SkyWatch.AI and Starr Insurance Companies Launch Drone Insurance in Canada

The excerpted article was written by Miriam McNabb | DRONELIFE

SkyWatch.AI is drone insurance for skilled professional operators – providing drone insurance that not only offers a sophisticated risk analysis platform, but also allows pilots to reduce their costs as they establish a safety record.

SkyWatch’s differentiators include their flexibility – pilots can receive liability coverage by hour, month, or year – and their risk platform, based on which allows pilots and enterprises the tools they need to analyze their flight performance from a risk perspective.

Palo Alto, California, February 11, 2020 Today, SkyWatch.AI, the world’s first on-demand, telematics-based insurance platform for commercial drone pilots, launched its drone insurance product in Ontario, Canada. SkyWatch.AI’s dedicated drone insurance allows professional drone pilots to easily set and manage their coverage through their mobile or desktop devices. The policies are underwritten by a member of Starr Insurance Companies, the leading aviation insurance company in North America, which has insurance carriers rated “A” (excellent) by AM. Best.

Through Skywatch.AI, commercial and recreational drone (RPAS) pilots rapidly receive flexible liability insurance by the hour, month or year. The telemetry-based risk analysis platform provides a best-in-class risk map to help pilots plan their flights, get real-time quotes, proactively avoid potential hazards and analyze their performance.

SkyWatch.AI will allow eligible drone pilots to reduce their insurance premiums as they fly safely over time. Their telemetry-based Safety Score differentiates SkyWatch.AI from any other drone insurance products and can be used to set an industry benchmark for operators to improve their score.

“The drone industry is rapidly growing and 2020 is set to be a pivotal year for drone pilots on all levels. We want to provide drone pilots innovative technology and insurance with extremely flexible coverage plans.” said Tomer Kashi, CEO and co-founder of SkyWatch.AI. “We’re excited to have SkyWatch.AI expand into Canada, and after our initial run in the province of Ontario, we plan to expand to more regions and provide more Canadian drone pilots with our advanced insurance solutions.”

“After setting a new standard for drone insurance in the United States in terms of coverage, flexibility, automation and ease of use, we are proud to expand our relationship with SkyWatch.AI to Canada,” said Paul O’Ryan, Canadian territory manager, general aviation at Starr. “The need for usage based insurance is rapidly growing, and we look forward to meeting the demands of professional drone operators in Canada as well.”

SkyWatch.AI’s drone insurance is now available on the SkyWatch website www.skywatch.ai/ca and on Google Play and Apple App store.

About Starr Insurance Companies

Starr Insurance Companies (or Starr) is a marketing name for the operating insurance and travel assistance companies and subsidiaries of Starr International Company, Inc. and for the investment business of C. V. Starr & Co., Inc. and its subsidiaries. Starr is a leading insurance and investment organization with a presence on six continents; through its operating insurance companies, Starr provides property, casualty, and accident and health insurance products as well as a range of specialty coverages including aviation, marine, energy and excess casualty insurance. Starr’s insurance company subsidiaries domiciled in the U.S., Bermuda, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, U.K. and Malta each have an A.M. Best rating of “A” (Excellent). Starr’s Lloyd’s syndicate has a Standard & Poor’s rating of “A+” (Strong).

About SkyWatch.AI

SkyWatch.AI is the world’s first on-demand, telematics-based insurance platform for commercial drones. The SkyWatch.AI platform leverages the power of machine learning to assess and mitigate risks and provide on-demand insurance for drone pilots across the US, Canada, UK and Israel.

Drone Delivery Canada Unveils Its Largest & Farthest Range Cargo Delivery Drone

Drone Delivery Canada ‘DDC or the Company’ (TSX.V:FLT,OTC: TAKOF), today unveiled its largest cargo and farthest range delivery drone, ‘The Condor’. ‘The Condor’ was displayed at public and investor launch events at the TMX Broadcast Centre Gallery in Toronto.

The Condor has been in development for the past year and is the next generation in DDC’s drone delivery cargo aircraft. With a payload capacity of 180 kilograms or 400 pounds, and a potential travel distance of up to 200 kilometres, the Condor pushes the limits in both cargo capacity and distances. The Condor is powered by a next generation gas propulsion engine.

