All About the New Rules for Recreational Drone Use in Canada

If you love your drones and regularly fly them for fun, the government has some new rules you’ll want to know about.

FYI as of now, drones in Canada that weigh between 250g and 35kg can’t be flown:

  • higher than 90 metres
  • Within 75 metres of buildings, vehicles or people
  • At night
  • Within nine kilometres of somewhere aircraft take off or land
  • Without contact information marked on the drone itself
  • Over forest fires, emergency response scenes or controlled airspace.

Regulations now state that if you’re found to be in violation of any of these rules, a stiff fine of up to $3,000 could be slapped on you. Ouch.

Too Many Near Misses

Why the change in rules? Canadian Federal Transportation Minister Marc Garneau says there have been a number of ‘near misses’ between drones and commercial aircraft in the past few years, and that it’s getting worse.

Apparently there were 41 incidents involving drones in 2014, 85 of them in 2015, and 148 in 2016.

Obviously Garneau felt there was no need to risk experiencing a further 300 incidents in 2017. Or maybe he had family heading on a late March break to Florida and didn’t wish to worry about their 747 catching a wandering DJI Phantom in its engines.

Whatever the case, anything that makes our skies safer seems like a good call.

Some groups have expressed concern that the regulations are restricting the access everyday Canadians can have to the skies, as well as the type of pictures they can take in the name of educating their children.

In response to this, here’s an idea: if you want a view that’s higher than almost a kilometer up, why not go on Google and perform a search.

Those satellites are pretty far out there. You’re likely to find what you’re looking for.

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