New Rules for Drone Operators — January 10, 2019

New Rules for Drone Operators

January 10, 2019

OTTAWA: Jim Eglinski, Member of Parliament for Yellowhead, is informing constituents that Transport Minister Marc Garneau has issued strict new regulations for the use of drones in Canada, from banning drunk droning, to banning drones from flying in airspace near emergency scenes and airports.

Drone operators will now have to register their drones and pass an online test to receive certification to continue operating them.  These new changes apply to drones between 250 grams and 25 kilograms that are operated within the pilot’s sight, regardless of whether the drones are being used recreationally or for work.

Among the new rules:

  • You can’t pilot a drone while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or within 12 hours of consuming alcohol;
  • You must be over 14 years of age to apply for basic registered ownership and pass a test to become a certified pilot;
  • Drones cannot fly higher than 122 metres above ground level, or 30 metres above a building or structure;
  • Special certification is needed if you want to transport weapons or explosives;
  • You can’t transport living creatures on your drone; and
  • Unless a certified first responder, drones cannot fly over or near an emergency scene.

The new regulations come with fines between $1,000 and $3,000 for individuals but can rise much higher for corporations or anyone deliberately breaking the rules. Violators who deliberately fly near an aircraft’s flight path could be subject to fines of up to $25,000 and even jail time depending on the severity of the offence.

It will cost $5 to register a drone, and the pilot exam for basic operations costs $10, while the test for advanced drone operations is $25.

The new rules around drone operations that exist now will continue to apply until these new provisions come into effect on June 1st of this year.

“Remember:  Drones are an object in our air space.  Flying one means you are a pilot, whether you operate one for fun, work or research,” concluded MP Eglinski.

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