Transport Canada considers Fort St. John ‘Drone-free City’

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The City of Fort St. John says, effective Dec. 15, they have been deemed a ‘drone-free city’ by Transport Canada — following new federal regulations.

The regulations in question state that drone-flyers can’t fly their drones closer than 9 km from any airport, or higher than 90 metres above the ground. They also explicitly state that drones shouldn’t be flown closer than 150 metres to large groups of people, events, moving vehicles, or close to first responders.

Managing Director of North Peace Regional Airport Mike Whalley says drones interfering with the Airport haven’t been a problem in the past.  However, he does say that drones, no matter how big or small, shouldn’t be flown near the airport anyhow.

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“Most of what you’re buying at Wal-mart, or that sort of thing, are capable of going to a couple hundred feet,” he says.

“That could cause a problem with inbound and outbound traffic at the airport, so we highly advise against the use of anything in that nature within the vicinity of the airport. But, in open farmers fields away from the airport — by all means, have fun.”

Drones that weigh more than 25 kg and are used for work/research have to be approved for a Special Flight Operations Certificate. The regulations also state that there are exemptions and conditions to be met for smaller drones used for non-recreational purposes.

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