Guidance for flying drones near our vessels and terminals

by John Trickett, Manager Corporate Security and Emergency Preparedness

One of the best parts of exploring is being able to take photos and videos of your travels to share with family and friends.

We know our customers love to explore. One of the best parts of exploring is being able to take photos and videos of your travels to share with family and friends.

Our customers have used drones to take photos and videos of our vessels and terminal areas at all three of our ports. We know as drone usage becomes more popular, we will have even more customers using their devices on, or near, our properties.

Ensuring that our customers are safe is our top priority. To ensure the safety of all of our customers we are highlighting Transport Canada’s recently announced specific rules and guidelines for using recreational drones safely and legally.

Because we operate marine vessels out of each of our ports, we are included in the rules for recreational drone use. Transport Canada states that drones will not be flown within 75 m of our vessels, or terminal grounds. What this means to travellers is that drones cannot be launched from our vessels and terminals.

Not following the guidelines below may put lives, aircraft and property at risk. If negligence in the operation of a drone can be established, criminal charges could follow.

Below are basic safety rules that will enable you to fly your drone safely and legally.

Fly your drone:

  • a maximum of 90 m above the ground
  • at least 30 m away from vehicles, vessels, and the public (if your drone weighs more than 250 g up to 1 kg)
  • at least 75 m away from vehicles, vessels, and the public (if your drone weighs more than 1 kg up to 35 kg)
  • at least 5.5 km away from aerodromes (any airport, seaplane base, or areas where aircraft take-off and land)
  • at least 1.8 km away from heliports or aerodromes used by helicopters only
  • outside of controlled or restricted airspace
  • at least 9 km away from a natural hazard or disaster area
  • away from areas where operation 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

Tips for recreational drone users (drones under 250 g):

  • Fly your drone during daylight and in good weather.
  • Keep your drone where you can see it with your own eyes – not through an on-board camera, monitor or smartphone.
  • Make sure your drone is safe for flight before take-off. Ask yourself, for example: Are the batteries fully charged? Is it too cold to fly?
  • Respect the privacy of others. Avoid flying over private property or taking photos or videos without permission.

For additional information regarding Transport Canada’s safety advisory, please visit: https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/drone-safety.html