DJI asks for Transport Canada’s help with future drone pilot test

DJI wants future drone pilots to take a test before taking to the skies

DJI Spark drone in flight

Drone manufacturer DJI held a press conference in Richmond Hills, Ontario, today, in order to ask for Transport Canada’s help in creating a drone knowledge quiz.

The goal is to create a literal test for future drone pilots that would appear on DJI GO, the company’s main mobile app, before a drone’s first flight.

The announcement comes in the wake of the drone regulations introduced by Transport Canada in March 2017, as well as revisions to recreational drone use policy introduced in June 2017.

The new rules set specific parameters on when and where drone pilots can use recreational drones, including introducing restrictions regarding drone flight near airports and heliports — a subject MobileSyrup covered in-depth with this analysis by Simon Cohen.

Brendan Schulman, DJI’s vice president of policy and legal affairs, commended Canada’s transportation regulatory body for its work on attempting to police drone use.

“We are pleased to report that since March, we’ve had many good conversations… and continue to work together to find what the right balance is between the safety rules and also the rules that allow and permit innovation to flourish,” said Schulman, according to a November 2nd, 2017, DJI media release.

Schulman emphasized that DJI wasn’t interested in merely debating the subject of drone-use, but working with Transport Canada to better establish drone safety guidelines.”

“We want to come back to, what is the risk that we need to mitigate, and what data do we need?” said Schulman. “And if there’s data we can provide, consistent with not revealing trade secrets and confidentiality, we’re happy to collaborate on that and figure it out.”

Quizzes and tests, questions and answers

According to DJI, the knowledge quiz would “require drone pilots to correctly answer a series of basic questions about safe drone use before their first flights.”

Schulman also didn’t specify precisely what would be on this potential test.

However, Schulman did mention that DJI has already starting rolling out a knowledge quiz in the U.S. — a test that was co-developed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Schulman also reiterated that DJI wants to work with Transport Canada on this knowledge quiz.

“We very much welcome Transport Canada to work with us on what those questions and answers should be, and make sure we’ve got the right nuance.”