WATCH ABOVE: Today, a drone made the first Transport Canada-approved flight in downtown Edmonton. Emily Mertz has the details and incredible video.
EDMONTON – On Wednesday, a drone — or unmanned aerial vehicle — took flight over two major construction projects while making some history in Alberta’s capital.
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“This particular flight was the first Transport Canada-approved flight for downtown Edmonton,” said Krissy Schmidt, communications manager for architecture firm DIALOG.
The firm — which is part of the design team for both the Walterdale Bridge project and Rogers Place — wanted to capture unique perspectives of the two sites.
However, because of all the development taking place in the River Valley and downtown, getting clearance for the drone flights took a long time.
“On Oct. 6 we submitted our application to Transport Canada,” said Schmidt.
“This was an exceptionally long process. It took three months before we received approval.
“They said it was because it was the first flight in downtown Edmonton, so they had to make a lot of calls to the various construction sites that are happening and the city as well and ensure that there weren’t any conflicts.”
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Once the calls were made, and any safety and privacy concerns checked out, approval was given. Dialogue Design asked Skymatics to capture the footage. Crews will spend half a day each at the Walterdale Bridge and new arena sites.
“We’re doing some aerial photography of the Walterdale Bridge,” explained E.J. Burrows, one of the owners of Skymatics. “We’re also doing the arena. We’re going to be doing some 4K video capture and also some still images.”
“It just gives you a different perspective on what you’re doing.
“We kind of serve a gap between the ground imagery and manned aircraft… where you can get up close and really see something, but you’re far enough away to get an idea of the whole scope of the project.”
WATCH: DIALOG supplied the video taken by a drone over the Walterdale Bridge project.
The crews — and drones — must adhere to Transport Canada regulations including height and area restrictions.
READ MORE: Transport Canada’s rules for flying an unmanned aircraft
“There’s a tight restriction of that site,” said Schmidt. “It’s not for the Edmonton arena district, it’s not for MacEwan, it is for Rogers Place. So we actually have to take off from three different places on site in order to capture the footage we need without breaking the Transport Canada permissions.”
DIALOG will be using the drone footage for business development purposes.
Skymatics has been providing aerial services for three years. The Alberta company has staff in Bermuda, the U.S.A. and Canada.
“We were the first people to get licensed and actually sign up a company to do this,” said Burrows.