Clipping the Wings of a New Industry
Jeff LaPorte
62

Great article Jeff.

I am actually a UAV developer in Canada, and your article exactly hits the mark. Let me tell you, there are not many of us! It is basically impossible to do UAV development in Canada. The government’s official position seems to be that all development should be done at Foremost Alberta, bringing with it a crushing cost for any start-up company. The only companies able to do this, are well-funded companies with venture capital backing. Or existing large companies with an owner who is under-writing the UAV development. This really slows the pace of innovation.

But not just because of these regulations. You mentioned how $100,000 insurance is required, but really, you should have at least $1M. And just try getting an insurance policy on a brand new aircraft system that will almost certainly crash.

Most of my development work was done under recreational rules, at a MAAC club, when I was a mere technology enthusiast, contributing to a free open source software project (Ardupilot, the Linux of drones).

After I went commercial, almost all of my work is done outside Canada, or using a simulator, indoor flight, etc.

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