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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

MP asks Minister of Transport for review of safe crew levels on new ferries

The new ferries were approved to run with smaller crew sizes, raising safety concerns

$8,179,919 in grant funding announced for North Island communities

This local funding is part of over $228 million in grants going to B.C. communities.

Port Hardy earns Bear Smart certification

Community committed to living safely alongside bears

Funding police would be ‘most expensive single budget item we would have’ says Port Hardy councillor

‘we’re not panicking — I can’t see our population numbers jumping up that high that quick’

Small physically distant running event with big heart held in Port Hardy

Indigenous Run/Walk program went ahead this year, with some downsizing due to COVID-19

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Most Read