Lighter Side: Peeping drone sinks to new lows

by Jamie Henry07 Nov 2014
Drones are the latest fad when it comes to real estate marketing, but at least one operator may be making drone fly-bys more of a controversial practice than just a cool way to make a neat listing video.

Residents of a Vancouver neighbourhood have been complaining about a peeping drone flying around high-rise condo buildings, apparently peering into units. Transport Canada regulates the commercial use of drones – for example, an agent taking an aerial video of a property that he or she is listing for sale – but recreational use is essentially a free for all.

Anyone wishing to use a drone for commercial purposes has to fill out a Special Flight Operation Certificate with Transport Canada.

Transport Canada says the goal of the certificate is to “ensure the safety of the public and protection of other users of the airspace during the operation of the unmanned air vehicle. Transport Canada has to be convinced that an individual can conduct their planned operation safely and is familiar enough with aviation regulations before an SFOC will be granted.”

Tom Albrecht, an agent who endorses the use of drones in real estate, says agents using the device need to be especially cautious since the public is so concerned (and rightfully so) with privacy.

“You have to be very, very careful,” he says. “[Using the drone] involves a lot of paperwork, there’s a lot of work to do to get the necessary exemptions.”

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