What You Can Expect from Canada’s New Drone Laws
The keyword for Canada’s new drone rules is balanced. Both the safety of the public and the benefits of drone technology have been considered and applied to the new drone rules.
Recreational pilots will no longer have separate rules to follow. All drone pilots are advised to always have their valid drone pilot certificate on them, and they must register any marked drones they wish to fly.
While it’s essential to follow the rules of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CAR), it’s imperative that you also follow the laws of your province that relate to the Criminal Code, trespassing, voyeurism, and privacy.
The Government of Canada offers an online drone test that must be completed and passed by pilots owning a drone “with a maximum takeoff weight of 250 grams up to and including 25 kilograms.
Some conditions of the exam that pilots may not be aware of include:
- A fee of $10 for every attempt at the exam.
- A Small Basic exam or a Small Advanced exam is to be taken, depending on the airspace and
type of aircraft.
- Attendance at a drone school is recommended but not mandatory to become better acquainted with the new rules and to increase your chances of passing the exam.
- An in-person flight review component of the Small Advanced exam, which means you will need to contact a flight reviewer from a drone flight school.
- Access the Drone Management Portal via the Transport Canada website.
It’s essential to follow the new drone laws for Canada because you will be fined, otherwise. It’s important to note that the penalties are separated according to whether you’re an individual or a corporation. Both individuals and corporations are not permitted to fly their drones:
- without a valid drone pilot certificate
- if the drone is unregistered and unmarked
- in restricted locations
- in ways that put people and other aircrafts in danger
Individuals and corporations can receive multiple penalties if they break more than one rule. For individuals, the highest fine they will have to pay is $3,000 while the highest corporations will have to pay $15,000.
Drones are to always be flown within your visual-line-of-sight (VLOS); you are not allowed to rely on binoculars or video feed to track your drone. While this act breaks the rules, it also puts your drone at risk of damage and loss. If you love your drone, treat it with the love and respect it deserves!