Canada Drone Laws


General Guidelines for Drone under 2kg:

  • Do NOT operate your drone in a reckless or negligent manner so as to endanger the life or property of any person
  • Any persons operating a drone must be a minimum of 18 years of age or at least 16 operating under the supervision of an academic institution.
  • Do NOT operate a drone if you have any reason to believe you may be fatigued or suffering from any other condition that may render you unfit to perform your duties.
  • Do NOT operate your drone within 8 hours after consuming an alcoholic beverage or while under the influence or while using any drug that impairs the operator to the extent that safety of the operation is endangered.
  • You must receive permission from the property owner from the owner of the property on which the drone intends to take off/land on.
  • You must conduct a site survey prior to commencing operations to assess if safe operation can be conducted.
  • You must carry with you at all times proof of liability insurance, name/address/telephone number of the drone operator, and a copy of the drone operating limitations.
  • Respect the criminal code as well as municipal, provincial, and territorial laws related to trespassing and privacy.
  • Respect others privacy – Avoid flying over private property or taking photos or videos without permission.
  • Do NOT operate your drone in populated areas or near large groups of people, including sporting events, concerts, festivals, and firework shows.
  • DO NOT operate your drone near moving vehicles, near highways, bridges, busy streets, or anywhere you could endanger or distract drivers.
  • Do NOT operate your drone over military bases, prisons, forest fires, or anywhere you could interfere with first responders.

Flight Conditions for Drone under 2Kg:

  • You MUST maintain visual contact with your drone at all times, sufficient to be able to maintain operational control of the drone, know its location and be able to scan the airspace in which it is operating to decisively see and avoid other air traffic or objects.
  • You must NOT use a first person viewing device
  • You must operate from a single control station and NOT use control relays or visual observers to extend the drone operation beyond your own visual contact.
  • You MUST only operate one (1) drone at a time.
  • You MUST give way to manned aircraft at all times.
  • You MUST ONLY fly your drone during daylight.
  • You MUST operate your drone at or below 300 feet above ground level.
  • You MUST ONLY operate your drone in Class G airspace.
  • Do NOT fly your drone over a forest fire or within five (5) nautical miles of a forest fire.
  • You MUST operate your drone at LEAST five (5) nautical miles of any aerodrome.
  • You MUST operate your drone at LEAST five (5) nautical miles away from a built up area.
  • You MUST operate your drone at least 100 feet from any building, structure, vehicle, vessel, animal or person not associated with the drone operation.
  • You MUST NOT operate your drone over an open air assembly of people.
  • You MUST operate your drone with at least 2 miles of ground visibility.
  • You MUST be able to take active control of the drone at all times.
  • You MUST ensure no unacceptable radio frequency interference to the drone system is present prior to flight, nor is likely to be present during flight.
  • Follow all manufacturer instructions with regards to operation of your drone.
  • You MUST NOT carry explosive, corrosive, bio-hazard, or lasers onboard your drone.
  • You MUST immediately advise appropriate air traffic control service any time the flight of the drone inadvertently enters into controlled airspace.

Flight Conditions for Drone between 2Kg and 25kg:

In addition to following the above guidelines for drones under 2Kg the following flight conditions must also be adhered to.

  • Any person conducting operations shall establish and adhere to procedures to be followed in the event that control of the drone can no longer be maintained.
  1. Procedures for landing/recovering the drone safely.
  2. Procedures for contacting the appropriate air traffic service unit.
  3. Names(s) of individuals responsible for following each of the above procedures.
  4. Any person conducting operations under this exemption shall establish and adhere to an emergency contigency plan.
  • Establish and follow normal lost link and emergency procedures, including those set by the manufacturer.
  • Do NOT activate a flight termination system if your drone is so equipped in such a manner as to endanger other airspace users or property on the ground.
  • Do NOT conduct a take off/launch of a drone that has frost, ice, or snow adhering to any of its critical surfaces.
  • Do NOT use portable electronic devices at the control station of the drone where they may impair the functioning of the systems or equipment.
  • The following operational and emergency equipment must be immediately
  1. Checklists or placards that enable a drone to be operated in accordance with the limitations specified by the manufacturer
  2. A handheld fire extinguisher of a type suitable for extinguishing fires that are likely to occur.

Pilot Training for operation of drone between 2Kg and 25Kg:

  • The pilot must have completed a pilot ground school program that provides instruction on the following subject areas:
  1. airspace classification and structure
  2. Meteorological and NOTAM reporting services
  3. interpretation of aeronautical charts and the Canada Flight Supplement
  4. applicable content of the Canadian Aviation Regulations
  • The pilot conducting operations shall be appropriately trained on the drone and qualified for the area and type of operation as referred to in Transport Canada guidance material.

UAV System Conditions for Drone between 2Kg and 25Kg;

  • Any person operating prior to take off must ensure that there is a means of;
  1. Controlling the flight of the drone
  2. Monitoring the drone system
  3. Navigation
  4. Communication, as required by the Canadian Aviation Regulations
  5. Detecting hazardous environmental flight conditions
  6. Mitigating the risk of loss of control of the drone
  7. Sensing and avoiding other aircraft
  8. Avoiding flight into obstacles and terrain
  9. Remaining clear of cloud
  • Drone must be inspected & repaired prior to flight if it has been subjected to any abnormal occurrence.
  • The requirements of any airworthiness directive, or equivalent issued by the manufacturer must have been completed.
  • The drone must NOT be equipped with an emergency locator transmitter (ELT).

Reporting conditions for Drones between 2kg and 25Kg;

  • Any person operating shall, prior to the commencement of operations, notify the minister, in writing, of;
  1. Their name, address, telephone number, and email
  2. The model of drone(s) being operated including serial number
  3. The type of work being conducted
  4. The geographical boundaries of the operation
  • Any person operating shall notify the minister within 10 working days of any change to the information provided in the above condition or upon permanent cessation of drone operations.
  • Any person conducting operations shall report to the closest Transport Canada Civil Aviation office as soon as possible, details of any of the following aviation occurrences during the operation of a drone;
  1. Injuries to any person requiring medical attention.
  2. Unintended contact between a drone and perons, livestock, vehicles, vessels or other structures.
  3. Unintended damage incurred to the airframe, control station, payload, or command and control links that adversely affects the performance or flight characteristics of the drone.
  4. Anytime the drone is not kept within the geographic boundaries and/or altitude limits as outlined.
  5. Any collision or risk of collision with another aircraft.
  6. Anytime the drone becomes uncontrollable, experiences a fly-away or is missing.
  7. Any other incident that results in a Canadian Aviation Daily Occurrence Report (CADORS).

Last Updated: July 2015