Flying Drones in Canada: Tips and Tricks for Safe Flying”

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Daryl Pemberton

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What You Need to Know Before flying your drone in Canada!

Drones are becoming more popular and accessible for recreational and commercial purposes. They can offer amazing views and perspectives, as well as capture stunning photos and videos. However, flying a drone in Canada is not as simple as buying one and taking off. There are rules and regulations that you need to follow to ensure the safety and privacy of yourself and others.

In this blog post, we will cover some of the basics that you need to know before flying your drone in Canada, such as:

– The types of drones and their categories
– The requirements for registration and certification
– The rules for flying in different areas and situations
– The penalties for breaking the rules
– The resources for more information

Types of Drones and their Categories

Drones are also known as remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). They come in different shapes, sizes, and capabilities. Depending on the weight and purpose of your drone, it may fall into one of the following categories:

– Basic operations: This category applies to drones that weigh between 250g and 25kg, and are flown in uncontrolled airspace (where there is no air traffic control), more than 30 m horizontally from bystanders, and never over bystanders. You do not need a pilot certificate or a flight review for basic operations, but you still need to register your drone and follow the rules.
– Advanced operations: This category applies to drones that weigh between 250g and 25kg, and are flown in controlled airspace (where there is air traffic control), within 30 m horizontally from bystanders, or over bystanders. You need a pilot certificate (either basic or advanced) and a flight review for advanced operations, as well as a registered drone that meets the safety requirements for the operation.
– Special flight operations: This category applies to drones that weigh more than 25kg, or are flown outside of the rules for basic or advanced operations. You need a special flight operations certificate (SFOC) from Transport Canada for special flight operations, as well as a registered drone that meets the safety requirements for the operation.

Requirements for registration and certification

Before you fly your drone in Canada, you need to register it with Transport Canada and mark it with its registration number. You can register your drone online for a fee of $5 per drone. You will receive a registration certificate that you must keep with you when you fly.

You also need to get a pilot certificate from Transport Canada if you want to fly in advanced operations. You can get a basic or advanced pilot certificate by passing an online exam. The basic exam costs $10 and has 35 questions. The advanced exam costs $25 and has 50 questions. You need to score at least 65% on the basic exam and 80% on the advanced exam to pass.

If you want to fly in controlled airspace or within 30 m horizontally from bystanders, you also need to pass a flight review with a qualified flight reviewer. The flight review is a practical test of your skills and knowledge of the rules. The cost and duration of the flight review may vary depending on the reviewer.

Rules for flying in different areas and situations.

When you fly your drone in Canada, you need to follow the rules that apply to your category of operation. Some of the general rules are:

– Fly your drone where you can see it at all times
– Fly below 122 m (400 feet) in the air
– Fly away from airports, heliports, seaplane bases, and aerodromes
– Fly away from emergency scenes, forest fires, outdoor concerts, sporting events, and other gatherings
– Fly at least 5.6 km away from forest fires
– Fly only during daylight or civil twilight (30 minutes before sunrise or after sunset)
– Fly in clear weather conditions
– Respect the privacy of others and avoid flying over private property without permission
– Do not fly your drone while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
– Do not fly your drone recklessly or dangerously

You also need to check the local bylaws and regulations before you fly your drone in a specific area. Some places may have additional restrictions or prohibitions on drone use, such as national parks, provincial parks, municipal parks, wildlife areas, military bases, prisons, etc.

Penalties for breaking the rules.

If you break the rules for flying your drone in Canada, you may face serious consequences. Depending on the severity of the violation, you may be fined or even face criminal charges. The fines range from $1,000 to $25,000 for individuals, and from $5,000 to $250,000 for corporations. You may also lose your drone.

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