Thunder Bay – TECH – Flying drones in Canada means following Transport Canada’s rules. The federal government enacted new rules on drone flying a few years ago.
“Transport Canada’s rules for drones offer flexibility for drone pilots with various categories and requirements depending on the type of flights, the size of the drone, and the environment a drone pilot is operating in,” states Transport Canada.
Over the holiday season, drones proved to be a popular gift. However keeping inside the rules is important, and often many people don’t think of those rules when they get their drone.
There is an exemption to some of the rules, it comes with the very lightweight drones that are on the market.
These microdrones are drones that weigh less than 250g. Microdrones do not need to be registered and the pilot does not need to obtain a pilot certificate.
Like all drone rules that apply, microdrones cannot be flown near emergency sites, national parks, and Class F restricted airspace.
You should also keep your drone below 400 feet, within your line of sight, away from people and other aircraft, and away from airports. Microdrones must always be flown in a safe manner and must not be flown in a way that could endanger aviation safety or the safety of any person.
If you fail to fly safely, you may be fined up to $1,000.
A Basic Operations Pilot Certificate, requiring an online, multiple choice exam, covers basic operations (operations in uncontrolled airspace and further than 30 meters from bystanders). However, if you want to fly in controlled airspace, or near or over people, you will need an Advanced Operations Pilot Certificate which requires taking the advanced online exam as well as an in-person flight review.
With an advanced pilot certificate, with the appropriate drone, a pilot may fly in controlled airspace, over bystanders, or within 30 meters (100 feet) of bystanders.
Drone pilots with drones that weigh less than 250 grams are able to operate without interacting with Transport Canada and as long as they follow the rules. In addition, the Drone Management Portal allows instant registration of drones, and instant availability of pass/fail marks when drone pilots take the Basic exam. This allows Basic drone pilots to operate as soon as they receive confirmation of their exam marks.