Rules for drone use discussed

2015 was the year of the drone for the North Island, and the communities need to work on regulating their use.

2015 was the year of the drone in the North Island, “something that we want to be on top of as a community,” said Jared Towers, North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association (NIMMSA) Administrator, perhaps even ensuring “some kind of community rules are in place.”

Roger McDonell, one of the owners of Stubbs Island Whale Watching, told the audience, who had gathered for a pre-season launch event at Telegraph Cove, that he took a course on drones in February. In order to use a drone for commercial purposes, “you need a special flight operator’s certificate,” McDonell said.

Failure to do so could cost a person up to $25,000 in fines and/or jail time.

McDonell explained there are also strict regulations for drone use such as not flying over 400 feet above the ground; and not over people.

“There are some very ethical and useful applications for gathering a lot of data, but they (those operators) are licensed to do so, and have permits,” said Towers.

A case in point is the killer whale Photogrammetry research being done in the area by Dr. Lance Barrett Leonard, head of the Wild Whale Research Program at the Vancouver Aquarium, and Dr. John Durban and Dr. Holly Fearnbach of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in La Jolla, California.

This team of researchers has been studying Northern and Southern resident Killer Whale populations off Vancouver Island using photogrammetry. Photogrammetry uses an Olympus E-PL2 camera mounted onto an APH-22 marine hexacopter to fly over whales to capture their image.

Durban has a permit to fly in this space. “Some countries have banned them,” Towers said, adding they sometimes crash in the ocean and their batteries are “very toxic to the environment.

“I think we can do better as a community” to regulate their use, he said.

 

Just Posted

North Island Rising: Minority Rules – Women & Politics

Male politicians continue to out number female politicians in the North Island.

North Island Concert Society reports on a successful season

It was a successful season for the NICS in terms of increased attendance.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: The Merry Widow Mountain trail

“Early morning light is best for photos of the face of the mountain”

Kwakwaka’wakw families march in Port Hardy in honour of MMIWG

Red dresses lined Market Street in honour of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.

20th Anniversary of Family Fishing Weekend coming to North Island

Choice of 14 events held on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read