In Canada...Simpler rules for small unmanned air vehicles

3689624595?profile=originalTransport Canada makes it easier to fly small UAVs for work and pleasure

November 5, 2014, 2014 – Montréal, Quebec – Transport Canada

Transport Canada today announced, at the Unmanned Systems Canada conference in Montréal, two exemptions that simplify small unmanned air vehicle (UAV) operations and safely integrate UAVs into Canadian airspace.

Under the new exemptions, a Special Flight Operations Certificate will not be required for UAVs under 2 kilograms and certain operations involving UAVs under 25 kilograms. The new approach will apply to commercial operations and contribute to a strong safety regime for those on the ground and in the skies.

Once the changes come into effect later this month, operators must check on Transport Canada’s website if the exemptions apply to them and respect specific safety conditions, including requirements to operate within visual line-of-sight, maximum altitudes and away from built-up areas and aerodromes. In addition, Transport Canada is simplifying the application process and reducing the time it takes to issue Special Flight Operations Certificates for larger UAV operators.

In October, Minister Raitt launched the Government of Canada’s national safety awareness campaign for UAVs, which aims to help Canadians better understand the risks and responsibilities of flying UAVs. For more information, please visit

Quick Facts

  • Transport Canada regulates the use of all aircraft, manned and unmanned, to keep the public and our airspace safe.

  • Canada has had safety regulations in place that govern the use of UAVs since 1996.

  • Operators must still apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate for UAVs weighing more than 25 kg.

  • If a UAV is operated without a Special Flight Operations Certificate and should be, Transport Canada can issue fines of up to $5,000 for an individual and $25,000 for a company.

  • If an operator does not follow the requirements of their Special Flight Operations Certificate, Transport Canada can issue fines of up to $3,000 for an individual and $15,000 for a business.


“Transport Canada has requirements in place for aircraft of all sizes. For businesses, these changes will make it easier for their small UAVs to take flight sooner, while maintaining the safety of those on the ground and in the skies”
The Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport

“This approach will dramatically improve the ability for Canadian businesses to safely make use of this extremely capable technology while substantially reducing the time it takes to get authorization for more complex operations. Coupled with the safety awareness campaign announced two weeks ago, I believe that Canada now has one of the most effective and progressive UAV regulatory frameworks in the world.”
Stewart Baillie
Chairman, Unmanned Systems Canada


Ashley Kelahear
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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  • Moderator

    Ha they beat Australia who are doing the same. Expect Europe next and oh the USA after 2021 perhaps.

  • Congratulations Canada!

  • Since I dont fly anything commercial can I still fly my 3.5kg fpv glider?

  • Moderator

    Any visiting US operators visiting Quebec area are welcome to use our flying site with lots of local quarries, waterfalls, rivers and other features to picture! 

    let me know, 

    Watch out for the snow though , it gets a bit chilly sometimes!!!

  • Moderator

    Hi Rob 

    its an X5 with lots of mods and all the usual goodies, flys well at 1,3kg flying weight. it will go up to 1.7 with a larger camera

    The camera can fit either way , landscape or portrait. ELPH520HS gets good results. I make catapults to launch this (especially at 1.7kg) Thats the plane in my profile picture. 

  • @ Swift. je savais qu'il y aurait des intéressés!

  • Can do a lot with 4.4 pounds, of course, not in the US and no time soon given our completely non-responsive FAA.

    Much envy to the reasonable way your Government is acting Canadian guys.

    How hard is it to be reasonable?

  • I'm assuming "certain uses" will be onerous.  Either way, the idea of completely unrestricted usage is nice.  And, it's an engineering challenge.  I'm down to 1213g before battery and camera.  Looking at a 433g battery, and 200g camera, leaving 150g for the camera mount which is possible.

    Dwgsparky, which plane are you looking at there?  Which camera?  Does the camera fit cross-wise?

    I'm also looking at the FX-79 Buffalo. Says flying weight is 1200g without battery.  So should be able to do similar.

    And Skywalker flying weight is 1300-1800g?  Seems too light?

  • Rob, I would hang tight and see what the "certain uses" are for UAS under 25kg. Might not even need to! Jealous of the canucks here...

  • Moderator

    Great news, Its very encouraging to see TC take the lead and show our friends down south how integration can be done in  a reasonable way, 

    Time for a quick weight check, yup,,,,,, fixed wing plane , camera, etc, etc, ready to go at 1.4kg.

    4 weeks to completely legal COMMERCIAL operation... time for the happy dance!!

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