Rules for recreational drones
If you fly your drone for fun and it weighs more than 250 g and up to 35 kg, you do not need special permission from Transport Canada to fly.
Follow the basic safety rules below. Not doing so may put lives, aircraft and property at risk. If you fly where you are not allowed or choose not to follow any of the rules below, you could face fines of up to $3,000.
Do not fly your drone:
- higher than 90 m above the ground
- closer than 75 m from buildings, vehicles, vessels, animals, people/crowds, etc.
- closer than nine km from the centre of an aerodrome (any airport, heliport, seaplane base or anywhere that aircraft take-off and land)
- within controlled or restricted airspace
- within nine km of a forest fire
- where it could interfere with police or first responders
- at night or in clouds
- if you can’t keep it in sight at all times
- if you are not within 500 m of your drone
- if your name, address, and telephone number are not clearly marked on your drone.
The list above is an overview of the new rules for recreational drone users. Consult the Interim Order Respecting the Use of Model Aircraft for the full list of provisions. Members of the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada (MAAC) who operate at MAAC sanctioned fields or events are not subject to these rules.
If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Spry at our office for more information.
Tips for recreational drone users:
- Fly your drone during daylight and in good weather.
- Keep your drone where you can see it with your own eyes – not through an on-board camera, monitor or smartphone.
- Make sure your drone is safe for flight before take-off. Ask yourself, for example: Are the batteries fully charged? Is it too cold to fly?
- Respect the privacy of others. Avoid flying over private property or taking photos or videos without permission.
Non-recreational drone: If you fly your drone (or UAV) for work or research, or if it weighs more than 35 kg, you must get a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC). The SFOC tells you how and where you are allowed to use your UAV.
For more information on the SFOC, read Getting permission to fly your drone.