New Canadian Drone Laws and How to get your License

The Sky is the Limit

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Transport Canada has certainly stepped up their laws surrounding drone usage in Canada. Announced in January of 2019, drone users must register their drone and obtain a drone pilot certificate in one of two categories: 1) Basic Operation or 2) Advanced Operation. Also, if you choose to be an Advanced operator, you must undergo a Flight Review conducted by an Advanced operator with a Flight Reviewer Rating.

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Basic operations

If you meet all 3 of these conditions, you're conducting basic operations:

  • You fly it in uncontrolled airspace
  • You fly it more than 30 metres (100 feet) horizontally from bystanders
  • You never fly it over bystanders

If you do not meet any 1 of these 3 conditions, you are conducting advanced operations.

For example, let’s say you fly your drone more than 30 metres (100 feet) horizontally from bystanders but in controlled airspace. This operation is advanced because you’re flying in controlled airspace even if you’re more than 30 metres (100 feet) horizontally from bystanders.

For basic operations, here are some of the rules you must follow:

  • Register your drone with Transport Canada before you fly it for the first time
  • Mark your drone with its registration number
  • Pass the Small Basic Exam
  • Be able to show your Pilot Certificate – Basic Operations and proof of registration when you fly

Advanced operations

If you meet any 1 of these conditions, you are conducting advanced operations:

  • You want to fly in controlled airspace
  • You want to fly over bystanders
  • You want to fly within 30 metres (100 feet) of bystanders (measured horizontally)

For advanced operations, here are some of the rules you must follow:

  • Register your drone with Transport Canada before you fly it for the first time
  • Mark your drone with its registration number
  • Pass the Small Advanced Exam
  • Pass a flight review with a flight reviewer
  • Be able to show your Pilot Certificate – Advanced Operations and proof of registration when you fly your drone
  • Fly within the operational limits of your drone

You can only use drones that meet the safety requirements for the operation you want to conduct. See tips on choosing the right drone before you fly.

If you have a Pilot Certificate – Advanced Operations, you do not need a Pilot Certificate – Basic Operations to conduct basic operations.

Credits:

  1. Basic and Advanced content taken from Transport Canada Website - https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/aviation/drone-safety/find-category-drone-operation.html

Prepare for the Exam

Coastal Drone Aviation is a great choice for exam preparation. They offer training where you can learn the Transport Canada rules and regulations surrounding drones and their usage, as well as practice multiple choice questions from their online test bank.

They offer the following courses from their Online Academy:

Coastal Drone Company
RPAS Ground School

BASIC

Coastal Drone Company
EXAM Preparation

BASIC

Coastal Drone Company
RPAS Ground School

ADVANCED

Coastal Drone Company
EXAM Preparation

ADVANCED

Get all the Facts

Visit the Transport Canada website for a complete listing of rules, regulations, links, and contacts

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