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Flying a Drone in Canada, Safely

Drone’s are amazing Machines. Unfortunately, some people have done stupid things with drones. Causing new rules to make it harder to fly a drone in Canada. To be honest, these new rules make sense and it should be that hard to follow.

The rules apply to noncommercial drone operators flying aircraft. Weighing between 250 grams (about half a pound) and 35 kilograms (77 pounds). Violators can face fines up to $3,000 Canadian. If you are looking to buy a drone, here is a Drone Size Chart to help you stay within the safe parameters.

At first glance, these rules may seem harsh, but a second read, you should understand the reasoning. For example, staying away from airports and not interfering with first responders is obvious. Also, would you want a drone flying outside your bedroom window? Or, falling from the sky and landing on your head in a crowd?

Under the new recreational drone rules, you can’t fly a recreational drone:

  • Higher than 90 meters (300 ft.) above the ground
  • At a distance of more than 500 meters (1,640 ft.) from the operator
  • Within 75 meters (246 ft.) of buildings, vehicles, vessels, animals, people or crowds
  • At night or in the clouds
  • Within 9 km (5.6 miles) from the center of an airport or another facility where aircraft takeoff or within 9 km of forest fires
  • If your drone doesn’t have your name, address and telephone number labeled on the aircraft
  • In a way that interferes with first responders or police

Drone Flying Rules from Transport Canada

Information on flying drones in Canada

Where can you fly a drone in Canada?

It’s the law!

If you fly your drone for fun and it weighs more than 250 g and up to 35 kg, follow these rules:

  • within 90 m above the ground or lower
  • at least 30 m away from vehicles, vessels, and the public (if your drone weighs more than 250 g up to 1 kg)
  • at least 76 m away from vehicles, vessels, and the public (if your drone weighs more than 1 kg up to 35 kg)
  • at least 5.6 km from aerodromes (any airport, seaplane base, or areas where aircraft take-off and land)
  • at least 1.9 km away from heliports or aerodromes used exclusively by helicopters
  • outside of controlled or restricted airspace
  • at least 9 km away from a natural hazard or disaster area
  • away from areas where it could interfere with police or first responders
  • during the day and not in clouds
  • within your sight at all times
  • within 500 m of yourself or closer
  • only if clearly marked with your name, address and telephone number

Download the Drone Rules PDF from Transport Canada.

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