Sarah Nilsson, JD, PhD, MAS
Sarah Nilsson, JD, PhD, MAS

Canada Drone Laws





As part of my effort to learn more about what the FAA needs to yet accomplish in order to keep up with the rest of the world in the area of UAS-UAV-Drone regulation, I decided to start researching Canada's regulations since Amazon deemed it more feasible to go to B.C. for their testing.


Here is what I found:

Transport Canada

- Canadian Aviation Regulations

Unmanned Air Vehicles 602.41 No person shall operate an unmanned air vehicle in flight except in accordance with a special flight operations certificate or an air operator certificate.

Model Aircraft 602.45 No person shall fly a model aircraft or a kite or launch a model rocket of a type used in a fireworks display into cloud or in a manner that is or is likely to be hazardous to aviation safety.

- a detailed page informing the public about UAV

- exemptions for UAV weighing 1kg or less

- exemptions for UAV weighing 1kg to 25kg

- Guidance material for operating UAV under an Exemption

- Flying your drone safely and legally

- Proposed rules for drones in Canada

- How to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate

- Knowledge Requirements for Pilots of UAV weighing 25kg (55lbs) or less operating within Visual Line of Sight

- Staff Instruction (SI) No. 623-001 - Review and Processing of an Application for a Special Flight Operations Certificate for the Operation of a UAV system


Unmanned Systems Canada: Canada's national non-profit association representing public and private innovation in unmanned vehicle systems. Its objectives are:

- to represent the interests of the unmanned vehicle systems community which includes industry, academia, government, military, and other interested persons

- to promote public awareness, education, and appreciation for the Canadian unmanned vehicle systems community to itself, to Canadians, and worldwide

- to provide a single voice for the Canadian unmanned systems community

- to promote and facilitate the growth of the Canadian unmanned vehicle systems community through education, advocacy, and exchange of ideas and technologies

- to assist the Canadian unmanned vehicle systems community to achieve leadership in research, development, application, and operations 


Model Aeronautics Association of Canada: In 1949, a group of 11 very enthusiastic modellers assembled to form an organization for those interested in model aviation. Their vision was for an association to officially represent the aircraft modeling fraternity in Canada. Today, the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada has grown from that group of 11 to a body of Canadian modelers over 13,000 strong, representing all facets of this exciting hobby, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In 1995 they were proud to have inducted these 11 founding members into their MAAC Hall of FameThe Model Aeronautics Association of Canada is the Official Governing Body for Model Aviation in Canada, acting as a liason to government agencies, such as Industry Canada (formerly Department of Communications) with regard to radio frequencies and their use in radio controlled models, as well as representing their internationally competitive modelers to the Fédération Aéronautique International (FAI) through the Aero Club of Canada. MAAC also provides liability insurance to its members and chartered clubs, among many other membership benefits.


A good description of Canadian Airspace can be found at the Langley Flying School page

Download the Designated Airspace Handbook from Nav Canada


Some Transport Canada Videos to further illustrate


Library of Congress: Regulation of Drones: Canada

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Sarah Nilsson, JD, PhD, MAS


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Legal disclaimer 

The information on this website is for educational purposes only and DOES NOT constitute legal advice. While the author of this website is an attorney, she is not your attorney, nor are you her client, until you enter into a written agreement with Nilsson Law, PLLC to provide legal services.

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