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Canada's Bow Valley College Offers UAV/Drone Certification Courses

Will Assist Drone Professionals And Hobbyists Ahead Of New Transport Canada Rules

Canada's Bow Valley College, through its School of Continuing Learning, helps drone enthusiasts and professional UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or “drone”) operators prepare for new and updated aviation laws that will limit where and how they can be flown. Two comprehensive certification courses will be offered at Bow Valley College’s Okotoks and High River campuses beginning May 4, 2018.

Bow Valley College is one of the first post-secondary schools in Canada to offer UAV courses across multiple regional campuses delivered by experienced aircraft and UAV pilots that meet the Transport Canada UAV knowledge requirements standard. The Bow Valley College courses have also been nominated for an Xcellence Award, Training Category by AUVSI (Association for Unmanned Vehicles International).

These innovative courses provide theory and practical knowledge through in-class instruction, labs, seminars, two tests, and a certificate that requires renewal every five years. The minimum age for participation and certification is 14 years for Very Small/Rural and 16 years for Small Complex and is applicable to all UAV recreational and professional users.

Chris Healy, one of the course instructors at Bow Valley College, has operated professional commercial UAVs for five years, and has over 20 years of large enterprise business and technology experience. With over 4,000 hours of combined flight experience in recreational and commercial markets, he is not surprised the rules have become more stringent.                

“Every drone operator is considered an airspace user, just like an airliner, helicopter, ballooner or any other type manned aircraft.” He says, “the risks of flying UAVs are obvious and potentially expensive.”

“Failing to follow the regulations can be expensive for UAV pilots and organizations, who can receive penalties from $1,000 up to $15,000 and their equipment can be confiscated,” he adds. “The danger is that drones can easily fly out of sight of an operator, stay aloft longer or reach heights that can interfere with low-flying manned aircraft. They can also run out of power and crash, which can harm individuals and property.”

For those who feel they can avoid getting caught by flying ‘under the radar’, Healy adds that no one will be able to escape the regulations.

“By summer, and just like buying a new vehicle, users will require insurance, certification and licensing before purchasing a UAV. Pilots will still need the permission of a landowner as well as certification to fly any kind of UAV in the city and out of town. Our courses will make it easier for people to enjoy their drones legally as well as operate them safely,” he concludes.

(Source: Bow Valley College news release. Image from file)



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