Flying High With A Drone
By Miranda Monahan
Have you ever thought about travelling with a drone?
You are not alone. Drones have risen in popularity and are easy to buy at electronics stores, such as Best Buy and from online retailers, such as Amazon.
Drones are aerial vehicles without a pilot on board. They can be used for photography and videography.
The rate of flying drones in places where they should not be flown has tripled since 2014 in Canada.
To fly a drone in Canada, the operator needs to have a drone operator’s licence. You need to know about the different types of airspaces, metrology, rules of flight, flight planning and legal implications if you were to fly a drone illegally.
Some airlines have their own restrictions on travelling with a drone.
“Batteries must be drained below 20 percent to board an aircraft, always check with the airline first,” said Shawn Beringer, chief pilot at Airborne Recon Canada.
Lithium batteries for both the drone and its controller are the biggest concern for airlines.
Da-Jiang Innovations is a drone manufacturer and recommends on their website that those who are going to travel on an airplane with a drone pack their drone in their carry-on luggage because if the battery were to catch on fire, the flight crew could get to it quickly.
Travellers with a drone should also invest in a travel case for it.
“I do not have any experience travelling with my unmanned aircraft system, however, they are simple to pack in the right travel case,” said Dan from TouchCases.ca, an online store, which sells drone cases and accessories
Deciding where you want to travel to is a big part of planning any trip, but if you want to take your drone, make sure the destination you want to travel to will allow you to bring your drone there.
“Always fly legally and be courteous. No need to be disturbing locals or ruining other people’s vacations,” said Beringer.
Another thing to consider is that drones can pose a danger to visitors and can disturb wildlife.
Ryan Cant is the founder and CEO of EnviroDrone, a Windsor-based company that uses drones to inspect job sites, to make sure they are complying with ministry requirements.
“Animals can have post-traumatic stress disorder from exposure to drones. They have been known to leave their young. It can lead to loss of life,” said Cant.
People can sustain injuries from the propellers of drones, such as cuts, black eyes and potential damage to limbs.
If people are going to fly drones in an area where animals are present, they are encouraged to keep as far away as possible from animals, so they do not disturb the animals.
In some cases, parks will host special events and drones will be allowed. The drones will be used under controlled conditions. People who want to use drones in parks should start discussions to do so months in advance of their visit.
“You want to make sure you are not impacting other people. I get it. I know exactly where they are going with this,” said Cant.
Cant thinks a lot of drones not being allowed in parks comes down to being responsible.
“A lot of this comes down to being a responsible drone pilot,” said Cant.
Some of the places where drones are banned include Cuba, Cote d’Ivoire, Algeria, Barbados and Iran.
Some of the best places to fly a drone are the Swiss Alps, Haiku Stairs in Hawaii, San Francisco and Barcelona, according to OutstandingDrone.com.
Drone adoption is on the increase. If you are going to take a drone on an airplane, always check with the airline beforehand to see what their recommendations are. Also, check what local restrictions are in your particular destination. Most of this information can be easily found online.