The Canadian Minister of Transport last month announced the first proposed Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) drone rules in Canada, which are also among the first in the world. The proposed changes to the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) include rules for lower-risk operations of drones beyond visual line-of-sight, as well as for the operation of medium-sized drones within visual line-of-sight.
The proposed rules would require drones to be capable of detecting and avoiding other air traffic to ensure safety. They would also introduce a new class of pilot certification for lower-risk BVLOS operations, including a requirement to meet a new drone pilot medical standard, and eliminate the requirement to obtain a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) for certain lower-risk BVLOS and medium-sized drone operations.
“Drones present an opportunity to enhance the efficiency and reach of our transportation system, connect our communities, and modernize our supply chain networks. The proposed regulations, with a focus on mitigating safety risks while also supporting economic growth and innovation, would provide direct benefits to Canadians and unlock significant economic opportunities in Canada”, Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, said.
In the same week, Drone Delivery Canada, an aerial transport company, expanded its range of UAV operations by securing regulatory approval for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights of dangerous goods as part of its Care by Air program.
Drone Delivery Canada obtained BVLOS authorization from Transport Canada for a specialized Care by Air corridor, enabling the provision of aerial services to medical and healthcare clients. This approval enhances the flexibility, reach, and capabilities of their autonomous fleet, resulting in significantly improved operational efficiencies.
As part of the Care by Air project, Drone Delivery Canada will be the first in Canada to fly medical radioisotopes via UAV over a 13.4-kilometer route. This innovative initiative involves partnerships with McMaster University, DSV Canada Inc., Air Canada Cargo, Halton Healthcare, and the Oakville Trafalgar Hospital.
The BVLOS authorization granted to Drone Delivery Canada recognizes the company's cutting-edge technology, stringent safety standards, and commitment to advancing the field of drone logistics. The approval applies to their Care by Air operation in the Golden Horseshoe area of southern Ontario, near their Toronto headquarters.
Steve Magirias, the CEO of Drone Delivery Canada, expressed great pride in receiving these crucial approvals from Transport Canada for their Care by Air project. He emphasized that this achievement not only benefits their company but also the entire drone delivery sector. With BVLOS flights and authorization for transporting dangerous goods, they can revolutionize the transportation of healthcare supplies, ensuring faster delivery times and enhancing overall patient care.