Drones are bound to be a hot-ticket item this Christmas, but with technology moving faster than regulations, YVR Airport wants to remind Vancouverites to be careful – especially around an airport.
“Innovation and safety are two of YVR’s core values,” said Steve Hankinson, Vice President of Operations at Vancouver Airport Authority in a press release. “We recognize the amazing potential for drones to improve a variety of processes, but we’re asking the public to prioritize safety and never fly one near an airport.”
The release states that flying a drone with nine kilometres of an active airport like YVR can be very dangerous, and could pose a serious threat to other aircraft. The campaign will feature educational materials, advertising, and “No Drone Zone” signs at key YVR locations. About 310,000 takeoffs and landings were recorded at YVR in 2014, with planes carrying 19.4 million passengers and 257,000 tonnes of cargo.
“YVR’s campaign is helping to create awareness about the very real dangers and consequences of flying a drone near an airport,” said the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport. “This holiday season, I encourage all new drone users to learn the rules of the sky on our website.”
The campaign also coincides with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to require drone owners to register their aircraft with the government. It is estimated that 1.6 million drones will be sold by the end of the year, with 800,000 sold within the final quarter.
The American policy requires drone owners to register their aircraft for $5.00. Renewal is required every three years.
It remains to be seen whether Transport Canada will enact a similar registration policy for Canadian drone owners.
Drones are also problematic in Vancouver Harbour in downtown Vancouver, where close to 60,000 aircraft takeoffs and landings by seaplanes are recorded each year.