New rules for drones in Canada
On January 9, 2019, the Government of Canada published new rules for flying drones in Canada. These rules will come into effect on June 1, 2019. You can read up on the new rules but you still need to follow the current rules.
The new rules apply to Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), or “drones,” that:
- weigh 250 grams (g) up to and including 25 kilograms (kg), and
- are operated within the drone pilot’s visual-line-of-sight
The rules introduce two categories of drones operations : basic and advanced. The categories are based on distance from bystanders and on airspace rules.
The new rules are enforced by Transport Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). There are serious penalties, for those who break the rules. Individuals and corporations can face fines or jail time for:
- putting aircraft and people at risk
- flying without a drone pilot certificate
- flying unmarked or unregistered drones
Pilot certificates, knowledge tests, and flight reviews
All pilots of drones that weigh between 250 g and 25 kg must get a drone pilot certificate.
Pilots conducting basic operations need a Pilot Certificate – Basic Operations.
Pilots conducting advanced operations need a Pilot Certificate – Advanced Operations. To get this certificate, they must pass the Small Advanced Exam and an in-person flight review. The flight review will assess a pilot’s ability to operate their drone safely.
All drones that weigh between 250 g and 25 kg must be registered with Transport Canada. Pilots must mark their drones with their registration number before they fly.
RPAS Safety Assurance
The RPAS Safety Assurance tells users the safety limits of the drone they are using. Pilots must operate their drone within the limits outlined in the RPAS Safety Assurance that its manufacturer declared to Transport Canada. An RPAS Safety Assurance is needed to conduct advanced operations.