Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport responsible for Transport Canada, has announced new rules for recreational drone users in Canada.  Up until now, drone users faced a number of guidelines from Transport on the do’s and don’ts of drone flying, with no specific penalties for breaking them.  The new rules, which are effective immediately, mean recreational drone users will face a fine of up to $3000 (or $15,000 for a corporation) if flying a drone weighing more than 250 grams:

  • Higher than 90 meters
  • Within 75 metres of buildings, vehicles, vessels, animals or people.
  • More than 500 metres away from the user.
  • At night, in clouds or somewhere you can’t see it.
  • Within 9 kilometres of somewhere aircraft take off or land, or a forest fire.
  • Without your name, address and phone number marked on the drone itself.
  • Over forest fires, emergency response scenes or controlled airspace.

Transport Canada has effectively created #NoDroneZone’s around all of Canada’s cities for anyone other than commercial operators, who still have to follow strict rules allowed by their SFOC’s.  Reaction on social media has been swift with users calling out Transport Canada for creating over reaching rules in the name of safety.

It remains to be seen how strict enforcement is of these rules, but with Transport telling people to call 911 to report illegal drone use, it could get interesting.

Here’s a link to the interim order:
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/mediaroom/interim-order-respecting-use-model-aircraft.html