Dear Editor,

This letter is to help inform the public regarding Transport Canada Federally Governed regulations when flying a drone/quadcopter in Canada. I invite whomever wants to fly a drone to please educate yourselves first. Visit and know the law. Understand where you can fly and cant fly.

Did you know you are not to fly a drone closer than nine kilometres from the centre of an aerodrome, any airport, heliport, seaplane nase, or anywhere aircraft take off or land, unless you are SFOC Commercial Aviation Pilot Transport Canada Approved, which I am?

For example, the valley has a STARS heliport at the Invermere District Hospital, Invermere Airport, and Fairmont Hot Springs Airport. Unless you have a SFOC ATS number, Transport Canada Approved, you can not fly in the Columbia Valley within nine kilometres of these sites. This is the law. Transport Canada has Regulations for everyones safety. This time of year we have many gliders, paragliders, hang gliders and more aircraft traffic flying into the Columbia Valley.

When you have an SFOC, you understand Civil Aviation Transport Canada Regulations and always fly safe. You also have a Aeronautical Restricted Operator Radio License to monitor air traffic or communicate to other aircraft in the area for safety. Or have an observer that has a license to do so. We all need to be safe!

Unfortunately some people are way out of control flying in restricted airspace, flying while not maintaining line of sight, at night time, etc. My commercial aviation insurance broker said the insurance companies are starting to have many people trying to claim damages from drone accidents. My broker informed me one fellow took out a huge picture window in someones house. Some invade peoples privacy and spy on people, Most people are not educated with civil aviation, equipment, and Transport Canada laws and regulations. I am sure you have heard on the news about people flying close to forest fires, airports, etc. This can put others at a serious safety risk.

Transport Canada has upped their enforcement teams and are going on websites, social media etc. If you are a company and hire someone to capture aerial footage be sure to ask for their SFOC Commercial Aviation Pilot License, and ask for their ATS number. Also ask for their commercial liability insurance policy number. If a company hires someone not fully licensed, Transport Canada has huge penalties and fines, which they are starting to enforce strictly. Just like driving a car without a license or insurance, sooner or later you may be caught.

If you see someone flying a drone on these areas, ask if they have a SFOC and for their ATS number. If they do not give their number they most likely do not have one. Report them to Transport Canada.

Bonnie-Lou Ferris

Columbia Valley