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Feds release UAS draft regs for visual line of sight (VLOS)

July 16, 2017  By Unmanned Systems Canada

Unmanned Systems Canada has announced that the Government of Canada has released draft regulations for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) operations for public comment in Canada Gazette Part One.

This is a major milestone in the evolution of global industry where Canada has a leading position. Eleven years ago, Unmanned Systems Canada initiated formal discussions with Transport Canada (TC) to develop UAS regulations in anticipation of the development of a significant new commercial market for Canadian industry.

This milestone announcement will establish a regulatory environment for UAS operations within visual line of sight, building upon the procedures developed and refined over the past decade. During this period, some 10,000 special operating certificates have been issued by TC for commercial UAS operations under regulatory guidelines, with a rapid increase in approvals over the past four years. These operations have enabled entrepreneurs to establish new businesses, develop customer bases, and reshape how business is done in numerous applications. This year, the Canadian UAS industry is expected to generate revenues approaching $1 billion.

As these draft regulations address Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) operations, it is recognized that the future of the industry is dependent on the ability to operate Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) in a wide variety of applications that suit Canada’s vast geography and natural resources. Today’s announcement lays the groundwork for continuing to open up Canada’s industry through our regulatory process.

With 1,000 companies established in this dynamic new Canadian industrial sector, today’s regulatory announcement will further mature and enable our industry to move forward to safely and effectively implement new technologies in numerous markets, driving the creation of new high-quality jobs and economic growth.


Unmanned Systems Canada encourages industry and other stakeholders to review the proposed regulations and submit comments, either individually or, to Unmanned Systems Canada as part of a collective response. The association will continue to provide the industry with resources and representation at this critical time.


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