As I type this post today, I wish I had a crystal ball regarding the future of Recreational and Commercial UAV flight in Canada.
Although I have heard a TON of comments regarding stricter laws and uncertainty, here is my two cents…
I am hoping the laws do not change much, but will mirror image the current laws in the U.S. to the extent there is a registration process in place, which Canada needs. There seems to be a better understanding in the U.S. regarding the laws and processes with the newly rolled out Part 107.
It also seems that there is a greater acceptance of Drones in the U.S. and their society. The commercial markets seem to point to that. I have done hundreds of quotes, and I believe my pricing is very reasonable for the services offered, however there is apprehension when it comes to signing on the dotted line.
I know a few issues that we face as commercial UAV service companies in Canada. These include;
- A poor economy (In Alberta…anyway…no one is spending money on extras like this)
- The Box Store Pilots…(The recreational user who goes to the box store, picks up a $500 drone and offers aerial services on Kijiji or Facebook for literally free, without the proper qualifications and requirements…
- Permission of others. National Parks require permission from the Park Management, however if you look on YouTube, there is tons of footage that obviously has not met National Park Permission requirements and is therefore unlawful.
Another point is there has to be better education for pilots and officials regarding legislation and enforcement in Canada. For example there are a ton of pilots out there who obviously do not know what registered aerodromes are and where they can and cannot fly.
I am hoping that all of Canada educates themselves regarding the current laws rules and regulations regarding UAV and that Joe Public realizes they are not used just for spying, trespassing and flying close to airplanes. (Most of the supposed Drone near misses, in my opinion are false).
My experience with UAV flight is fairly recent… (February 2016). However, in that time I have:
- Incorporated a partnership, turned single owner company…(Partner lost interest and got frustrated by the struggles of new business).
- Built a reputable full spectrum UAV service company from the ground up
- Developed our own website through a couple of different web building platforms and learned a lot
- Built a great relationship with the top UAV suppliers in North America
- Built a well-stocked service and repair facility for unauthorized repairs and service.
- Built our own HSE manual as well as achieved SFOC certification for all of Western Canada
- Built a relationship with a few Insurance companies and carry minimum liability coverage as well as rental pool coverage
- Flew my first “UAV” a $10000.00 Yuneec Tornado H920….(Rather nervous first flight)
- Been scammed by crooks by way of fraudulent online purchases.
- Emerged from the struggles of the aforementioned negatives and continue to grow towards a successful service company for the long haul!!
I could go for hours on other accomplishments I and my company have achieved in the UAV industry, but this is where I will conclude.
As an incorporated UAV full service company in for the long term, I wish for a couple of things.
- Number one is that the Alberta/ Canadian economy picks up and people retain the ability to have liquid cash to make recreational purchases such as UAVs and accessories, and that small business in Alberta/ Canada, look at the advantages of aerial photography to gain that competitive advantage for marketing and advertising.
- The second wish is that Canadian society in general educates themselves further regarding the use and advantages of UAV in our society.
- My final wish is that after society educates themselves regarding the advantages of the UAV that people understand that, as with all industry, that to provide a service that is beneficial, and that ensures safety and compliance, it takes hard work, money, resources and time and that “the box store pilots” keep to recreation only or put forth the resources (Time, Money Effort, Sweat equity, and Perseverance), to build up a reputable UAV service company that supplies regulated services and product to the public we serve.
If you are interested in more information regarding the services and products at DR-one, please click on the following link. Thanks for your time and hopefully in the future www.DR-one.ca can help you #CreateYourOwnMemories
Guest Post by Dave Hillier, co-founder of DR-one.ca.