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Canadian Drone Laws - What you need to fly a drone in Canada

Updated: Aug 10, 2022

#1 Drone Licenses

(Drone Shot Of Downtown Toronto Shot by Unmanned AV)

The First thing you need to fly a UAV/Drone (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) in Canada is a UAV license. These are done through Transport Canada.

There are two types of drone licences in Canada. Small Basic License & the Advanced Operators License

Licenses are required for UAV's over 250 grams

Whats the Difference?

Basic Operator

Online exam only Cost: $10

  1. Must be at least 14 years of age

  2. Must be fit to fly, which includes not suffering from fatigue or having consumed drugs or alcohol within the last 12 hours

  3. Remain in uncontrolled airspace

  4. Maintain visual line-of-sight (VLOS) at all times

  5. Maximum altitude of 400 ft (122 m)

  6. No flights within 5.6 km (3 nautical miles) of an airport, or 1.9km (1 nautical mile) of a heliport (CAR 901.47) or within controlled airspace, whichever distance is greater

  7. 100 ft (30 m) minimum horizontal distance from people (CAR 901.26)

Advanced Operator

Online Exam Cost: $10 + $50.00 Flight Reviewer Exam.

  1. Must be at least 14 years of age

  2. Must be fit to fly, which includes not suffering from fatigue or having consumed drugs or alcohol within the last 12 hours

  3. Over advertised events (e.g. outdoor concert, sporting event)

  4. Over people unless flying a drone that meets the appropriate RPAS Safety Assurance declaration

#2 Drone (UAV) Registration

Any Drone flown in Canada must first be registered through Transport Canada.

You must register to operate any drone weighing between 250 g and 25 kg within Canada.

What you need to Register

Cost: $5

Register your drone here

  1. purchase date (if applicable)

  2. make, model, serial number, weight and type of drone

  3. Label/Sticker to put the registration number on the drone

RPAS Flight Authorization (Advance operator's only)

What is it?

In Canada, The Airspace is either Controlled or Uncontrolled.

Controlled Airspace: is a geographic location where Air Traffic Controllers service the area. Controlled Spaces are split up into classes depending on the amount of regulation in that area.

Uncontrolled Airspace: Are simply airspace without the above.

The RPAS Flight Authourization is a permit for advanced operators to fly in controlled spaces (class C, D, or E)

Advanced Operations and you must obtain a written RPAS Flight Authorization from NAV CANADA, by submitting an RPAS Flight Authorization Request.

How do I get one?

To submit an RPAS Flight Authorization Request, follow these steps:

  1. Determine the flight information region for your RPA flight. You will need this information for the authorization form.

  2. Complete and submit the online RPAS​ Flight Authorization Request​. ​See the FAQ page for answers to some common questions. Note: Earlier technical issues experienced by certain users of the online form have been resolved. If you experience any difficulties submitting a request, please contact NAV CANADA Customer and Stakeholder Services​.​

  3. Once submitted, a reference number will be issued and used in any future correspondence relating to this request. The request will be sent to the appropriate NAV CANADA regional RPAS office for review.

  4. Please note that processing time will depend on the complexity of your request.​ You cannot operate your RPA in controlled airspace unless you receive a written RPAS Flight Authorization from NAV CANADA.​ Failure to comply with legal requirements when flying an RPA, including failure to obtain an RPAS Flight Authorization from NAV CANADA before flying an RPA in controlled airspace, can give rise to serious penalties, including fines and jail time.

  5. Please ensure that you have proof of your RPAS Flight Authorization on hand at all times when flying your RPA.​


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