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Flying an unmanned aircraft in Canada

Unmanned air vehicles, model aircraft, remotely piloted aircraft systems, drones

How do I fly

                                              Frequently Asked Questions

When do I need permission? 

Think safety first

More and more people are using unmanned aircraft for work or pleasure. Transport Canada regulates their use to keep the public  and our airspace safe.

Unmanned aircraft (no pilot on board) go by many  names—unmanned air vehicle (UAV), remotely piloted aircraft system,  model aircraft, remote control aircraft, and drone.

Call it what you want, but always think safety first.

Safety guidelines

You are responsible to fly your aircraft safely and legally. In Canada, you must:

  • Follow the rules set out in the Canadian Aviation Regulations.
  • Respect the Criminal Code as well as all municipal, provincial, and territorial laws related to trespassing and privacy

Transport Canada expects you to follow these basic Do’s and Don’ts.


  • Only fly your UAV during daylight and in good weather (not in clouds or fog).
  • Always be able to see your UAV with your own eyes – not only through an on-board camera, monitor or smartphone.
  • Make sure your UAV is safe for flight before take-off. Ask yourself, for example, are the batteries fully charged? Is it too  cold to fly?
  • Know when to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate
  • Respect the privacy of others – for example, avoid flying over private property or taking photos or videos without permission.

Don’t fly:

  • Any closer than 5 miles (8 km) from any airport, heliport or aerodrome.
  • Higher than 300 feet (90 metres) above the ground.
  • Within restricted airspace (such as military bases, prisons, forest fire areas).
  • Closer than 100 feet (30 metres) from vehicles, boats, buildings, structures or people.
  • In populated areas or near large groups of people (such as at sporting events, concerts, festivals, firework shows).
  • Where or when you could interfere with any first responders (fire department, police, etc) as they conduct their duties. 
  • Near moving vehicles. Avoid highways, bridges, busy streets or anywhere you could endanger or distract drivers.

We all have a responsibility to respect the Criminal Code as well as all municipal, provincial, and territorial laws regarding trespassing and privacy.



You are responsible to fly your drone safely and legally. In Canada, you must:


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