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WSP delivers surveying and mapping solutions for the entire project lifecycle with speed and certainty. Our crews are first on the ground supporting some of the largest projects in Canada. Regardless of the project size or location, we are there, from field to finish.


From the 2016 STAC Conference: Use of commercial UAV in Telecoms

May 03, 2016

The use of UAV by individuals and companies alike has soared in recent years. The growing popularity however does not mean drone operators are exempt from regulations, especially for commercial purposes.


Colin Hubick, WSP UAV Manager

It was a privilege to speak at the inaugural Structure, Tower and Antenna Council (STAC) Conference held in Toronto on April 11. I spoke on the topic of commercial UAV use, specifically in regards to the telecommunications industry: what are the differences between the current selection of consumer and industrial grade UAVs, for instance. In addition, we briefly discussed some of Transport Canada and NAV Canada’s requirements as a responsible (safety-conscious) operator.

For the majority of commercial UAV operations, a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) is required. While there does exist an exemption for certain commercial projects, the criteria significantly limit potential locations.

It was clear from listening to other panelists and answering questions from the crowd that the use of UAVs in telecommunications was considered as a refreshing and reliable new tool. Currently, UAVs are being utilized for visual inspections using photographs and video as primary data, but with the addition of thermal, infrared, and other sensor and laser scanning technologies, the use of UAVs will expand beyond these initial applications.

As the roles of drones continue to evolve, the need to increase the reliability and redundancies, as well as to ensure a safe integration with manned aircraft are a top priority. Significant technological advancements are already happening and they will soon include collision avoidance, advanced power options and integration with manned aircraft airspace.

The conference was an ideal platform to share the current status and upcoming developments of UAV use in Canada. WSP’s UAV team looks forward to next year’s event!

For more information on this topic, please contact Colin Hubick.