UTIAS Seminar Series



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Frontiers of RPAS technology and regulation: from principles to practice

November 23, 2023 @ 10:30 am - 11:45 am

In this joint seminar, engineers from Transport Canada and Ribbit will discuss the latest Canadian regulations for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS, i.e. drones), and how they apply to the development and testing of novel drone concepts. Transport Canada will lead the first half of the seminar, laying a rigorous foundation in the philosophy and structure of Part IX of the Canadian Aviation Regulations. They will also emphasize how Canada is leading efforts to enable large/heavy RPAS, Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) missions, and other emerging technologies and operations. The second half of the seminar will examine Ribbit as a practical case study—Ribbit is a Canadian company retrofitting traditional airplanes for highly automated remotely piloted flight. Ribbit will discuss how they are bridging the gap between small drones and traditional aviation, providing a candid look at the ongoing test campaign that includes Canada’s first hands-free gate-to-gate flight between two remote airports in September 2023. The seminar will close with remarks and open questions on the future of RPAS regulatory evolution.

Marco Mariotti, MS ASAA, P.Eng., PMP, Capt (Army Retd). Marco Mariotti is a senior engineer for RPAS Airworthiness and Certification at Transport Canada’s (TC) RPAS Task Force, specializing in general aviation, their associated approval mechanisms and international regulatory harmonization. Prior to joining the Task Force in 2019, Marco worked with TC’s Ontario Regional Aircraft Certification Office for 17 years. He has over 25 year of aerospace experience encompassing both the defence and civil aviation sectors working with designers, manufacturers, maintainers, and operators, on either side of the Atlantic and a myriad of foreign regulators. Marco holds a Mastère Spécialisé, Aviation Safety – Aircraft Airworthiness (2013) from a joint program of École Nationale de l’Aviation Civile, Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace and École de l’Air through Toulouse, France. He has a Bachelor of Engineering, Aerospace Engineering (1995) from Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto, Canada.

Dr. Jeremy C.-H. Wang is a Canadian aerospace engineer with 8 years of experience in aerial robotics and RPAS automation. From 2016 to 2019, Jeremy served as CTO of one of Canada’s leading drone operators, where he started and grew a self-sustaining engineering division developing special-purpose and long-range drones for industrial and defence clients. In 2020, Jeremy co-founded Ribbit with Carl Pigeon—Ribbit is a cargo airline startup that builds self-flying airplanes and equips organizations with pilotless fleets to improve service levels and serve new markets. The company has signed LOIs with 6 leading retailers and wholesalers worth $42M/yr in future revenue, received an SFOC for remotely piloted flight tests, and recently won a $1.3M testing contract with the federal government. Jeremy holds a BASc in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.


November 23, 2023
10:30 am - 11:45 am


Lecture Hall, University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies