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Richmond Designates Parks For Remote Control Aircrafts And Power Kiters

Richmond Designates Parks For Remote Control Aircrafts And Power Kiters

Richmond City Council has designated Manoah Steves Park for model aircraft use and the development of a permit system for power kiters at Garry Point Park.

The new designations are part of amendments to the City’s Public Parks and School Grounds Regulation Bylaw, which were approved by Council on July 27.

Model airplane pilots will be able to continue to enjoy their hobby in a safe and responsible manner at Manoah Steves Park. After working with local enthusiasts from the Richmond RC Flyers Club, this location was selected due to its size, location, the support of the school district, and a history of use without conflict with the neighbouring school, sports groups who use the field, and local residents.

Staff will continue to work with Transport Canada, Nav Canada, and YVR to ensure that this poses no impact to aviation safety. The City previously designated the Model Airplane Park on Rice Mill Road for use by fixed-line model aircraft and that use will continue.

The use of this field will be open to model aircraft and does not extend to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Unlike model aircraft, UAVs are capable of being flown autonomously (without continuous human control) using GPS and can be flown beyond the line of site of the pilot to complete a route by either using GPS or an on-board camera (known as first person view). Transport Canada guidelines state that UAVs should not be flown within 9 KM of an airport.

UAV technology has significant potential to be used in parks for filming and research purposes and the new parks bylaw does allow for properly trained and Transport Canada permitted UAV operators to work in parks under the City’s direction.

With Council’s endorsement, power kiters will remain part of the landscape at Garry Point Park. Staff will continue to work with power kiters to develop a permit system and code of conduct that will ensure their use of the park is compatible with the ability of all Richmond residents to enjoy this waterfront park.

 

Photo credit: reconcar

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