More and more people are using unmanned aircraft for work or pleasure. Transport Canada regulates their use to keep the public and our airspace safe.
Aircraft without a pilot on board go by many names—unmanned air vehicle (UAV), remotely piloted aircraft system, model aircraft, remote control aircraft, and drone.
Call it what you want, but always think safety first.
You are responsible to fly your aircraft safely and legally. In Canada, you must:
- Follow the rules set out in the Canadian Aviation Regulations.
- Respect the Criminal Code as well as all municipal, provincial, and territorial laws related to trespassing and privacy
- Fly during daylight and in good weather (not in clouds or fog).
- Keep your aircraft in sight where you can see it with your own eyes.
- Make sure your aircraft is safe for flight before take-off.
- Know if you need permission to fly and when to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate.
- Respect the privacy of others – avoid flying over private property or taking photos or videos without permission.
Do Not Fly:
- Closer than 9 km from an airport, heliport, or aerodrome.
- Higher than 90 metres.
- Closer than 30 metres from people, animals, buildings, structures, or vehicles.
- In populated areas near large groups of people – such as beaches, sporting events, outdoor concerts, festivals, or firework shows.
- Near moving vehicles – avoid highways, bridges, busy streets or anywhere you could endanger or distract drivers.
- Within restricted airspace, including near or over military bases, prisons, and forest fires.
- Anywhere you may interfere with first responders.
Permission and safety requirements
To fly your unmanned aircraft legally, you may need to follow strict safety conditions outlined in an exemption or apply for permission from Transport Canada. It depends on the type of aircraft, its weight, as well as how and where you plan to use it.
If your aircraft:
- Weighs 35 kg or more, you need to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate before you can use it.
- Weighs less than 35 kg and is used for recreational purposes, you don’t need permission to fly.
Unmanned aircraft that weigh less than 25 kg may qualify for an exemption to the rules, which will allow you to fly without permission.
If your aircraft:
- Weighs 2 kg or less and you can meet the safety conditions in the Transport Canada exemption for UAVs that weigh less than 2 kg or less, you don’t need to request permission to fly.
- Weighs between 2.1 kg and 25 kg and you can meet the safety conditions in the Transport Canada exemption for UAVs that weigh between 2.1 kg and 25 kg, you don’t need to request permission to fly. However, you must notify Transport Canada by completing the submission form.
If you cannot or choose not to meet the safety conditions in the UAV exemptions, you must apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate.
Source Transport Canada