How to Fly a Drone Safely in Canada

Looking into purchasing or own a drone but have safety concerns?
We have put together a list of things to consider as advised by Transport Canada.

But first, what is a drone?
Simply put, a drone is a Smartphone or remote operated aircraft or robot.
Most drones have built-in cameras, which makes them highly useful and fun when traveling and capturing aerial views. Drones can be used for various purposes, such as by government officials, tracking wildfires, animal migrations, and most recently they are entering the delivery business.

But flying a drone comes with safety concerns since it falls under the Unmanned Air Vehicle category (UAV), or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Here's what to consider before purchasing a drone, recommended by Transport Canada.

1. Location
Stay away from airports, heliports, or aerodromes. As long as you keep a 9 km distance, you'll be Okay. Don't fly over 295 feet above ground, and make sure you are at least 492 feet away from people, animals, cars, buildings, etc. That includes festivals and sporting events. It is also advised to stay away from highways or anywhere where flying a drone could endanger people. And lastly, fly the drone away from hospitals, fire stations, ambulances, military bases, and so on. Keep in mind that flying your drone over private property could be considered illegal.

2. Weight and Purpose of Use
Good news is, if your drone weighs 35 kgs / 77 pounds or less, and you're flying it just for fun, you don't need "special permission" to operate it, but should still take some precautions.
If you're using a drone for work or research, you must obtain a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC). In the last 6 years, Transport Canada has issued 5,679 approvals for UAVs, and there is no fee. It does however take up to 20 days for an approval.

3. Weather Conditions
It is not advised to fly the drone when it is cloudy or foggy.
Avoid flying it at night to prevent colliding with unseen objects.

4. Drone's Status
Make sure your drone is safe for flight before operating it.
Check on the batteries, make sure all parts are well intact, etc.

Keep in mind that each country has its own rules and regulations. It is advised to always check before taking your drone abroad. Fortunately, as drones become more and more popular, information on the internet is becoming more available. Safe flight!