Dec 18

Foremost, Alta. reaches ‘milestone’ in Canadian aviation history

A crowd of drone industry leaders, politicians and residents gathered at the Foremost Aerodrome in south eastern Alberta Friday morning to watch the first Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) fly out of sight.

It’s something Transport Canada would usually frown upon but at Canada’s first active Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) test range in Foremost, Alta. it’s completely legal.

The first flight at the range is the result of over eight years of careful planning and coordinating between the Village of Foremost, Transport Canada and NAV Canada.

ChangSha Night Net

Sterling Cripps, president of Canadian Unmanned Incorporated, originally brought forth the idea nearly a decade ago.

“I had a little tweak in my heart and said, ‘Wow, it actually happened,’” Cripps said.

Cripps says this is a milestone in Canadian Aviation history.

“This is the first step for legitimate operators, who are operating within the letter of the law to fly beyond visual line of sight, proving their capabilities that they can do it safely, competently, and with confidence going forward into the industry to provide the services they are capable of.”

The facility is expected to be particularly attractive for Canadian and international companies that wish to operate a drone out of sight.

Foremost Mayor Ken Kultgen supported this project since the beginning, calling it a new economic driver for the village.

“With our area, it’s hard to attract different industry that we don’t already have here, which is agriculture and oil and gas,” Kultgen said. “This seemed like it could actually be a really good fit.”

The airspace measures approximately 90 kilometres by 27 kilometres, or approximately 2,400 square kilometres up to 18,000 feet ASL.