Unmanned Air Vehicles
Unmanned Air Vehicles
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Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs), or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs), more commonly known as drones, are estimated to become a $100-$260 million industry in Canada by 2020. There has been a continued increase in the number of individuals and companies that are interested in getting into commercial drone operations, but many do not know where to start.

As part of its commitment to emerging technology, Field Law has developed a highly qualified group of lawyers with particular knowledge and experience relating to drone law both for commercial and recreational use. Our team includes the only litigator in Canada with a reported successful drone law decision, among other qualified members, to help advance your business and personal interests to navigate the legal landscape for drone use including contractual, insurance, privacy, and intellectual property issues.

To date, there has been concern with privacy issues and potential liability resulting from the use of drones. The goal of the new drone regulations, published by Transport Canada on January 9, 2019, is to enhance predictability for businesses, improve the security of aviation and ensure our airspace is safe for everyone.

The new regulations that have come into effect June 1, 2019, distinguish between basic and advanced operations and require drones of a certain size to be registered with Transport Canada and drone pilots to get a drone pilot certificate. The regulations also prohibit reckless or negligent operation of a drone and those who break the rules can face fines up to $25,000 or jail time. The rules apply to drones that weigh between 250 grams and 25 kilograms.

R v Shah, 2017 ABQB 144
May + June 2019
Drone Workshop: Updates on Canada's Drone Regulations
Seminars
Canada's Latest Drone Regulations - Are You Ready to Fly?The Field Law Emerging Technology Group invites you to take to the sky with your drone, but before you do, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the regulation, risks and responsibili...
May 2019
New Canadian Drone Regulations
Effective June 1, 2019, Transport Canada has new rules for flying drones in Canada. These new regulations hope to enhance predictability for businesses and  improve the safety from drone operations relating to aviation and the Canadian public. ...
March 18, 2019
Tech Support: Law Firms Lining up to Take Advantage of Tech Boom
Canadian Lawyer Mag
Erika Carrasco discusses how the law surrounding drones offers a typical example of the challenges of working in a fast-developing area.
January 10, 2019
New Canadian Drone Regulations
Ted Henley, CityNews
(3:54) Erika Carrasco discusses the new rules for flying drones in Canada that come into effect on June 1, 2019.
January 10, 2019
Will new rules for drone flights in Canada make our skies safer?
Judy Aldous, CBC News
Transport Canada published new rules for flying drones in Canada that come into effect on June 1, 2019. Erika Carrasco discusses these new rules and answers questions on Alberta at Noon with Judy Aldous.
January 9, 2019
New Canadian Drone Regulations
On January 9, 2019, Transport Canada published new rules for flying drones in Canada to enhance predictability for businesses, improve the security of aviation and ensure our airspace is safe for everyone. The new regulations distinguish between b...
May 29, 2018
New Drone Regulations are Coming to Canada – Are You Ready for the Changes?
Seminars
Canadian Bar Association
Join Erika Carrasco to explore new drone regulations coming to Canada. Specific topics of the session will include:  What are the current Regulations in Canada and how and why are they changing?  What will this mean for lawyers n...
February 2018
2018 Blockchain IoT & Machine Learning
Client Events
Oil & Gas Canada
How to Manage the Legal Risk of Emerging Technologies and IoT and Reap the Benefit
January 2018
Drones 101
Calgary lawyer says laws confusing but clarity is on the horizon
January 2018
Could new technology keep drones from spying on you?
Vanessa Hvratin, National Post
Erika Carrasco offers perspective on the current challenges facing the drone industry, and how new technology and privacy laws could impact future drone legislation.
December 2017
Case Summary: R v Shah
Defence + Indemnity
A. After the first reported decision on drones in Canada, the drone operator was found guilty of flying his drone "in a manner hazardous or likely hazardous to aviation safety" under section 602.45 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations as it t...
November 2017
Legally Using Drones in Construction - How to Maximize Profit while Minimizing Risk
Presentations
BUILDEX Calgary
November 2017
Legal eagle to explain how to soar like a drone properly
Peter Caulfield, Journal of Commerce
Ahead of Calgary Buildex 2017, Erika Carrasco provides background on her presentation on safe, legal use of drones: It's a Bird, It's a Plane, No It's a Drone! Legal Know-how for Successful Use and Operation of UAVs on Construction and Comm...
June 2017
First Calgarian convicted for flying drone wins new trial after appeal
Shawn Logan, Calgary Herald
Erika Carrasco grants insight into the complexities of UAV Regulations in Canada, and her involvement as counsel in the appeal of the first person in Calgary charged under those Regulations.
April 2017
Taking Off: Drone Law in Canada
Seminars
What You Need to Know to (Legally) Operate a Drone   Did you know that people operating drones are considered pilots of aircraft? Or that the Canadian drone market is estimated to be worth between $100-$260 million by 2024? How about the fac...
September 2016
The Wild West: Drone Laws and Privacy in Canada
‘Drones’ were first known by the military as unmanned aerial vehicles, and later by the International Civil Aviation Organization as remotely piloted aircraft systems. Drones come in various shapes and sizes and can be p...

Where we began: Our client was convicted under s. 602.45 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (part of the Aeronautics Act) for flying his drone too close to an airport. A trial he was represented by volunteer law students. We were approached by them to represent the client on the appeal of the conviction. The issue on appeal was whether the trial judge had correctly found that our client had beyond a reasonable doubt, flown a model aircraft in a manner that was or was likely hazardous to aviation safety. The only law that applied to recreational use of a drone at that time. 

Our approach: Through the appeal process we used our in-depth industry knowledge and deep understanding of the new regulatory frameworks to assist the Court in understanding the applicable law relating to recreational drone use.

The result: The appeal of our client’s conviction was successful. Within weeks of the decision s. 602.45 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations was amended to no longer apply to drones and the Minister of Transport issued an Interim Order that provide more clarity for recreational drone operators. This prevented other drone users across Canada from facing the same penalty.