accidents that have caused concern.
People have been using them to spy into apartment buildings and homes, and flying near aircraft and airports. This latter situation has potential for disastrous consequences.
There have also been some drone crashes into or near people.
CBC- The National (news programme)
While drones used for commercial purposes have had strict regulations and licensing for some time, recreational drones have had no real restrictions, until now.
Yesterday Canada’s Transportation Minister, Marc Garneau announced new recreational drone regulations that take effect immediately.
Now such drones (weighing more than 250 grams) cannot fly
- Higher than 90 meters (300 ft.) above the ground
- At a distance of more than 500 meters (1,640 ft.) from the operator (should remain in sight)
- Within 75 meters (246 ft.) of buildings, vehicles, vessels, animals, people or crowds
- At night or in the clouds
- Within 9 km (5.6 miles) from the center of an airport or other facility where aircraft takeoff or within 9 km of forest fires or any emergency response scene, or in any way that interferes with first responders or police
- Drones must also be labeled with operators name, address and telephone number
Fines for improper flying can be up to $3,000.
Critics say the rules, especially concerning airports and aircraft, mean that people can not fly drones almost anywhere in and around the greater Toronto area, or for example in the city of Victoria BC, due to float plane activity at that port city, as would be the case in several other Canadian cities as well.