Whether you fly for business, recreational or just for fun, it makes no difference. You must have your drone RPAS (basic or advance) license to fly any drone unless it is under 250g like the Mini 2 or the Mini SE. This is for the safety of pedestrians, aircrafts and your drone. It is very important to understand the rules and regulations that are put in place from Nav Canada to keep our skies safe. Let me give you 4 reasons why you might need an RPAS license to fly your drone in Canada.
1. When you fly near certified aerodromes and airports/heliports.
It is important to know your surroundings and locate any aerodromes and airports within the area you're flying in. You can only do so by placing a request and contact traffic control in order to get full authorization. Failure to do so can lead to penalties and fines up to $5000 (More info here)
2. When you fly in controlled airspace.
Most controlled air spaces are usually in bigger cities like Toronto or Vancouver. Reason is because there is a lot of air activity happening in the skies and will require you to communicate with air traffic control for any drone flying within those controlled air spaces. A lot of helipads are within the city like hospitals or small airports so be respectful and request permission to fly within these areas. Only way to ask permission is to get your advance license and register your drone with NAV Canada.
3. When you require an SFOC
SFOC stands for Special Flight Operations Certificate. This is required if you plan to go above 400ft (120 meters), fly over any events, or fly near military aerodromes. This is extremely important as bigger and more complex missions will require you to obtain this certificate of approval to fly out of your usual limits. You will need your advance license to put in a request for an SFOC.
4. When flying close to people.
Right now the limit is set for 30m away from pedestrians if you have your basic license, or 5m away from pedestrians if you have your advance license. If you don't have your RPAS license, you may NOT fly near or around people as it is prohibited.
In order to get your RPAS license (basic or advance), you must pass an online test provided by Transport Canada. This test will ask you questions in the categories of Air Law, Navigation, Human Factors, Flight Ops and much more. Each attempt is $10. Once you pass your exam, you then must register your drone with Transport Canada and place that registration number on your drone so that it is visible for others to see.
There are a lot of steps to go through before being able to fly a drone legally but all necessary to keep the skies, and everyone around you, safe while operating your drone.
Considering getting your RPAS license? We have great news for you! We have now partnered up with RPAS Center to bring you online and in-person training to help you get ready for your basic and/or advance license. They will go through each module and help answer any questions you may have. They can also provide for you a flight reviewer which is needed to complete your advance license. Sign up using promo code SL2022 and get 5% off and course of your choosing. Click here for more information.