Squamish has plenty of beautiful landscapes, obviously.
And many who live in town are tech-savvy shutterbugs. Combining these characteristics has meant many a local has shot outstanding drone photos or videos and then posted them online — or sent them to their community newspaper.
The thing is, most of the shots have been proof of illegal drone flying, according to Transport Canada rules.
Most of the flying restrictions are meant to protect privacy, the safety of people and things, or to protect the airspace of planes and helicopters.
The penalty for breaking these rules is quite hefty — fines from $3,000 to $25,000 (and/or jail time) depending on the rule broken and if the guilty party is an individual or a corporation.
The current Transport Canada rules for drones weighing more than 250 g and up to 35 kg require the Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) be flown:
• within 90 m of the ground or lower
• at least 30 m away from vehicles, vessels, and the public
(for drones weighing between 250 g and 1 kg)
• at least 76 m away from vehicles, vessels, and the public
(for drones weighing between 1 kg and 35 kg)
• at least 5.6 km from aerodromes (any airport, seaplane
base, or areas where aircraft takeoff and land)
• at least 1.9 km away from heliports or aerodromes used exclusively by helicopters
• outside of controlled or restricted airspace
• at least 9 km away from a natural hazard or disaster area
• away from areas where it could interfere with police or first responders
• during the day and not in clouds
• within your sight at all times
• within 500 m of yourself or closer
• only if clearly marked with your name, address and telephone number
The rules are changing as of June 1. After that date, registration will be required to fly a drone. Go to here for both the current and new rules.
@ Copyright Squamish Chief