January 9, 2019 / 6:11 PM / 13 days ago

Canada cracks down on drones with new rules

A drone flies overhead in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, June 7, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s federal government is clamping down on drones with new rules it announced on Wednesday that will ban their use near airports and aircraft and will require all drones to be registered.

From June 1, all drones will be banned from flying within 5.6 kilometers (3.5 miles) of an airport, higher than 122 meters (400 feet) or going anywhere near an aircraft. All drone pilots will need examination-based certificates and flying a drone under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be prohibited.

In Britain, departures from Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, were halted for an hour on Tuesday evening after a drone was sighted, raising fears that operations could face the serious levels of disruption that hit London’s Gatwick last month.

“Our new regulations will create new opportunities for Canadians by establishing a safe and predictable regulatory environment where the industry can innovate and where recreational and non-recreational drone pilots can safely access Canadian airspace,” Canadian transport minister Marc Garneau said in a statement.

The International Air Transport Association is backing efforts by the United Nations’ aviation agency to develop a registry for drones, which could also help track the number of incidents involving drones and jets, Reuters reported in April.

Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny; Editing by Susan Thomas

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