With the current wildfire situation up in Fort McMurray and the surrounding area, it is critical that you observe the current no-fly zone around the emergency area. There are hundreds of first responders including police, fire, EMS, and the military, that are working hard in the area. To ensure their safety, NavCanada and Transport Canada have created a no-fly zone around the forest fire area affecting Fort McMurray. I have created the below overlay showing the current no-fly zone as of Thursday July 7, 2016 at 12:38pm local time (MDT). As an aerial photography industry member that is in the know, I will continue to update this map as I receive updated information on the Fort Mac no-fly zone.
Fort McMurray Restricted Airspace Map
This map has been updated to now include both the Fort McMurray restricted airspace (indicated in light red – surface to 4000′), UAV and model aircraft specific restricted airspace and La Loche specific airspace have been removed from the NOTAM.
In addition, Transport Canada sent out the following reminders to all of the current SFOC holders in the region. Even if you aren’t a SFOC holder, this is critical information to abide by to ensure safety of all that are working around the clock to put an end to this tragic situation.
Transport Canada Update – June 10, 2016
This notification is being sent to all current and past Prairie and Northern Region Special Flight Operations Certificate Holders (UAV).
Please be advised that the current Forest Fire Airspace Restriction for Fort McMurray and Area is still in effect and is expected to remain at least until June 30, 2016. No UAV operations are permitted in this area (see YEG FIR NOTAM’s). Operations in any Forest Fire Areas are prohibited under ALL PNR issued SFOC’s except for those specifically authorizing this activity. A separate SFOC application and Certificate is required for operations in the NOTAM’d area or within 5 miles of any Forest Fire Area. Only applications specifically supported by documentation from the Alberta Fire Control Authority will be considered. As of today, the Fire Control Authority has indicated that they do not intend allow any UAV’s to fly in the NOTAM’d area under their control.
In accordance with Section 5.1 of the Aeronautics Act, Transport Canada has issued an Airspace Restriction for Fort McMurray and the surrounding area, including the entire populated area of Fort McMurray and within 5nm of the Fort McMurray Airport. The restriction prohibits the operation of all UAV’s, Model Aircraft and “Drones” from ground level up to 1000 feet above ground level over Fort McMurray and the surrounding area. At this time, NO SFOC’s issued for operations in Prairie and Northern Region permit operation within AA 5.1 Restricted Airspace under any circumstances. This measure will be in effect until at least June 30, 2016 and is intended to prevent UAV and Model AIrcraft interference with high volumes of manned aircraft operating legally within the area. Check CYEG FIR NOTAM’s for updates.
Any operators wishing to apply for operations within the 5.1 Airspace Restriction will be required to submit a site specific application for these operations. The only applications that will be considered while the 5.1 Restriction is in effect are those that are accompanied by documentation from the Emergency Measures Organization, specifically endorsing the operation(s) as being essential and in the public interest. These requests will need to clearly state locations of the operations as well as specific times and dates. Copies of the required forms and applications can be obtained through a request to PNRSpecialFlightOps@tc.gc.ca .
The following is the text of the Airspace Restriction:
160830 CZEG EDMONTON FIR
CZEG PURSUANT TO SECTION 5.1 OF THE AERONAUTICS ACT, RESTRICTED
AIRSPACE IS ESTABLISHED WITHIN AN AREA BOUNDED BY 5645N 11131W –
5647N 11123W – 5641N 11100W – 5633N 11109W – 5633N 11115W – 5645N
11131W (CENTRE APRX 1 NM NW FORT MCMURRAY AD). SFC TO 1000 FT AGL
ALL MODEL ACFT AND UNAUTHORIZED UNMANNED AIR VEHICLES TO REMAIN
CLEAR MANNED ACFT EXCLUDED FROM THIS RESTRICTION
FOR AUTH TO ENTER CTC PNRSPECIALFLIGHTOPS(AT)TC.GC.CA.
1606091800 TIL 1606301800
Please direct inquiries to PNRSpecialFlightOps@tc.gc.ca .
Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
Transport Canada Update – May 6, 2016
Reminder to all PNR UAV Certificate Holders regarding operations near forest fires and emergency zones
Please be advised that all UAV Operations in the Fort McMurray Emergency Zone are prohibited.
All SFOCs issued to UAV Operators within the Prairie and Northern Region contain the following conditions:
1. “No UAV pilot shall operate the UAV within one nautical mile of any active emergency scene without the specific authorization of the on-scene commander”
This condition serves to protect emergency responders and victims/property from undue interference from unauthorized aircraft/UAVs. This condition is on ALL PNR-issued Certificates for UAVs including those issued to emergency-response organizations. Any emergency-response personnel wishing to use their UAVs must abide by all conditions of their SFOCs, including the second restriction below, regarding forest fire areas and the airspace restrictions associated. The entire Fort McMurray area is under a declared state of emergency and as such is considered to be an all-encompassing active emergency scene until the declaration of emergency situation is rescinded.
2. “No UAV pilot shall operate the UAV over a forest fire area, or over any area that is located within five nautical miles of a forest fire area”
This condition is based on the following excerpt from TP 2228E-5, Forest Fire Airspace Restrictions and it applies to ALL UAVs including SFOC holders, operations conducted under the UAV Exemptions and to recreational/model aircraft/UAVs.
“Section 601.15 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) provides that no unauthorized person shall operate an aircraft over a forest fire area, or over any area that is located within 5 NM of one, at an altitude of less than 3000 ft. AGL. A NOTAM to restrict does not need to be issued for this airspace restriction to be in effect. In accordance with CAR 601.16, however, Transport Canada may issue a NOTAM to restrict the airspace further around a forest fire. Pilots are reminded to check NOTAMs before flying near forest fires.”
Transport Canada will not grant any requests to operate any UAVs in the Fort McMurray or nay other forest fire or Emergency zone unless it is at the request of the Emergency Response Authority and has the permission of the Alberta Air Attack Coordination Center, which has expressly prohibited any UAV operations in the Fort McMurray forest fire area.
Who are we?
I will continue to update this map as new information is available, so please check back often. If you would like to be notified when this map is updated, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or text 587-991-0997 and I will personally email you when there is new information available.
For historical reference, here are the previous no fly zone maps for your reference. Please refer to the map at the top of this post for the most up to date no fly zone.
June 18, 2016 – June 30, 2016
June 9, 2016 – June 18, 2016
June 1, 2016 – June 9, 2016
May 20, 2016 – May 31, 2016
May 19, 2016 – May 20, 2016
May 7, 2016 – May 19, 2016