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Transport Canada's RPAS/Drone Task Force Needs to Hear From You!
By Kathy Lubitz, President of Ultralight Pilots Association of Canada, EAA 640605
April 2021 – It appears that the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Task Force might be listening to the pilots of manned aircraft who fly in uncontrolled airspace in rural areas at relatively low altitudes. I received the following email from them, seeking specific information about a flight school's activities. It appears this request was sent to the ultralight and powered parachute flight schools listed on Transport Canada's website. (Find the list at bit.ly/30X6yoU. Under category, search for "ultra-light" and "powered parachutes." This will be two separate searches.) I asked a few conventional flight schools if they also received this request. They did not. It looks like the request was only sent to ultralight and powered parachute flight schools.
Kathy Lubitz, president of UPAC.
It also does not appear that owners of registered or unregistered aerodromes are being contacted. If you are a pilot operating from one of these aerodromes, I believe the RPAS Task Force needs to hear from you, too. This is the additional data they also ask for. It is important to respond to let the RPAS operators know we're out there! If they don't get your feedback, they will conclude that low-level uncontrolled airspace in rural areas is indeed empty. Please send in your information. The following is the text of the task force email:
"Transport Canada's Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Task Force is in the process of evaluating the level of low-level flying activity to ensure that RPAS can safely share the Canadian airspace with traditional aviation traffic. To that end, they are asking flight schools for information about their flying activities in order to "help predict low-level air traffic density across Canada. We are drawing data from multiple aviation stakeholders and as part of this effort, low-level traffic around registered flight training units (FTUs) is of interest. Of particular interest are traffic patterns away from airfields in uncontrolled airspace that are not otherwise identified.
As part of this effort, we would like to consider some basic data from FTUs:
- Do any of your low-altitude (< 750' AGL) training activities take place in uncontrolled airspace? Yes/No
- If so, is the training activity expected to take place within airspace marked for this purpose on a VNC/VTA or CYA/CYR (i.e., a designated practice area)? Yes/No
- If no, we would like the following details about the airspace used for training:
- Lat/long coordinates of the airspace;
- Frequency of use, including time of day, days of the week, and any seasonal pattern (i.e., spring during daylight on weekdays, summer during daylight mostly weekends, and so on); and
- Number of aircraft that may operate simultaneously.
Any additional data or input you may provide will be helpful and appreciated.'"
From my perspective, "additional data" includes information from those of you operating from registered aerodromes, and particularly from unregistered aerodromes and farm strips. Send in your information!
If you are a UL flight school fly and/or you fly from a registered, or especially an unregistered, aerodrome, you need to respond. I did not see a deadline so I don't know how long they will accept replies.
Send your information as soon as possible to: TC.RPASInfo-InfoSATP.TC@tc.gc.ca.