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Just a FYI for drone operators and Ft McMurray Fire

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From PNR Teansport Canada. Operators should have received this if they have current SFOC.

Reminder to all PNR UAV Certificate Holders regarding operations near forest fires and emergency zones


Please be advised that all UAV Operations in the Fort McMurray Emergency Zone are prohibited.


All SFOCs issued to UAV Operators within the Prairie and Northern Region contain the following conditions:


1.“No UAV pilot shall operate the UAV within one nautical mile of any active emergency scene without the specific authorization of the on-scene commander”


This condition serves to protect emergency responders and victims/property from undue interference from unauthorized aircraft/UAVs. This condition is on ALL PNR-issued Certificates for UAVs including those issued to emergency-response organizations. Any emergency-response personnel wishing to use their UAVs must abide by all conditions of their SFOCs, including the second restriction below, regarding forest fire areas and the airspace restrictions associated. The entire Fort McMurray area is under a declared state of emergency and as such is considered to be an all-encompassing active emergency scene until the declaration of emergency situation is rescinded.


2.“No UAV pilot shall operate the UAV over a forest fire area, or over any area that is located within five nautical miles of a forest fire area”


This condition is based on the following excerpt from TP 2228E-5, Forest Fire Airspace Restrictions and it applies to ALL UAVs including SFOC holders, operations conducted under the UAV Exemptions and to recreational/model aircraft/UAVs.


“Section 601.15 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) provides that no unauthorized person shall operate an aircraft over a forest fire area, or over any area that is located within 5 NM of one, at an altitude of less than 3000 ft. AGL. A NOTAM to restrict does not need to be issued for this airspace restriction to be in effect. In accordance with CAR 601.16, however, Transport Canada may issue a NOTAM to restrict the airspace further around a forest fire. Pilots are reminded to check NOTAMs before flying near forest fires.”


Transport Canada will not grant any requests to operate any UAVs in the Fort McMurray or nay other forest fire or Emergency zone unless it is at the request of the Emergency Response Authority and has the permission of the Alberta Air Attack Coordination Center, which has expressly prohibited any UAV operations in the Fort McMurray forest fire area.


We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this matter.


Please direct any inquires via email to [email protected]


In the event of an emergency request for UAV flight coordination, contact:


Canadian Aviation Contingency Operations (CACO) at 1-877-992-6853.



- Thank you

SFOC UAV

Transport Canada

Prairie and Northern Region

Info Line : 1-888-463-0521

[email protected]



To provide feedback to TCCA, use CAIRS. See:
Civil Aviation - Transport Canada

Pour tout commentaire à TCAC, utilizer CAIRS. Voyez:
Aviation civile - Transports Canada
 
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Despite this, the news has been reporting a few people still trying to fly in the area without permission. They weren't licensed operators, and ran away when approached by emergency response personnel. Sad.
 
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I had three diff requests from news and "docudrama" companies. I explained the rules and told them the possibility of only after emergency was over and I wasn't going to violate the rules. One offered triple my fee. Still ain't worth it for safety, but I'm sure some uninformed Ops would try.
 
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I had three diff requests from news and "docudrama" companies. I explained the rules and told them the possibility of only after emergency was over and I wasn't going to violate the rules. One offered triple my fee. Still ain't worth it for safety, but I'm sure some uninformed Ops would try.
Scumbag media...Vilifies operators for breaking the law; offers large sums of money to coerce operators to break the law.
 
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I had three diff requests from news and "docudrama" companies. I explained the rules and told them the possibility of only after emergency was over and I wasn't going to violate the rules. One offered triple my fee. Still ain't worth it for safety, but I'm sure some uninformed Ops would try.
No kiddin. Good on you for setting the example. I saw this another post about it here - Drones Deployed to Help in Fight Against Alberta Wildfire | Drone Overdose
There are companies like Elevated RS and Ventus Geospatial that are legitimately there to do mapping and find the root cause. The non-compliant operators just make things worse for everyone in the long run. Maybe they make a quick buck, but all operators suffer for it when the industry gets tarnished by those incidents!
 
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Update as of June 10
This notification is being sent to all current and past Prairie and Northern Region Special Flight Operations Certificate Holders (UAV).


Please be advised that the current Forest Fire Airspace Restriction for Fort McMurray and Area is still in effect and is expected to remain at least until June 30, 2016. No UAV operations are permitted in this area (see YEG FIR NOTAM’s). Operations in any Forest Fire Areas are prohibited under ALL PNR issued SFOC’s except for those specifically authorizing this activity. A separate SFOC application and Certificate is required for operations in the NOTAM’d area or within 5 miles of any Forest Fire Area. Only applications specifically supported by documentation from the Alberta Fire Control Authority will be considered. As of today, the Fire Control Authority has indicated that they do not intend allow any UAV’s to fly in the NOTAM’d area under their control.


In accordance with Section 5.1 of the Aeronautics Act, Transport Canada has issued an Airspace Restriction for Fort McMurray and the surrounding area, including the entire populated area of Fort McMurray and within 5nm of the Fort McMurray Airport. The restriction prohibits the operation of all UAV’s, Model Aircraft and “Drones” from ground level up to 1000 feet above ground level over Fort McMurray and the surrounding area. At this time, NO SFOC’s issued for operations in Prairie and Northern Region permit operation within AA 5.1 Restricted Airspace under any circumstances. This measure will be in effect until at least June 30, 2016 and is intended to prevent UAV and Model AIrcraft interference with high volumes of manned aircraft operating legally within the area. Check CYEG FIR NOTAM’s for updates.


Any operators wishing to apply for operations within the 5.1 Airspace Restriction will be required to submit a site specific application for these operations. The only applications that will be considered while the 5.1 Restriction is in effect are those that are accompanied by documentation from the Emergency Measures Organization, specifically endorsing the operation(s) as being essential and in the public interest. These requests will need to clearly state locations of the operations as well as specific times and dates. Copies of the required forms and applications can be obtained through a request to [email protected] .


The following is the text of the Airspace Restriction:


160830 CZEG EDMONTON FIR

CZEG PURSUANT TO SECTION 5.1 OF THE AERONAUTICS ACT, RESTRICTED

AIRSPACE IS ESTABLISHED WITHIN AN AREA BOUNDED BY 5645N 11131W -

5647N 11123W - 5641N 11100W - 5633N 11109W - 5633N 11115W - 5645N

11131W (CENTRE APRX 1 NM NW FORT MCMURRAY AD). SFC TO 1000 FT AGL

ALL MODEL ACFT AND UNAUTHORIZED UNMANNED AIR VEHICLES TO REMAIN

CLEAR MANNED ACFT EXCLUDED FROM THIS RESTRICTION

FOR AUTH TO ENTER CTC PNRSPECIALFLIGHTOPS(AT)TC.GC.CA.

1606091800 TIL 1606301800


Please direct inquiries to [email protected] .


Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.




Jack Kearley

Civil Aviation Safety Inspector - Flight Operations

Transport Canada

Prairie & Northern Region - Winnipeg

344 Edmonton Street P.O. Box 8550 Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 0P6
Government of Canada
 

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