Featured Regulation

Model Aeronautics Association Canada (MAAC) to ground members.

I have woken up needing to check the date, it feels like April fools.

A national model aircraft association will tell its 13,000-strong membership to stop flying outside!

MAAC is the official organization for all forms of aeromodelling in Canada it was founded in 1949.

The reason beggars belief, they have sanctioned flying sites within controlled airspace that have not done the paperwork and as such are non-compliant with NAV CANADA rules.

NAV CANADA was founded in 1996, it is my belief that new organizations should be made to make space for incumbent airspace users and not push them aside.

Now perhaps the most depressing part of this maudlin tale is that MAAC thought they could send out an email that wouldn’t reach industry inboxes!

A truly staggering construct in the digital age. It brings to mind the Washington Post banner adopted in 2017 and used in many places, “Democracy Dies in Darkness

The communications and regulation department of MAAC need to give themselves a solid talking to.

If I were a model flier in Canada I would be very disappointed that my organization had dropped the ball and laid itself prostrate at the feet of NAV CANADA.

What other perhaps bigger issues are MAAC trying to head off that require them to be so contrite?

I have reached out to MAAC and NAV CANADA for comment and at the of going to press have received no comment from either. Let us see if NAV CANADA lives up to its contact form message!

NAV CANADA is committed to becoming the world’s most respected air navigation service. Our main focus is operating a safe and efficient system, however, to ensure that we are meeting your expectations we want to hear from you.

This email message is being sent to MAAC members who have chosen to receive emails from MAAC. The content of the email must not be shared or discussed outside of MAAC. Something as simple as a post on a web forum could critically hurt our position.

In the next few days, all members will receive a letter from MAAC which will advise you that the MAAC Board of Directors has made the decision to temporarily suspend all outdoor flying activity, effective immediately. This letter will also give you more background information and perspective, but the main points are outlined below.

The suspension is a proactive measure to show Transport Canada and NAV CANADA that MAAC is a reliably self-regulating partner in Canadian aviation. It was triggered by the NAV CANADA discovery of several MAAC flying sites that were approved in controlled airspace without an agreement in place with the controlling agency, in breach of both the Transport Canada Exemption, and an agreement with NAV CANADA.

If you are a paid-up member of a model aero club anywhere in the world now might be the time to quiz the folks that take your hard earnt cash and make sure they really are doing everything to protect your treasured hobby and youngsters’ science and engineering incubator.

Also as a group, if you only have 13k members best start embracing new forms of an old hobby so you have a bigger voice.

My money is on there being more DJI fliers in Ottawa than total members of the MAAC.

I wonder if the RPAS Wilco app gave MAAC members away.

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