Drones are usually thought of as toys or hobbyist aircraft. However, they also constitute a substantial risk to your family, home, and privacy. Whether or not you own a drone, it’s important that you’re aware of Transport Canada’s regulations and safety tips regarding their use.
Here are the basic guidelines for registering and using recreational drones as outlined by Transport Canada:
- If your drone weights 35 kg or less and is only used for fun, you don’t need permission from Transport Canada to fly it. For all other aircraft, pilots must apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate.
- Pilots must follow the rules laid out in the Canadian Aviation Regulations, specifically the sections on unmanned air vehicles and model aircraft.
- Pilots must respect Canada’s laws regarding trespassing and privacy, never fly drones where they aren’t supposed to or risk public safety.
Use these tips to safely operate drones:
- Only fly during the daytime and in clear weather.
- Keep the drone in sight at all times, and have an observer assist you, if needed.
- Inspect your drone prior to flights to ensure it is in good working order.
- Avoid flying near airports, staying at least 9 km away.
- Fly your drone at least 150 metres away from people, buildings, and other obstacles. In addition, always fly lower than 90 metres.
Transport Canada has a variety of safety information available for drone pilots. In addition to a fact sheet on the do’s and don’ts of flying drones, prospective pilots can also review a list of frequently asked questions. Together, these resources allow pilots to enjoy their drones without risking the health and well-being of themselves or those around them.