You could be fined $5,000 for flying a drone anywhere in Canada

Jun 8, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

You could be fined $5,000 for flying a drone anywhere in Canada

Jun 8, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Transport Canada recently introduced new rules for recreational drone users that could land you with fines up to $5,000. One of YouTube’s most popular Canadians, Peter McKinnon talks with drone pilot friend, Gabriel in this video about the new regulations that have come into force, and what it means for Canadian drone pilots.

[With] the new licensing system, they’ve made it so that anybody can fly a drone almost nowhere to almost nobody can fly a drone almost anywhere.

Essentially, you used to have the freedom to fly, in a few specific places. Now, you can’t fly anywhere without a license. The license is for drones weighing between 250g and 25kg. And there are two types available; basic and advanced.

The basic plan costs $10 and requires you to be 14 years or older. You need to register and mark your drone, and then pass the Small Basic Exam, a simple online test. The advanced plan is for commercial users. This also has a $10 fee but requires that you be 16 years or older. You’ll also need to register and mark your drone, but you’ll also need to pass the Small Advanced Exam, and pass a flight review.

And these rules are already in place. After June 1st, 2019 – which was a week ago – you’re required to pass these tests and get your certification before flying a drone anywhere in Canada.

If you don’t, and you fly a drone without permits, recreational pilots will be fined $1,000. If it’s deemed to be commercial use, you will face a $5,000 fine.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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18 responses to “You could be fined $5,000 for flying a drone anywhere in Canada”

  1. W Douglas LeBlanc Avatar
    W Douglas LeBlanc

    There are no rules for land based or water based drones so this is the way I’m going and Transport Canada can suck a lemon.

    1. dracphelan Avatar
      dracphelan

      For now. In the future?

  2. Stephan Kogelman Avatar
    Stephan Kogelman

    Not only in Canada also in and over the Island of Bonaire in the Caribbean, up to FL065 in a Class D airspace its not allowed to pilot a drone.

  3. Olivier Gallen Avatar
    Olivier Gallen

    Interesting… a $10 licence to check you have some basic knowledge and common sense before flying your deadly toy. It makes sense, actually.

    1. dracphelan Avatar
      dracphelan

      Did you actually watch the video. It is a lot more than that. The test prep alone is a 350 page PDF.

      1. Jon Shopping Avatar
        Jon Shopping

        No. Obviously you did to take the test. Nowhere near that hard.

        1. Cory Zirk Avatar
          Cory Zirk

          I mean, it wasnt hard, because its open book.

    2. Cory Zirk Avatar
      Cory Zirk

      Took the test, passed. Didnt cover a lot to do with drones itself. There were questions related to actual helicopters, airplanes, runway procedures. I was quite perplexed.

      1. Droner Avatar
        Droner

        Runway procedures? LOL! I guess some drones out there are equipped with an ILS so the operator can do a CAT III approach.

  4. Tyler Ingram Avatar
    Tyler Ingram

    Will I need to register my kite next? ;)

    Actually, I will look at getting my basic license. I don’t have time to do the advanced one.

    Though I am looking more forward to the DJI Spark 2 and it being 248g

    1. nzswedespeed Avatar
      nzswedespeed

      Yes, same here!

  5. Alexander L. Harris Avatar
    Alexander L. Harris

    Like many things before it, something else has been ruined by idiots.

    1. Canuckistan Buddy Avatar
      Canuckistan Buddy

      Proving once again, that voting is a serious task, that can seriously mess up your life, and the lives of the rest of the country, when you get it wrong. Remember who’s running the show in Ottawa, and who enacted yet another useless regulation in a country that already has far too many. Remember which parties (Not the CPC) want you to be a member of the “Nanny State”, when you go to the polls next October.

      1. Joe Canuck Avatar
        Joe Canuck

        This process was started far before the current liberal government came to power. In fact, it was Lisa Raitt who launched the consultation process that led directly to these regs. I attended one of her round tables on the regs. The initial proposals circulated while her government was in power are similar to what we ended up with. In fact, the final regs are actually simpler. For example, the current government dropped the insurance requirement and scrapped the proposed Cat 4 medical exam.

      2. LarryVandemeer Avatar
        LarryVandemeer

        Actually it was conservative Lisa Raitt and the Conservative Party that started all this. So considering how clueless you clearly are, I suggest you don’t vote at all… EVER!

  6. Jon Shopping Avatar
    Jon Shopping

    People complaining about this are ignorant. The test is easy (and open book) – 77% pass on first try, guessing for 1/3 of the questions. As for not being able to fly anywhere – last night I looked at the map. Even the GTA has TONS of areas that allow for flight. The whining over this is the equivalent of complaining about Amber alerts.

  7. stygianumbra Avatar
    stygianumbra

    Time to build spread spectrum frequency hopping drones to fly in an automated fashon and waste Canada’s limited resources chasing illegal drones.

  8. Chris Vaillancourt Avatar
    Chris Vaillancourt

    It is most definitely NOT a “simple online test”. It was one of the most challenging exams I’ve ever taken (2 years of college and 4 of university AND I teach safety programs for a living). The knowledge requirements are far beyond anything we would ever need as recreational pilots.