RE: Published Draft of Regulations Amending the Canadian Aviation Regulations (Unmanned Aircraft Systems)

On July 15, 2017 Transport Canada published the expected first draft of proposed changes to the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) related to all Unmanned Aircraft under 25kgs and operated within “Visual Line of Sight” (VLOS) of the pilot. (link below)

As noted in previous news and information releases, these legislative changes will have a direct impact on recreational model aviation in Canada. MAAC has been working closely with Transport Canada to ensure our members and their clubs are not adversely impacted by these changes.

To that end, the Board of Directors is very pleased to report that within the published text, Transport Canada recognizes our association’s history, structure and safety culture and clearly states their intention to provide MAAC and its members with an exemption from this legislation. As you will note in the published excerpt below, it is also clear that MAAC will be continuing our work with Transport Canada as criteria for new emerging associations is developed from our association’s template.

“MAAC has a long history of a safety culture, provides continued mentoring and guidance and has insurance for its members. It is Transport Canada’s intent to develop criteria for new emerging model associations that can provide to their members the same mentoring as MAAC does. The proposed Regulations would apply to MAAC members until such time as these criteria are developed and further amendments are introduced to carve out those associations. Until the Regulations can be modified to address new and emerging aero-modelling associations, Transport Canada would issue an exemption to MAAC members to the proposed requirements, so as to not negatively impact this sector of the industry.”

As required by the federal legislative process, after this initial publication, there is a 90 day “comment period” where formal comments/concerns are solicited by Transport Canada. Comments will then be reviewed, considered and appropriate changes made to the original draft before being published a second time in the Canada Gazette and enacted into law.

The MAAC Transport Canada committee along with the board of Directors and their subject matter experts will review the pending legislation in depth in the coming weeks and determine is formal comment from MAAC is necessary. Our members will be kept up to date on these matters as required.

Until this process is completed and enacted into law, the Interim Order relating to model aircraft initially issued by the Minister of Transport on March 20th, since updated on June 16th, remains in effect for all recreational modellers. MAAC members flying at sanctioned fields and events are exempt from the restrictions of that interim order. (link below)

The MAAC Board of Directors applauds our member’s safety record and wish to emphasise that your diligence has never been more important. Please fly safe and smart this season while continuing to mentor and promote fun and safety in this tremendous hobby. Thank you all.