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Canada opens giant drone testing area

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The city of Calgary in Canada has sectioned off a 50-hectare site in their industrial district specifically dedicated for drones.

Calgary

The area is intended for use as a testing site for industrial drone companies as well as an educational space to teach would-be pilots how to operate their drones safely.

Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the new testing area will provide a huge economic benefit to the oil, gas, film and financial services industries.

“We have a part of the city that is part of the endless prairie where there are no buildings, so the concept of the living lab, here, for the first time in Canada really allows us to help these companies grow,” he said.

Companies who wish to use this park will need to meet certain requirements. They will be required to pay licensing fees and prove they have at least $2 million in corporate liability insurance as well as a special flight operations certificate for drone technology.

Until now, companies wishing to test their drones would have to go outside the Calgary metropolitan area and this new facilities will therefore represent cost savings and added convenience.

As of yet, there are few facilities in the United States with quite the size of this park in Calgary. Here is a map of the main drone testing areas in the continental United States courtesy of the FAA’s website.

Map of drone testing facilities in the United States.

A common complaint from some WeTalkUAV readers is that they struggle to find enough spots where they can fly their drone legally without pissing off the locals. Hopefully as time goes on there will be more facilities available for drone users to really explore the skies.

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