MAAC gives and MAAC taketh away

As spring is sprung and the weather improves in Canada it’s time for the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada to get its members legal again.

I stand to be corrected but it appears you can either be a model flier with 248 sites to fly at or a Drone Pilots Association of Canada (DPAC) member who can fly pretty much anywhere.

This seems to me a very poor plan for the future of model aircraft flying in Canada, I need to invite Canadians to our Tuesday chat again to fill us in properly.

Reauthorization Status

We have reauthorized 248 outdoor flying sites. This represents over 70% of the sites that can be reauthorized (Those not in controlled airspace and not on aerodromes). We are waiting for satisfactory documentation from the clubs for the remaining sites in this sub-group. Along the way, we’ve had clubs delete fields from the database, and we still have some clubs that haven’t decided if they want to be reauthorized.

The next phase of reauthorizations will be for the 36 sites on aerodromes in uncontrolled airspace. Affected clubs will be getting an information package shortly. The Strathroy Flying Farmers Club made a major contribution to our efforts to perfect the soon-to-be-published MPPD-19, which covers sanctioning sites on aerodromes. This cooperative spirit improves our policies and procedures, and the effort is much appreciated.

Revised MSD 03 All Categories

MSD 03 was revised this week to version 6.3 to make important changes. The Board approved the changes on Monday, April 10.

The definition of a Personal Flying Site is now “… A MAAC-sanctioned outdoor flying site” This was done to ensure that MAAC is aware of where our members are flying and that the site has been properly assessed and authorized. This change lays the groundwork for a future exemption application. MPPD-22 was Board approved on Monday to cover the policy for authorizing Personal Flying Sites. It will be published shortly on maac.ca.

Clause 5.7 has been revised to clarify that MAAC members cannot fly at a site “That is not in possession of a valid Site Operating Certificate.“ This change supports the definition of a Personal Flying site but has important implications for clubs withdrawing from MAAC. The MAAC members that remain after a club withdraws from MAAC cannot fly at the club’s flying sites.

MAAC members in withdrawn clubs must decide to withdraw from MAAC membership or stop flying at the club’s flying sites. MAAC members are free to find another MAAC club to fly at. Noncompliance with 5.7 certainly means that MAAC members have no MAAC insurance coverage at these sites, but it also may lead to suspension or termination of MAAC membership.

This is not new, but the other impact is that non-MAAC members cannot fly at MAAC-sanctioned sites.

Clause 5.20 already prohibited MAAC and non-MAAC members from flying simultaneously at the same location.

This change was made after consultation with our Insurance Advisory Group, who expressed a concern that any claims resulting from “mixed membership flying” at non-sanctioned sites would pose too high a risk for increased premiums or, worse, the loss of the insurance coverage. This change protects MAAC’s most valuable asset; our general liability insurance.

Exemption 2.0

A new video from YouTuber Don Drones On comments that MAAC still needs to apply to Transport Canada for a new exemption. This is correct, but it’s not the whole story.

We will be making an application for a new exemption. But first, we need to get our house in order, including reauthorizing outdoor flying sites, writing all the sanctioning rules and criteria, and implementing some other supporting changes. We will get there. I have more to say about this in my upcoming Model Aviation Canada magazine President’s column. I hope it will clarify why we must be thorough and careful in our submission and do it right, not fast.

Mike Anderson, [email protected]