Transport Canada has announced that as of June 1st, anyone flying a drone is required to register their drone and obtain a pilot certificate.

According to a press release, the new rules apply to “all drone pilots and drones between 250 grams and 25 kg that are operated within the drone pilot’s visual line-of-sight, regardless of whether the drone is flown for fun, work or research.”

The federal government is outlining two categories for drones: basic and advanced, both of which require registration and certification.

People flying drones – or drone pilots as they are referred to – will need to pass an online exam and get a pilot certification. The drones themselves will also need to be registered and be marked with that registration number.

The minimum age now for flying drones is 14 years old for the basic license and 16 years old for the advanced license, unless they are being supervised by someone that has the proper certifications.

There is a third category that applies to drones that don’t meet standards for the basic or advanced categories and those drone pilots will be required to apply for a ‘Special Flight Operations Certificate’ before flying said drone.

Drones will also need to follow guidelines for flights which include staying below an altitude of 122 metres and statying away from air traffic, such as airports.

Transport Canada stated in the release that it is attempting to toe the line between public and aviation safety and at the same time encouraging innovation and economic growth.

“We’ve listened closely to feedback from Canadians and have updated our regulations to balance practicality and the safe use of drones. Drones are part of an important economic sector with significant potential to improve lives and connect communities across the country,” Minister of Trasport Marc Garneau stated in the release.

“Our new regulations will create new opportunities for Canadians by establishing a safe and predictable regulatory environment where the industry can innovate and where recreational and non-recreational drone pilots can safely access Canadian airspace,” he said.

Drone pilots will be required to have proof of registration and certification readily available while flying. Transport Canada stated that an electronic version on a mobile device will suffice.

The new rules will come into effect June 1st.



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