Airspace above Foremost restricted to unmanned aircraft

By Kuhl, Nick on November 15, 2014.

Lethbridge Herald -FOREMOST

A piece of airspace above the village of Foremost, about 100 kilometres southeast of Lethbridge, is now partially restricted.

NAV CANADA has published a permanent area of restricted airspace covering 700 square nautical miles (2,400 square kilometres) up to 18,000 feet above sea level for the purpose of flying Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), the Canadian Centre for Unmanned Vehicle Systems (CCUVS) announced Thursday.

This restricted airspace designation is the first of its kind in North America available for Beyond Visual Line of Sight UAS training, research and development for civil and commercial purposes.

The designation and publishing of the restricted airspace on Canadian aeronautical charts is an important milestone for the Foremost UAS Range which is expected to be ready for UAS flights in early 2015.

“This parcel of restricted airspace will give Canadian and international UAS operators a unique location to safely train and develop UAS for flying Beyond Visual Line of Sight,” said Roger Haessel, CEO for CCUVS, said in a release.

“The ability to fly Beyond Visual Line of Sight will open up significant economic opportunities in Canada.”

The restricted airspace results from more than six years work by CCUVS and an investment of more than $1 million by CCUVS in partnership with the Village of Foremost.

The airspace will be managed by the CCUVS and will be activated through the use of Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued by NAV CANADA. CCUVS was incorporated in 2007 and is based in Medicine Hat.