Transport Canada has modified their rules for flying drones a couple times over the past year, trying to find a proper balance between fairness and safety. Starting June 1, drone pilots will need to meet new Transport Canada drone regulations which include taking an online exam and obtaining a pilot’s certificate.
The new rules will apply to drones over 250 grams and 25 kilograms in weight. The will also apply to all users, whether for recreation, work, or research purposes. In addition, there are basic and advanced operation regulations. The former will have a minimum age limit of 14 while the later will require pilots to be 16 or older. Basic operation stipulates that you are flying in uncontrolled airspace more than 30 metres horizontally from bystanders and not over bystanders. On the other hand, if you want to fly in controlled airspace, fly over bystanders, or fly within 30 metres of bystanders, this is considered advanced operations.
For basic operations, you must register your drone for CA$5 with Transport Canada, mark it with its registration number, pass a basic exam, and have your Pilot Certificate – Basic Operations and proof of registration on you. For advanced operations, you must register and mark your drone, as well as pass the advanced exam, pass a flight review with a flight reviewer, be able to show your Pilot Certificate – Advanced Operations and proof of registration, and fly within the operational limits of your drone.
Some of the key regulations include flying your drone:
- where you can see it at all times
- below 122 metres (400 feet) in the air
- away from bystanders, at a minimum distance of 30 metres for basic operations
- away from emergency operations and advertised events
- Avoid forest fires, outdoor concerts and parades
- away from airports and heliports
- 5.6 kilometres (3 nautical miles) from airports
- 1.9 kilometres (1 nautical mile) from heliports
- far away from other aircraft
- Don’t fly anywhere near airplanes, helicopters and other drones
If pilots are found to violate the above regulations, individual fines of up to $3,000 and corporate fines of up to $15,000 as well as possible jail time may be enforced. Transport Canada also recommends getting public liability insurance as most home insurance policies do not cover drone related accidents.
Last Updated on February 3, 2021.