Canada Drone Laws

New drone rules in Canada

The Canadian Ministry of Transport issued new drone regulations on January 9, 2019, being effective as of June 1, 2019. Compared to the former rules, which pretty much exempted flights in remote areas for hobby pilots, this new legislation is much more formal and stricter for commercial pilots. For the recreational drone pilot, the rules are pretty straightforward but require immediate action.

Canada now differentiates between basic and advanced operations. Basic operations, the most relevant category for recreational drone flyers, assumes that you fly your drone in uncontrolled airspace, not more than 30 meters horizontally from people and never over people.

To be able to fly a drone under basic operational conditions, you must fulfill the following conditions:

  • Registering your drone with Transport Canada ($5 fee; a quick online application)
  • Marking your drone with its registration number
  • Passing a basic online exam – which will give you a Pilot Certificate (also $5; an online test with 35 multiple choice questions)
  • Bringing a copy of your Pilot Certificate and proof of registration when you fly.

The approach Canada takes on drones is a serious one – the requirement to have a Pilot Certificate is a first step to have more professional pilots up in the air and certainly makes sense. Given the complexity of the topic, quite a bit of (basic) study may be required to achieve certification.

Both the registration and the online test require the creation of a (free) Canada online ID.

GO TO OVERVIEW: Drone Law Directory


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