Transport Canada proposes new three-tier drone operation rules

Drone operators in Canada have until 13 October to respond to new drone regulations issued by the regulator Transport Canada. Under the proposals will no longer need a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) if their drone weighs 250 g to 25 kg and is operate within visual-line-of-sight but they will need to apply for an SFOC for any operations that are not covered by the proposed regulations. For example, they will need an SFOC if you intend to operate a drone out of sight or if your drone weighs more than 25 kg.

Transport Canada is proposing three categories of drones, with new regulations specific to each category. For a very small drone more than 250 g to 1 kg pilots must be 14 years old or older and will be required to:

For the limited operations (rural) (Small drones more than 1 kg to 25 kg) the pilot must be 16 years old or older and will be required to:

  • mark their devicewith their name and contact information;
  • pass a basic knowledge test;
  • have liability insurance; and
  • fly at least: 5.5 km from airports, 1.85 km from heliports, 150 m from open-air assemblies of people (i.e. outdoor concert), 75 m from people, vehicles, vessels, 1 km from built-up areas.

For complex operations (urban)small drones more than 1 kg to 25 kg – and for users who intend to fly in urban areas, within controlled airspace or close to anywhere that airplanes, helicopters and floatplanes land and take off, the pilot must be 16 years or older and will be required to:

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