New Drone Rules Announced

  By Kaitlyn Kerr

The Government of Canada has announced new drone rules for people flying drones between 250g and 25kg. Anyone flying a drone must register their drone and pass an exam to hold either a Basic or Advanced Pilot’s certificate, depending on the type of flight operations.

You can get a basic operation pilot’s certificate if you always fly in uncontrolled airspace, never over bystanders and always at least 30m (100ft) away from bystanders. If any of your flights do not meet all three conditions, you need an advanced operations pilot’s certificate. (More information on the difference can be found here.)

Registration costs $5.00 and should only take a few moments. The drone must be physically marked with the registration number. All drones between 250g and 25kg must be registered to fly.

While not mandatory, the government strongly encourages people to attend a drone flight school prior to taking the pilot’s certificate exam. Drone pilots are expected to follow the legal requirements, as well as keep all flight under 122 meter (400 ft) above the ground and maintain visual contact with the drone at all times.

These new rules go into effect as of June 1st, 2019. The current rules must still be observed before then.

Penalty fines run between $1000-$3000 for individuals, or $5000-$15,000 for corporations. Drone pilots must carry their certificate and registration while flying and be able to present it if requested.

Any drones over 25kg fall into a special category and must get special permission to fly.


Kaitlyn is a craft beer enthusiast and self-labelled film nerd. Suitably, she is one of the hosts of Calgary's Beers & Cameras meetup group. She also drinks too much coffee and wants to see too many places. When not helping coordinate events or exploring whatever city, town, or backroad she can, she also works as a freelance photographer and assistant.