If you received a drone for Christmas, or already have one, it’s important that you stay up-to-date with the latest news regarding your drone. As the recent news of a drone disrupting one of UK’s busiest airports, Gatwick Airport during the holidays, causing many flights to be cancelled or delayed and causing tens of thousands of passengers to be disrupted, Canada is taking charge. Recently the federal government concluded that as of June 1, 2019, there will be stricter drone flying regulations regardless of if you’re doing it for fun, work, or research. While regulations are always changing, we encourage you to stay up-to-date of the most-recent drone regulations and news regarding safety and flying by following Transport Canada.

However, as of the moment, here are some quick takeaways of how you should begin to prepare, if you would like to continue to fly your drone in Canada.

A Brief Recap Of The Regulations

Transport Canada announced that the new rules will require all drone pilots who are flying drones between 250 grams and 25 kilograms to obtain a pilot certificate by June 1, 2019, regardless of the reason for flying the drone. Pilots will need to ensure that they have their certificates and proof of registration on them while flying their drones, whether it’s electronic through their mobile device, or a printed physical copy. While it is not required for drone operators to have any insurance, Transport Canada does recommend for those who are operating a drone to buy Public Liability Insurance for the drone, as most Home Insurance policies do not cover the use of drones.

It should also be noted, that there are two main categories of drone operation: basic and advanced, which are based on distance from bystanders and airspace rules. Transport Canada says that both categories have their own set of easy-to-follow rules surrounding the following;

Additionally, it should be mentioned that there are stricter regulations relating to the consumption of alcohol and drone flying. It’s been noted that pilots are not allowed to operate a drone, or a remotely piloted aircraft system within 12 hours of consuming alcohol, or while being under the influence.

The Seriousness Of These New Regulations

As there have been countless incidents of drone pilots disrupting air traffic or harming bystanders, the federal government is stating that they are taking this seriously by subjecting those who break the rules to fines of up to $25,000 and even prison time. The Government of Canada has also been quoted to say, “All drone pilots are also subject to the Criminal Code as well as the provincial, territorial, and municipal laws governing areas such as privacy and trespassing. Endangering the safety of an aircraft is a serious offence.

So while it’s fascinating to operate a drone in an open park, it’s crucial that if you plan to continue to fly your drone, whether it’s for fun, work, or research, that you have the proper certificates and knowledge. This will not only help keep yourself safe, but those around you safe as well.