UAV / Drone Flight Regulations & Restrictions - Canada

UPDATE: The information contained in this article is no longer up to date. Please visit Transport Canada's Drone Safety Site for details.
More and more people are flying drones and UAVs. Transport Canada regulates their use to keep the public and other airspace users safe. Before you take to the skies, make sure you understand the rules and follow them. Not doing so could put lives at risk and cost you up to $25,000 in fines and/or jail time. -
transport-canada-logo The drone market is exploding and evolving rapidly. Governments are scrambling to keep up, and updating their restrictions and regulations. Given that RobotShop is headquartered in Canada, what is Canada doing regarding drones and keeping the public and property safe from accidents? It's important that at all times, drone safety should be common sense - a drone can fail at any time, and without notice, so be sure to check your surroundings, as well as what the drone is flying over. If your drone does something unexpected, it is ultimately your responsibility as a pilot, not the manufacturer of the drone. Our previous posts regarding regulations have included: September 2014: UAV Flights / Restrictions / Suggestions February 2015: Update: New FAA UAV Regulations 2015

Fun Flying

If the drone is <35Kg and is used for "fun flying", there are no special permissions needed, but as a pilot,you are always responsible for flying your drone safely. Some do's and don't from Transport Canada's website:   checkmarkDo fly a model aircraft for personal enjoyment  checkmark Keep your drone in sight, where you can see it with your own eyes – not only through an on-board camera, monitor or smartphone. checkmarkMake sure your drone is safe for flight before take-off. Ask yourself, for example, are the batteries fully charged? Is it too cold to fly? checkmarkKnow if you need to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC). checkmarkRespect the privacy of others – avoid flying over private property or taking photos or videos without permission.   do-not    Don’t fly a 35Kg+ drone or for payment or commercial purposes without a Special Flight Operations Certificate do-not    Don’t fly closer than nine km (five nm) from any aerodrome (i.e. airport, heliport, helipad or seaplane base, etc.) do-not    Don’t fly higher than 90 metres (300 feet) above the ground do-not    Don’t fly closer than 150 metres (500 feet) from people, animals, buildings, structures, or vehicles do-not    Don’t fly in populated areas or near large groups of people, including sporting events, concerts, festivals, and firework shows do-not    Don’t fly near moving vehicles, highways, bridges, busy streets, or anywhere you could endanger or distract drivers do-not    Don’t fly within restricted and controlled airspace, including near or over military bases, prisons, and forest fires do-not    Don’t fly anywhere you may interfere with first responders  
drone-transport-canadaDrone Guide - Transport Canada

Over 35Kg or Commercial Use

If your drone is over 35 Kg or if you plan to use it for anything other than "fun flying", you need to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate from Transportation Canada. There is a form to complete online should this be the case. There are some exceptions for this, so be sure to visit their website to see if you qualify.   Do you think these regulations are fair? Include your feedback in the comments section below.
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