The Condor measures 22 feet long, 5.1 feet wide and seven feet tall. It has a wing span of approximately 20 feet and is capable of vertical take off and landing. It is equipped with DDC’s proprietary FLYTE management system which is the same platform used in all of DDC’s cargo delivery drones. This is also the same management system that was used in the fall of 2018, during the company’s operations in  Moosonee and Moose Factory, Ontario in support of Transport Canada’s Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) pilot project.

DDC will be working closely with Transport Canada to secure the necessary approvals to begin flight testing the Condor in Q3 of 2019.

To watch the launch VIDEO of the Condor please visit; https://dronedeliverycanada.com/video-repository/

About Drone Delivery Canada
Drone Delivery Canada is a drone technology company focused on the design, development and implementation of its proprietary logistics software platform, using drones. The Company’s platform will be used as Software as a Service (SaaS) for government and corporate organizations.

Drone Delivery Canada Corp. is a publicly listed company trading on the TSX.V Exchange under the symbol FLT, on the U.S. OTC Q B market under the symbol TAKOF and on the Frankfurt exchange in Germany under the symbol A2AMGZ.

For more information, please visit www.dronedeliverycanada.com

SOURCE Drone Delivery Canada

New Canadian Drone Regulations

Field Law

On January 9, 2019, Transport Canada published new rules for flying drones in Canada to enhance predictability for businesses, improve the security of aviation and ensure our airspace is safe for everyone.

The new regulations distinguish between basic and advanced operations and require drones of a certain size to be registered with Transport Canada and drone pilots to get a drone pilot certificate. The regulations also prohibit reckless or negligent operation of a drone and those who break the rules can face fines up to $25,000 or jail time.  The rules apply to Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)/drones that weigh between 250 grams and 25 kilograms.

A summary of the new rules that come into effect on June 1, 2019, can found on the Transport Canada website. Until June 1, drone pilots should continue to follow the existing rules.

How will the changes to RPAS/drone regulations affect your business?

The Emerging Technology team at Field Law will be presenting a workshop in March 2019 to help business owners and other users of RPAS understand the new regulations and navigate the legal landscape for drone use including contractual, insurance, privacy, and intellectual property issues.

To receive more information about this event, or other updates relating to drone law, please subscribe here.

N.W.T. man becomes first convicted under Criminal Code for unsafe drone use

Toufic Chamas fined $3K, sentenced to 5 days in jail

Richard Gleeson · CBC News 

A Northwest Territories judge has reluctantly accepted a plea bargain for a man who repeatedly lied to police and flew a drone in airspace used by planes taking off and landing at the Yellowknife airport.

It marks the first time somebody has been convicted under the Criminal Code of dangerous operation of an aircraft as a result of illegally flying a drone, according to RCMP.

“Even taking into account the guilty pleas … I still don’t find that any of the sentences suggested are adequate,” said Judge Bernadette Schmaltz on Thursday before fining Toufic Chamas $3,000 and sentencing him to five days in jail, which he has already served.

The fine was for illegally flying a drone. The jail time was for three convictions — obstruction, driving while disqualified and breaching bail conditions by failing to report to a probation officer.

Chamas was also banned from driving for two years and is not allowed to fly a drone for three years.

Schmaltz said though she didn’t think the sentence was enough to deter the 22-year-old from committing more offences, she had to accept it because the Supreme Court of Canada has established that sentences suggested by both the Crown and defence in plea bargains can only be rejected if the sentence would cause people to lose confidence in the justice system.

Schmaltz said the sentence “definitely should not be considered a precedent.”

Caught 3 times

Police caught Chamas flying his DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone three times in downtown Yellowknife in September 2017.

Each time, Chamas told them he was unaware it was illegal to do so.

The third time, police noticed a Transport Canada pamphlet on his coffee table, laying out the rules governing drone use. It had been left with him by police who had responded to reports of a drone flying downtown the day before.

The obstruction charge was laid in October 2017 after Chamas gave a false name to municipal enforcement officers who pulled him over. He insisted the name was his even after the RCMP was called in to help identify him.

On Aug. 2 this year, Chamas was clocked driving 150 km/hr near Fort Providence, N.W.T. The RCMP found his driver’s licence had been suspended a month earlier in Alberta for the same reason: driving while disqualified.

“Mr. Chamas’s disregard for court orders couldn’t be more blatant,” said Schmaltz.

Chamas’s legal troubles are far from over.

