Lifting off: Commercial drone services and regulations in Canada

Resource type
Thesis type
(Project) M.P.P.
Date created
The rudimentary and inefficient regulatory structure for remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in Canada, more commonly known as drones, is a barrier to economic development of RPAS industry and commercial services in Canadian markets such as package delivery and air taxis. This project provides an overview of existing RPAS provisions in the Canadian Aviation Regulations and other relevant background information to contextualize the discussion, including scholarly research and an industry scan for commercial RPAS services which indicates industry and market readiness. Then, a jurisdictional scan is conducted to explore RPAS regulations that have already been developed in other countries and regions - the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and the United States Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) - to better understand industry needs and existing regulatory strategies and considerations. The project concludes with a multi-criteria analysis of three policy options for Transport Canada, Civil Aviation (TCCA) to consider: (1) maintain status quo, with minor enhancements, (2) reduce regulatory barriers & provide industry incentives, and (3) develop regulations to certify large RPAS & complex operations using large RPAS in urban areas. Based on the multi-criteria analysis, option (3) scored the highest and is the recommended policy for TCCA to implement in order to support RPAS industry and the adoption of RPAS commercial services in Canadian markets.
65 pages.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Jaramillo, Grace
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