🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all drone law links & known rules about recreational & commercial drone use in Canada (Toronto & Montreal). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in The Forum. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our ability & does not replace official sources & your own research.
Recreational vs commercial drone use in Canada
Canada differentiates commercial and recreational drone usage - see our post to differentiate recreational vs commercial drone usage. Both are subject to restrictions and code of conduct. Additionally, depending on the weight of your drone, different rules will apply.
✅ The use of drones in Canada is under the responsibility of Transport Canada Civil Aviation & they can be contacted via:
Phone: (+1) 800 305 2059
🚨 New rules are coming into effect from the 1st of June 2019 - check them out here.
Can I bring my drone to Canada?
✅ Currently, there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones within Canada as long as your import is considered as legitimate (generally one drone per person).
🚨 Be aware of the airline you purchase to travel as some main ones will only accept your drone on-board if its batteries are detached & placed in a firecase during travel time. Most airlines will have a battery voltage limit based on the recommendation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can find more info about a specific airline here.
Where can I fly my drone in Canada?
✅ Canadian Authorities built an awesome interactive map showing you restricted zones in the country & where you can fly/not, you can find an interactive version online here.
🚨 Do not fly near power sources, military & religious sites. Avoid flying above crowds & congested areas.
🦅 National parks & reserves are on a case by case permission & you might need to check directly with the local park or reserve authorities. 🐢🦎
Recreational Drone use in Canada
🚨 By 01/06/19, you will need to register your drone if it weights above 250 g mark your drone with your identification number & pass a theoretical & practical exam - more info.
✅ However, for the moment, you will not need permission for recreational use if your drone weights less than 35 kg & you follow the below:
fly at a maximum altitude of 90 m above the ground
fly 30 m (for drones weighting 250 g to 1 kg) or 76 m (for drones weighting 1 kg to 35 kg) away from vehicles, vessels and the public.
fly 5.6 km away from aerodromes (any airport, seaplane base or area where aircraft take off and land)
fly 1.9 km away from heliports or aerodromes used by helicopters only
outside of controlled or restricted airspace
fly 9 km away from a natural hazard or disaster area
away from areas where its use could interfere with police or first responders
during the day & not in clouds
it is advised to subscribe to an insurance covering all risks.
fly within 500 m of yourself & within your sight at all times
mark your drone with your name, address & telephone number
🚨If your drone weighs over 35 kg, you must get a Special Flight Operations Certificate. The certificate tells you how & where you are allowed to use it. For more information (section 602.41) about drone certificates & permissions in Canada.
📰 An update of recreational use laws is planned for 2018 -> see here.
What do I risk for flying a recreational drone illegally in Canada?
The amount & scope of the fine will depend on the nature & severity of your infraction. The judges will also evaluate if you intentionally committed the infraction and/or if you had any commercial purposes to do such. However Canadian authorities specified that prison &/or a fine are possible up to:
$3,000 for drones less than 25 kg
$15,000 for drones over 25 kg
Commercial Drone use in Canada
When flying a drone for commercial use (legally called an Unmanned Air Vehicle or UAV) in Canada, a special flight operations certificate (SFOC) is required for any drones heavier than 35kg &/or for most commercial drone flights. You can apply easily for your SFOC here.
Additionally, you must:
respect all the drone recreational use's code of conduct (listed above).
follow the rules in the Canadian Aviation Regulations: section 602.41
respect the Criminal Code, your provincial Trespass Act, and all municipal, provincial and territorial laws that apply
✅ Cool stuff, as Canada makes things easier with these 2 certificate exemptions:
What do I risk for flying a commercial drone illegally in Canada?
The amount & scope of the fine will depend on the nature & severity of your infraction. The judges will also evaluate if you intentionally committed the infraction and/or if you had any commercial purposes to do such. However Canadian authorities specified that prison & or a fine are possible up to $25,000.
🚨 Beware that transport Canada inspectors investigate reports of unsafe & illegal drone use and may involve local police if other laws (for example, the Criminal Code and privacy laws) have been broken.
Once you got everything in order, you can start flying above Canada's awesome landscapes & create videos like this one:
Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone rules and regulations.
Proposed Canadian new rules for drone recreational use in 2018.
Submit an unsafe use of drone in Canada - click here.
✅ Please leave us a comment or update the Forum when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in Canada! Have fun and safe flight!