Fly Safe! Regulations Governing The Drone Industry
Real estate agencies frequently use drones to get stunning, aerial shots of properties they have been enlisted to sell. Drones can play a life-saving role in search and rescue or surveillance maneuvers, and don’t forget recreational activities like drone racing!
Drones can not only vary in purpose but size as well! They can range from that small model aircraft you bought at a hobby store, to a mini-helicopter some police units employ when it’s too risky to send officers into a scene, all the way up to full, plane-sized aircraft used in war zones or other conflicts!
Don’t Get Fined!
Drones, whether it’s for business, research, or pleasure, falls under Transport Canada. They regulate the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, keeping our airspace safe. So before you take your new UAV out for a spin, be sure you understand the rules. Failing to do so could cost you up to $25,000!
How much your drone weighs will determine what you do first. If your UAV is heavier than 35 kg, you need to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate. But if your drone is 35 kg or less, and is used strictly for recreational purposes, you won’t need permission from Transport Canada to get airborne. UAVs for business or research purposes, however, have different operating requirements.
Work or Research? Get Permission First!
Before taking to the skies for research or work, you are legally required to send a completed Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) to the Transport Canada Civil Aviation Office for your chosen region. You’ll need to provide some basic information, including your contact details and how you plan to use your drone.
Regardless of your reasons for flying a UAV, Transport Canada recommends you follow the fundamental safety rules of the sky at all times.
- Only fly your UAV in good weather, during daylight hours
- Make sure you can always see your UAV with your own eyes (not a viewscreen or remote camera-relay)
- Do a preflight inspection checking for anything that may hamper flight. (Are your batteries fully charged?)
- Make sure you’re at least 150 metres away from people, animals, vehicles, buildings, or other structures
- Avoid populated areas or large gatherings of people, such as sporting events or open air concerts
- Keep away from highways, cars, busy streets or any place where the sudden presence of your UAV could distract a driver!
Drone Flight No-No’s
- Don’t fly within 9km of any airport, aerodrome, or heliport
- Don’t fly higher than 90km from the ground
- And never fly your UAV around first responders or their vehicles
In Canada, you are responsible for flying your drone safely and within the law at all times. That means following the rules detailed in the Unmanned Air Vehicles and Model Aircraft sections of the ‘Canadian Aviation Regulations.’
Privacy and Trespassing
Whenever you take to the skies, be sure to respect the Criminal Code, Trespass Act at all times. When in doubt? Keep out!
By remembering to #FlySafe, you can enjoy countless hours exploring the sunny, summer skies above Ontario this summer!