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white drone

I’m taking a detour away from my normal areas of family and landlord/tenant law with this post. I am a hobby photographer and have been fascinated by the aerial photography now possible with the advancement of recreational drone technology. Drones, equipped with cameras, are now available at a price affordable by a significant percentage of the Canadian population.

Unfortunately, until now, law surrounding the use of recreational drones was limited and there was a great deal of confusion about where and how high a drone could be flown. There have also been issues over the last couple of years with drones being flown in inappropriate places and causing trouble with aircrafts, traffic, and pedestrians. Transport Canada has recently released a new regulation outlining the rules about flying recreational drones. Outlined below are the basic safety rules outlined in the new regulation. The penalty for failing to follow these rules may be a fine up to $3,000. Keep in mind that this is a summary only, and that if you are planning to use a recreational drone, you should review the Interim Order Respecting the Use of Model Aircraft carefully. To not require permission from Transport Canada to fly, your recreational drone must weigh more than 250 g and up to 35 kg. Do not fly your drone:

  • Higher than 90 m above ground;

  • Closer than 9 km from buildings, vehicles, vessels, animals, people/crowds;

  • Within a controlled or restricted airspace;

  • Within 9 km of a forest fire;

  • Where it could interfere with police or first responders;

  • At night or in clouds;

  • If you cannot keep your drone in sight at all times;

  • If you are not within 500 m of your drone; and

  • If your name, address, and phone number are not clearly marked on the drone.

These rules only relate to the flying of drones. Other laws and rules may address the use of the drone, such as the limitations on flying over and photographing/videoing private property. ** Members of the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada (MAAC) who operate at MAAC sanctioned fields or events are not subject to these rules. Please see the Transport Canada website at the link below for more information.



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