The increasing popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – more commonly known as drones – is changing the aviation landscape. If you are a drone operator or are considering purchasing a drone, you must be aware of your responsibilities.
Do's and Don'ts for Flying Your Drone
Always follow the basic do’s and don’ts for flying your drone safely and legally.
- Fly your drone during daylight and in good weather (not in clouds or fog).
- Keep your drone in sight, where you can see it with your own eyes – not only through an on-board camera, monitor or smartphone.
- Make sure your drone is safe for flight before take-off. Ask yourself, for example: are the batteries fully charged? Is it too cold to fly?
- Know if you need to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC).
- Respect the privacy of others. Avoid flying over private property or taking photos or videos without permission.
- Closer than nine km (five nautical miles) to any airport, heliport or aerodrome.
- Higher than 90 metres (300 feet) above the ground.
- Closer than 150 metres (500 feet) to people, animals, buildings, structures, or vehicles.
- In populated areas or near large groups of people, including sporting events, concerts, festivals, and firework shows.
- Near moving vehicles, highways, bridges, busy streets, or anywhere you could endanger or distract drivers.
- Within restricted and controlled airspace, including near or over Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, military bases, prisons, and forest fires.
- Anywhere you may interfere with first responders.
Please note: If you fly a drone for work or research, or if your UAV weighs more than 35 kg, you must get a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) from Transport Canada that tells you how and where you can use your UAV.
Travelling with Your Drone
If you're planning to travel with your drone, please follow the guidelines below::
- Identify the type of battery (i.e. lithium ion) that your UAV/drone has, as well as its Watt Hours (Wh)
- Reference your airline to see what carry-on allowances are
- Review CATSA guidelines to see if there are any restrictions based on your battery type and Watt Hours
Please be sure to confirm if the airline will accept your item as a carry-on or checked item. Don’t forget that there is restriction on lithium battery-operated vehicles such as drones and their carriage on aircraft.
TIP: At screening, you will need to identify and place the item separately as if it were a laptop. Please arrive early and allow for extra time in the screening process as the item may be subject to additional screening.