News / Edmonton

Edmonton looking at regulating rules for drone flights in the city

City spokesperson Cheryl Oxford said the city is in the early stages of possibly bringing in new rules and wants to know where the public stands.

A drone is seen in this file photograph.

Flickr/ Don McCullough

A drone is seen in this file photograph.

Flying drones in Edmonton could become more complicated as the city considers regulating them.

The city’s latest insight survey is asking for resident’s opinions on the use of drones in city parks. While the city does not have the ability to regulate what happens in the air (that’s a federal jurisdiction), it can potentially create bylaws about whether drones are allowed to take-off from city parks.

City spokesperson Cheryl Oxford said the city is in the early stages of possibly bringing in new rules and wants to know where the public stands.

“These questions are being asked only as part of our research on the topic. This information will help form part of our report to council on the topic this fall,” she said, in an email.

Oxford said drones are becoming more common and that means it’s something the city should consider.

“Given the growing popularity of drones, the report will help inform council about the current environment related to drones and explorations for potential policies on the topic,” she said.

The city does currently have rules covering model aircrafts and rockets that could apply to drones, but council will take another look at the issue this fall.

Chris Anderson, owner of UAV north, a commercial drone company in Edmonton, said it probably makes sense for the city to look at regulating drones.

“You do hear and see instances where people are doing things they shouldn’t,” he said, citing examples mostly in the United States.

He added he does hope the city won’t make it onerous for commercial operators.

He said the technology only continues to improve and drones will likely soon be fairly ubiquitous.

“As the technology progress the price is just going to keep coming down to the point where they will be like cell phones,” he said.

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