Canada Adopts Important New Recreational Drone Rules

Canada’s Transportation Minister Marc Garneau in March, 2017 issued a new set of directives for recreational drone operators. This article will give you a better understanding of the new rules and regulations based on a recent interview with SkySnap, a Toronto based drone photo and video company. The rules took effect immediately:

  • Drones must maintain a distance of at least 9 kilometers from all airports, heliports, seaplane bases and landing strips;
  • No drone may fly higher than 90 meters above the ground;
  • Don’t operate a drone within restricted air space;
  • Drones must remain at least 9 kilometers away from forest fires;
  • Drones cannot fly further than 500 meters away from the operator;
  • Drones cannot fly at night or in clouds and must remain clearly visible to the operator;
  • Drones may not interfere with the activities of first responders or law enforcement;
  • Drones may not approach within 75 meters of any person, animal, vehicle, vessel, or building.


Additionally, Canada now requires recreational drone operators to make certain each drone clearly provides the following operator/owner information: Name; Address; Telephone Number.

Canada defines “recreational drones” as unmanned machines weighing between 250 grams and 35 kilograms. Operators who fail to comply with the new guidelines risk incurring fines of up to $3,000.

Minister Garneau explained he decided to issue the new regulations in response to an escalating number of reports of drone incidents. Since data collection commenced in 2014, incidents involving drones have more than tripled.

(SkySnap supplies drone rental equipment. The company provides information about current Canadian drone regulations as a public service.)

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