Canada’s New Drone Safety Regulations: What You Need To Know

 In Blog, Chapman, Jennifer L.

Did you know that drones are classified as aircraft, essentially making you a pilot? When you fly your drone, you are sharing the skies with other drones and aircraft. Before you fly a drone, you should familiarize yourself with the following regulations to ensure you meet the legal requirements.

New Rules for Flying Drones in Canada

The rules which drone pilots must follow when flying drones are contained in Part IX (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations. The new rules for flying drones in Canada will come into effect on June 1, 2019 and apply to Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), or “drones” that i) weigh 250 grams up to and including 25 kilograms; and ii) are operated within the drone pilot’s visual-line-of-sight, regardless of whether the drone is flown for fun, work, or research.

All pilots of drones that weigh between 250 grams and 25 kilograms must get a drone pilot certificate.

Basic & Advanced Drone Operation

The new rules introduce two categories of drone operations: Basic and Advanced. The categories are based on distance from bystanders and on airspace rules.

Pilots conducting basic operations need a Pilot Certificate – Basic Operations, while Pilots conducting advanced operations need a Pilot Certificate – Advanced Operations.

In order to obtain a Pilot Certificate – Advanced Operations, you need to pass the Small Advanced Exam and an in-person flight review, which assesses a pilot’s ability to operate their drone safely.

In addition to obtaining a Pilot Certificate, both require the drone pilot to:

  • Register all drones that weigh between 250 grams and 25 kilograms with Transport Canada;
  • Mark the drone with their registration number before they fly;
  • Be at least 14 years of age for Basic Operations and 16 years of age for Advanced Operations (unless under the supervision of a person having proper certificates;
  • Stay below an altitude of 400 feet (122 meters) above ground level; and
  • Stay away from air traffic.

If you have questions about flying a drone or legal questions regarding the use of drones, contact the team at Brown Beattie O’Donovan.

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