Transport Canada is overhauling its regulations governing drone flights within Canada. The proposed regulations introduce three categories of drone operation:
1. Very small drone operations
Pilots must be 14 years old or older; must mark drone with their name and contact information; pass a basic knowledge test; have liability insurance; and
fly at least: 5.5 km from airports, 1.85 km from heliports and 30 m from people.
2. Limited operations (rural)
Pilot must be 16 years old or older and required to: mark their device with their name and contact information; pass a basic knowledge test; have liability insurance; and fly at least: 5.5 km from airports, 1.85 km from heliports, 150 m from open-air assemblies of people (i.e. outdoor concert), 75 m from people, vehicles, vessels and 1 km from built-up areas.
3. Complex operations (urban)
Pilot must be 16 years or older and required to: hold a pilot permit that is specific to small drones; have liability insurance; register and mark their device with a unique identification Transport Canada will provide; operate a drone that meets a design standard; follow a set of flight rules; get approval from air traffic control when flying in controlled airspace or near aerodromes; and
fly at least: 150 m from open-air assemblies of people (i.e. outdoor concert) unless at least 90 m high and 30 m from people, vehicles, vessels.
If your drone weighs between 250g and 25kg and you are operating within visual-line-of-sight you will no longer require a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) as long as you meet the requirements stipulated within one of the three categories above.
For example, you will need an SFOC if you intend to operate a drone out of sight or if your drone weighs more than 25 kg.
For more information visit Transport Canada’s Proposed rules for drones in Canada page.