Straighten up and fly those drones right: Editorial

Proposed new rules to regulate recreational drones make sense.

Cleveland pitcher Trevor Bauer holds a recreational drone which caused an injury to his finger. The toys may soon be regulated.  (THE CANADIAN PRESS

It’s tough to believe a tiny toy weighing a mere 250 grams needs to be regulated. But when it’s a recreational drone, it’s a sensible idea. That’s because it can fly so fast that it could potentially kill someone if it hit them.

Indeed, dangerously close encounters — and even collisions — with recreational drones are becoming more common as the unmanned aerial vehicles become more popular.

That’s why proposed new regulations for people who fly drones for fun make sense. The proposals won’t be published for final public input until 2017, Transport Canada says.

But if the proposed regulatory framework that was sent to Transport Minister Marc Garneau in April, and obtained by CBC News, is any indication the new rules will help recreational users straighten up and fly right.

Under current regulations, recreational users don’t have to hold a Special Flight Operations Certificate from Transport Canada, as commercial operators of drones and those flying drones weighing more than 35 kg do. That means the agency depends on hobbyists to simply follow Transport Canada’s safety guidelines.

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