Before you start flying a drone, you must know the flying rules in the country where you are located. Having this information makes you aware and keeps you from breaking any law that might get you in trouble.
Yes, you can fly a drone in Canada at any time of the day. However, flying a drone at night in Canada is only allowed, provided your drone is equipped with position lights. Yes, you can fly a drone in Toronto only if you have the required pilot certificates, and you can fly a drone in Quebec.
You must understand the regulations guiding the drone's flight in Canada so that you will not be penalized for violating drone regulations and have your drone taken away from you. In this article, we will discuss the rules guiding the flight of drones at night in Canada and other cities in Canada.
Can You Fly A Drone In Canada?
As a drone pilot, you must know if you can fly a drone in the country you are located in. In a place like Canada, flying a drone is legal, so you can fly your drone without any worries if you are in Canada.
Before January 2021, the TCCA was not accepting applications for Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) from visitors wishing to fly their drone recreationally in Canada. However, visitors who intend to fly their drones commercially had their applications approved.
We will look at some of the rules regulating the flight of drones in Canada. Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) is responsible for the creation of these laws and regulations.
- Any drone that weighs between 250 grams and 25 kilograms must be registered with Transport Canada.
- Every drone pilot should mark their drones with their registration number before they can fly their drones.
- All drone pilots with a drone weighing between 250 grams and 25 kilograms are expected to have a drone pilot certificate.
- Commercial and recreational drone pilots must fly their drones below 400 feet (122 meters) in the air.
- Drone pilots must not fly close to bystanders, and they must keep a minimum distance of 30 meters from any basic operations.
- Drone pilots must not fly their drones close to or over any emergency operations and official events.
- Drone pilots should always respect the privacy of others while flying.
- A drone must not be flown close to helicopters, airplanes, or any other aircraft.
- A drone should not be flown within 3 miles (5.6 kilometers) from any airport and 1 mile (1.9 kilometers) from any heliports.
The Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) has a list of requirements that a drone pilot must meet before flying. These requirements are:
- One must understand the legal requirements when flying a drone.
- Know and understand the difference between basic and advanced operations in drone flying.
- You must follow your drone manufacturer's instructions.
- If you are going to perform advanced operations with a drone, use the right drone for it.
- Get the necessary knowledge requirements.
- You must have flight authorization before flying in the controlled airspace for any advanced operation.
- The area you must fly a drone must be surveyed first before you fly.
Having all these requirements in mind allows one to fly safely and freely in Canada without worrying about breaking any rules.
Can You Fly A Drone At Night In Canada?
Flying a drone at night in Canada is allowed. Nevertheless, your drone has to have a position light that you must switch on when flying at night. Doing this allows you to see the direction you are flying to avoid crashing or any accidents at all.
When you are flying a drone at night, it must be within the visual line of sight. Flying within a visual line of sight allows you to always see your drone to know its exact position, that way, you would not be flying into prohibited areas or a crowd of people.
However, before you fly a drone at night in Canada, you must know the laws guiding drone flight during the day and at night. The Canadian government has put some laws that a drone pilot must follow before flying a drone.
The position light of a drone is also known as the navigation light. The position light helps you see where you are going when flying at night. However, using position lights is not always enough; the TCCA advises drone pilots to get anti-collision lights for their drones.
There are two differences between navigation or position light and an anti-collision light. The two differences are the color and regularity of the lights. The navigation lights' regularity is solid, and the color of the lights are either green, white, or red.
However, the anti-collision lights are always blinking, and the color is either red or white. You can also use both of these lights on your drone when flying at night. You can even buy drones that come with position and anti-collision lights or install the lights on the drone.
Can You Fly A Drone In Toronto?
According to the last census in Canada, Toronto is said to be the largest city in Canada. As a drone pilot, you can fly a drone in Toronto, but you must follow all the Canadian Aviation Regulations.
There are specific rules of where and how you can fly a drone in Toronto. You can fly a drone near the Toronto International Airport, but you will require an advanced certification; your drone must be appropriate for flying in the controlled airspace, and the air traffic control must have authorized you.
To fly over any property of the city of Toronto, you must have gotten permission, especially over bodies of water like Lake Simcoe, Rice Lake, and Lake Ontario. To fly over these bodies of water, you must also have advanced certification and permission from the air space controller.
Flying a drone in downtown Toronto is not advisable; however, it is possible only when you have permission from the city and permission from NAV Canada. Flying over schools and parks in Toronto is allowed as long as you have gotten permission from the property owner.
Nevertheless, in the city of Toronto, you are not allowed to fly a drone in the busy controlled airspace or a crowd or gathering. When you want to fly a drone, you should fly in a low populated area, and the people there must be aware of your intentions.
Rules For Flying A Drone In Toronto
Some of the rules regulating the flight of drones in Toronto are.
- All drone pilots with a drone weighing at least 250 grams, less than or equal to 25 kilograms, must pass an online exam, register their drone, and get a drone pilot certificate.
- All recreational drone pilots are required to obtain a basic operations pilot certificate before flying their drones.
- Drone pilots who want to fly their drones in controlled airspace need to pass a flight review test.
When you fly a drone where you are not supposed to, you will be fined three thousand dollars. However, when you fly an unregistered drone and do not have the authorized certificate to fly a drone, you will be fined twelve thousand dollars.
Can A Drone Be Flown In Quebec?
Quebec is a French-speaking province in eastern Canada. Flying a drone in Quebec is allowed. However, there are no specific rules to follow when flying a drone in Quebec because the city is in Canada, and still have to follow the Canadian Aviation Regulations of drone flying.
When flying a drone in Quebec, you must make sure your drone does not disturb anyone or disrupt their activities, which is why it is advisable to fly your drone in a less populated location.
To fly a drone that weighs more than 250 grams in Quebec, you must register the drone and have a valid drone pilot certificate. Any other type of certificate is not allowed. It is also necessary that you do not fly in any prohibited area in Quebec, or you will be severely punished.
You must also have a drone pilot license before flying a drone. To get a license, you have to be fourteen years and above. Children below the age of fourteen are only allowed to fly a drone with adult supervision. Moreover, the adult must have a drone pilot license.
One of the most important laws of flying a drone in Quebec is always keeping an eye on your drone. This means that when you are flying your drone, it must always be within the visual line of sight; you must see your drone at all times during a flight.
Flying an unregistered drone or flying without a drone pilot certificate in Quebec attracts a fine of up to a thousand dollars. When you fly in any prohibited area, you will also pay a fine of a thousand dollars. These penalties are for individuals who are flying recreationally.
There is also a different penalty for corporations who fly drones commercially. Flying a drone commercially with an unregistered drone or flying without a drone pilot certificate in Quebec attracts a fine of five thousand dollars.
Have you ever thought of flying your drone in Niagara Falls while capturing breathtaking images, the Bear Rock Sinkhole, or any other natural tourist sites in Canada? You need to understand Canadian aviation laws; only then will you be free to fly your drone.
A trip to Canada is a fascinating experience, but flying a drone in another country and capturing impressive views and images makes the trip more exciting. Take time to read up so you can know the regulations for flying a drone in Canada.
Also read: How to Spot a Drone at Night
Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.