We operate a Mavic Mini Drone, which weighs less than 250 grams, and follow Transport Canada’s Regulations as stated here;
TRANSPORT CANADA REGULATION
Transport Canada does not have intent-based regulation. It doesn’t matter if you’re flying for fun or for work, the rules are the same and depend instead on the risk involved in your flight. If you’re under 250g, the risk is low so the following regulation applies.
Canadian Aviation Regulation (CAR) 900.06 – No person shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system in such a reckless or negligent manner as to endanger or be likely to endanger aviation safety or the safety of any person.
PLAIN LANGUAGE – we call this the “don’t be an idiot” rule. Don’t fly where you might hurt/endanger/put at risk someone else using the airspace or on the ground under your drone.
Other than that, Transport Canada doesn’t provide any prescriptive regulations to pilots of micro drones.
- Flights in all classes of airspace including controlled (classes A-F) airspace are okay (just don’t be a hazard)
- Flights near airports are okay (just don’t be a hazard)
- Flights over people, roadways, railways, buildings and bridges are okay (just don’t be a hazard)
- There are no prescriptive restrictions (ie distance requirements like 30m or altitude restrictions) placed on micro RPAS (but don’t be a hazard)
If an area is a Class F Restricted airspace, don’t fly in it. You’d have a hard time proving
this wasn’t hazardous as those areas are restricted to aircraft due to the fact they overly prisons or military areas etc. Use the NRC Site Selection tool
to identify these areas.
Now, there are other rules that you need to follow aside from Transport Canada. Typically these regulations will just say they apply to “RPAS” or “model aircraft” or “UAV” or “drones” and not specify a weight limit. Because of this, they will apply to micro RPAS as well as those above 250g (sRPAS or small RPAS are 250g to 25kg). No one other than NAV CANADA has permission (delegated to them by Transport Canada) to restrict access to airspace but it doesn’t mean they won’t try. If you get fined for overflying a park, for example, it won’t hold up in court but it might not stop them from fining you in the first place. Other laws to be aware of:
- National parks do not allow RPAS without prior permission
- Most provincial parks do not allow RPAS without prior permission (Saskatchewan allows them)
- Most municipal governments will have bylaws preventing drone use on city property including parks, sidewalks and roads without prior permission. (and this includes launching from the roof of your car or boat)
- Other things like the Migratory Bird Act and Criminal Code and Privacy Act apply too. A heuristic with wild animals is if you’re close enough for them to notice you, you’re too close.
For your first flight, find an open area, away from people, and learn how to interpret the screen, use your app and control your aircraft in different orientations. And if you have questions, always better to ask. Guaranteed you’re not the first person who has thought of it, but you might be the first to ask.