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The new rules, which will come into force on June 1, 2019, apply to all drone pilots flying drones between 250 grams and 25 kilograms that are operated within the drone pilot’s visual-line-of-sight, regardless of whether the drone is flown for fun, work or research.

The new simplified rules reflect significant consultations with Canadians and the industry. The final regulations introduce two main categories of drone operation: basic and advanced. The categories are based on distance from bystanders and airspace rules.

Both categories have their own set of easy-to-follow rules that will require the drone pilot to:

  • register and mark the drone with its registration number;
  • pass an online exam and get a pilot certificate for basic or advanced operations;
  • be a minimum age of 14 for basic and 16 for advanced operations, unless supervised by a person having proper certificates;
  • stay below an altitude of 122 m (400 feet) above ground level; and
  • stay away from air traffic.

Only drone pilots who need to fly a drone outside the rules for basic or advanced operations will need to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) before they fly.

The new rules are a step forward from the existing Interim Order Respecting the Use of Model Aircraft , which will continue to apply until the new regulations come in to force. The next, and more significant development on this issue will be discussions and testing currently underway for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations.

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Read the regulations