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Transport Canada Announces Simpler Rules for Small Unmanned Air Vehicles

Transport Canada 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 www.tc.gc.ca/SafetyFirst.

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.

Quotes

“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

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through RSS, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.

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