Earlier this year, Transport Canada released a new set of regulations surrounding recreational drone flying in Canada. To the dismay of drone users, many felt that the regulations were too strict and would make it near impossible for drone hobbyists to fly their drones.
Apparently, the petitions worked, and Transport Canada has released a new, less restrictive set of temporary regulations surrounding recreational drone flying as of June 27th. A quick look at the changes does indeed indicate that it will be easier to fly drones recreationally in your area.
The new rules include:
- within 90 m above the ground or lower
- at least 30 m away from vehicles, vessels, and the public (if your drone weighs more than 250 g up to 1 kg)
- at least 75 m away from vehicles, vessels, and the public (if your drone weighs more than 1kg up to 35 kg)
- at least 5.5 km from aerodromes (any airport, seaplane base, or areas where aircraft take-off and land)
- at least 1.8 km away from heliports or aerodromes used exclusively by helicopters outside of controlled or restricted airspace
- at least 9 km away from a natural hazard or disaster area
- away from areas where it could interfere with police or first responders
- during the day and not in clouds
- within your sight at all times
- within 500 m of yourself or closer
- only if clearly marked with your name, address and telephone number
As you can see, there have been a number of changes — the most notable being the decreased distance you need to be from vehicles, vessels, and the public if your drone is between 250g and 1kg. The previous restriction indicated that all drones above 250g and less than 35kg be flown at least 75 metres away from vehicles, buildings, animals, and people. Other notable changes include:
- removing the distance restriction from flying near buildings and animals
- reducing the distance from airports to 5.5km (from 9 km)
- reducing the distance from heliports to 1.8km (from 9 km)
- expanded forest fire restriction to include all natural hazard or disaster areas
The fine for breaking these rules can still reach $3000, but as mentioned above, the updated regulations seem to be relaxed enough to give recreational drone users more areas and opportunities to fly their drones.
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