There are rules to flying drones. (Photo by Jared Brashier on Unsplash)

Mind your drones, warn the Greater Trail RCMP

Drones are also referred to as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)

After taking calls from locals about bothersome drones flying overhead, the Trail RCMP is reminding the public that there are rules to the game.

Previous: Planning drone flying over Rossland

On June 5, for example, the Trail and Greater District police responded to an afternoon complaint about a drone flying around a residential neighbourhood in the 1800-block of Second Avenue in Fruitvale.

In this case, police located the owner who advised officers that the drone was broken and “wouldn’t be bothering the neighbourhood again.”

The detachment has received similar reports of drones flying around neighbourhoods in East Trail.

“The RCMP recommended that anyone operating or considering operating a drone review the Transport Canada website for all rules and regulations,” Sgt. Mike Wicentowich advises.

Anyone flying a drone weighing between 250 grams to 25 kilograms must be over 16-years-old (14 if supervised by someone with a licence), have a valid drone pilot licence, and have their drone marked and registered.

“While flying, to keep yourself and others safe, fly your drone where you can see it at all times, (keep it ) below 122 metres in the air, away from bystanders, emergency operations, advertised events, forest fires, outdoor concerts, parades, and airports,” noted Wicentowich.

Drone technology raises important questions and concerns about privacy.

There is a gap in regulation, which does not address issues related to purpose and the privacy implications of their use, says the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Current regulations governing drone operations have more to do with ensuring their safe flight, and do little to address the privacy implications of having Canadian skies filled with hovering data-collecting robots.

Potential fines:

• up to $1,000 for flying without a drone pilot certificate

• up to $1,000 for flying unregistered or unmarked drones

• up to $1,000 for flying where you are not allowed

• up to $3,000 for putting aircraft and people at risk

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