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Summer is still a few months away, but recreational and non-recreational drone pilots should be aware of new drone rules issued from Transport Canada effective June 1.
Drone pilots will be required to obtain and carry a valid drone pilot certification when flying, to adhere to Part. IX — Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems in the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs), and to only fly drones that are registered and marked with the pilot’s personal information.
For the recreational pilot, failure to follow the new rules can result in hefty fines: $3,000 for putting aircraft and people at risk and $1,000 for flying a drone without certification, for flying an unregistered or unmarked drone, and for flying in prohibited areas. Corporations can also be fined $15,000 and $5,000 respectively for breaking the same rules.
Transport Canada makes a distinction between basic and advanced operations for drones between 250 grams (0.5lb) and 25 kilograms (55lb) and provides specific regulations for each. Drones under 250 grams are considered micro drones and need only to be flown away from airports and aircraft, and drones over 25 kilograms will require special permission from Transport Canada to fly. Pilots who want to fly drones outside the new rules can also apply to Transport Canada for special permission.
They also suggest reviewing Ontario’s trespass act, law relating to voyeurism and privacy, and relevant sections of the Criminal Code, including Offences against Air or Maritime Safety, Breaking and Entering, and Mischief.
Other legal requirements, tips, and useful terms as well as links to apply for certification can be viewed on the Aviation section of Transport Canada’s website (tc.gc.ca), along with the drone rules currently in place.