Canada UAV Rules Summary


The definition of a model aircraft: less than 77.2 pounds, individually owned (no companies allowed) and not profit-seeking. If an aircraft meets these conditions, it is considered a recreational vehicle, making it subject to lower scrutiny. Aircraft that don’t meet this criteria are officially “unmanned aerial vehicles” and require Special Flight Operations certificates.


  • Closer than 9 km from any airport, heliport, or aerodrome.
  • Higher than 90 meters above the ground.
  • Closer than 150 meters from people, animals, buildings, structures, or vehicles.
  • In populated areas or near large groups of people, including sporting events, concerts, festivals, and firework shows.
  • Near moving vehicles, highways, bridges, busy streets or anywhere you could endanger or distract drivers.
  • Within restricted and controlled airspace, including near or over military bases, prisons, and forest fires.
  • Anywhere you may interfere with first responders.

Drones under 1kg can be flown for any purpose without permission and without informing Transport Canada, the aviation regulator. Drones that weigh more than 1kg and below 25kg can be flown if Transport Canada is informed of the type and location of flight.

Drones being used for work or research that weigh more then 25kg or recreational drones weighing over 35kg can only be flown with a Special Flight Operations Certificate. All flights must stay below 90 meters, within line of site, far from airports, populated areas, and moving vehicles. “Work or research” drone operators must have $100,000 liability insurance, and all drones must give right-of-way to manned aircraft.

1Study Guides and Useful Links

This section contains the documents designed to help prepare operator for the commercial UAV Operations in Canada.



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