Stony Mountain firm expects to cash in when drones take off

Howard Loewen believes his firm, MicroPilot, could take off with a looser regulatory framework.

Howard Loewen hopes someday — maybe within the next five years — his company might become an overnight success.

Meanwhile, his Stony Mountain company, MicroPilot, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend.

MicroPilot makes autopilot technology — autonomous flight operating systems — for unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones.

There is growing public awareness about potential non-military uses of drones. When online retailer Amazon said it was testing unmanned drones for delivering goods to customers last year that awareness spiked.

What is less well-known is the commercial operation of such devices is extremely restricted throughout the world.

Currently, Transport Canada issues special permits on a case-by-case basis for commercial UAV operators after a rigorous application process.

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