Published March 30, 2021
Recently Transport Canada released a new document titled “Transport Canada’s Drone Strategy to 2025″, a 20-page document that outlines its vision, strategy and progress in the realm of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) in Canada. The main sections presented in this document include:
- Section 1 – Drones are Transforming Society
- Section 2 – The Canadian Drone Landscape
- Section 3 – Our Role and Vision
- Section 4 – What We’ve Learned: Challenges, Opportunities and Priorities
Section 4 is the most comprehensive, and is broken down in the following sub-sections:
- 4.1 – Safety Regulations to Support Innovation
- 4.2 – Managing Drone Traffic
- 4.3 – Drone Security Risks
- 4.4 – Innovation Enabling Economic Growth
- 4.5 – Increasing Public Trust in Drones
Some of the topics, projects and statements that really stood out in my opinion throughout this document:
- Commercial drone market estimated to be worth $6 billion today
- Canadian commercial market expected to grow by more than 17% by 2027.
- One of the top priorities of Transport Canada is to expand low risk Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight operations.
- The Arctic Unmanned Aircraft systems Initiative (BVLOS trials) were discussed.
- Atlantic Right Whale monitoring with drones was mentioned.
- Canada has issued 52 SFOCs to support lower-risk BVLOS operations from 2018 to October 2020.
- Priorities to 2025 include lower risk BVLOS rules for rural and remote areas, as well as issuing SFOCs for medium-risk BVLOS operations.
- Discussions of Canada’s development of RPAS Traffic Management (RTM) systems.
- Exploration of counter-drone technologies to detect, track and mitigate against unauthorized drone incursions.
- Detect-and-Avoid systems for drones and related research initiatives.
- Various exploratory trials were conducted at the 2 approved test ranges in Quebec and Alberta.
- The first carrier license to allow the delivery of goods by drone was issues in late 2020 (Indro Robotics).
- 53,000 drones in the sky today, compared with 37,000 manned aircraft.
I encourage you to read the document in full form, as it’s the first of its kind in Canada and provides some interesting links to some of the topics and projects mentioned above.
Access the PDF doc here:
In addition, there is an interesting summary infographic that was released alongside the document release that can be seen here:
It was exciting to see all the changes over the last couple of years, including a new licensing framework in Canada, and there is a lot more progress on the horizon!
Mike Morellato is the lead author and founder of WorkingWithDrones.com. He works with drones and their data at Strategic in Campbell River, BC (Canada).