Yellowknife RCMP say that on Oct. 19, officers pulled him over and found a stolen handgun and ammunition in his car. He has been charged with seven firearm offences, two driving-related offences, and five counts of failing to comply with court orders. He remains in custody.

Sky’s the limit as Calgary opens testing area for drones and new technologies

By Bill Graveland

THE CANADIAN PRESS

CALGARY _ The sky’s the limit as the city of Calgary opens what it believes is the first testing area in Canada for drones, autonomous vehicles and other technologies.

The city has set aside a 50-hectare site in its industrial southeast to offer airspace for an increasing demand from companies and educational institutions wanting to do mass tryouts of commercial drones.

A downturn in the energy industry when oil prices took a free fall in 2014-15 spurred the development of geospatial sciences, said Patti Dunlop of Calgary Economic Development.

“There’s many companies that came out of the downturn that actually took their engineers, mathematicians and … transitioned into … another burgeoning technology,” she said. “Energy will always be our backbone but we are more than that.”

Geographic information systems are designed to capture, store, analyze and manage spatial or geographic data.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the Calgary testing site will be a boon to many sectors, including oil and gas, film and financial services.

“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 Friday at the official opening of the testing area.

Nenshi gave an example of how new technology can be used in everyday life.

“I had my roof damaged in a hailstorm. The insurance company was able to send a drone over my roof to look at the damage without having to send someone over to climb a ladder and have a look there.”

Dunlop said a pilot project last year offering a test area within the city was so successful it led to the permanent site that opened Friday.

“From what I know, nobody else has started doing this. There’s places in the United States that have testing, but in Calgary we’re the first municipality that’s allowing this type of testing to happen.”

There are requirements companies have to meet to use the test centre. They include licensing fees, proof of $2 million in corporate liability insurance and a special flight operations certificate for drone technology.

Upcoming drone regulations & soaring use provide opportunities & challenges

New Transport Canada rules are around the corner, but will they go far enough to protect privacy?

By David Bell, CBC News

As the popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, continues to soar, two experts weigh in on what could be coming in terms of regulation, safety and privacy.

Sterling Cripps is the founder and president of Canadian Unmanned Incorporated, a Medicine Hat-based UAV training operation. He says one of the big challenges moving forward is stressing the importance of safety and regulatory compliance.

“To fly in a busy downtown area, such as Calgary, you are in Class C airspace from the ground up to 3,000 feet right out to past Springbank. In order to fly legally in this airspace, you have to have permission from Transport Canada and be on a Nav Canada operators list so that you can fly safely. In order to get that, you have to have a special flight operating certificate from Transport Canada, which also includes insurance and procedures for mitigating risks. How would you deal with a fly away or a crash or something like that? That’s the challenge that we have, is making sure the operators are educated and trained in dealing with emergencies in this realm.”

Cripps has spent the last year training about 500 users across the country. He says the applications for UAVs have expanded a lot in recent years.

“I have worked with all three levels of government — federal, provincial and civic — in terms of their environmental applications, transportation, law enforcement, forestry. But I have also worked with mining companies, individual forest companies, pulp and paper, construction, Aboriginal and Indigenous groups as well, that are looking after land management. Where I am seeing the rubber really hit the road, is the engineering and the survey groups,” he said.

“These drones make excellent tools for them to create their craft and capture the data they can get from a different type of angle using a drone.”

News rules being considered

But as Transport Canada considers new rules for drones, privacy should be a consideration alongside safety, a specialized lawyer says.

“Unfortunately, for recreational drone users there isn’t a requirement that they register their drone or the flight path,” says Laura Emmett of London, Ont.-based Lerners Lawyers.

Emmett advises clients on drone-related issues.

“It does present some difficulties in terms of identifying who is operating the drone. The rules right now for Transport Canada, for recreational drones, require that the name, address and telephone number of the drone user are marked on the drone.”

But without binoculars or a long camera lens, reading that information could be difficult. Residents who see drones flying over their property and have privacy concerns, she adds, could contact police directly.

Emmett says there is a requirement to obtain a special flight operation certificate if the drone is used commercially or if it weighs more than 35 kilograms.

“There are proposed new regulations that Transport Canada has released. They haven’t come into force yet. The consultation period ended at the end of October. So I expect we will be seeing new rules shortly.”

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