Release #: 17.52
October 13, 2017

ALPA Urges Canadian Government to Keep Safety Above Commercial Interests When Regulating Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

OTTAWA—After years of discussions between regulators and industry stakeholders, interim guidance, and a number of exemptions to allow for limited commercial and public use operations of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) in Canada, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) today submitted comments raising numerous, significant concerns with the recent regulations proposed by Transport Canada.

“ALPA has been on the frontlines working with the Canadian and U.S. governments to develop regulations that include increased awareness for operators of unmanned aircraft systems as to the dangers associated with irresponsible use. As the primary operators in shared airspace, airline pilots have a rare insight into the looming hazards that can be mitigated through education, registration, technology and enforcement,” said Capt. Tim Canoll, ALPA president.

ALPA’s letter to Transport Canada outlines substantial concerns in the proposed regulations, including the complexity of the regulations themselves, considering those subject to the new rules are not formally trained aviators. In addition, there is no pilot permit required except for complex operations. ALPA’s position is that all pilots of sUAS who fly for reasons other than recreation must undergo formal training and testing before being issued a certificate.

“While we applaud Transport Canada’s commitment to enhancing aviation safety by addressing this very important issue, it is crucial that we move forward with effective regulations,” added ALPA Canada president Capt. Dan Adamus. “Unfortunately, the proposed regulations do not address the more pressing matters identified by pilots. We urge Transport Canada to revise its regulations and be an international leader in setting safe standards for the use of sUAS.” 

For further information on the ways Canada can safeguard national airspace against threats posed by sUAS operations, read ALPA’s letter.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 57,000 pilots at 33 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or