Do You Need an Advanced Drone (RPAS) Pilot's Certificate to Operate Your Drone Business ?

Posted by Greg Davis on

The answer is most yes if your drone is over 250 grams.

Transport Canada has released new drone safety regulations starting on June 1st, 2019 that will affect your business. 

Most importantly you need to realize that operating a drone business in Canada will mean new penalties and fines if you do not carry a basic or advanced license - 

Penalties

You could face serious penalties, including fines and/or jail time, if you break the rules.

Fines for individuals

  • up to $1,000 for flying without a drone pilot certificate

  • up to $1,000 for flying unregistered or unmarked drones

  • up to $1,000 for flying where you are not allowed

  • up to $3,000 for putting aircraft and people at risk

Fines for corporations

  • up to $5,000 for flying without a drone pilot certificate
  • up to $5,000 for flying unregistered or unmarked drones
  • up to $5,000 for flying where you are not allowed
  • up to $15,000 for putting aircraft and people at risk

If you break more than one rule, you could receive multiple penalties.

How to protect yourself

The first step is to figure out what type of drone pilot certificate you need - Basic or advanced. Here's the breakdown - 

Basic operations

If you meet all 3 of these conditions, you're conducting basic operations:

  • You fly it in uncontrolled airspace
  • You fly it more than 30 metres (100 feet) horizontally from bystanders
  • You never fly it over bystanders

If you do not meet any 1 of these 3 conditions, you are conducting advanced operations.

For example, let’s say you fly your drone more than 30 metres (100 feet) horizontally from bystanders but in controlled airspace. This operation is advanced because you’re flying in controlled airspace even if you’re more than 30 metres (100 feet) horizontally from bystanders.

For basic operations, here are some of the rules you must follow:

  • Register your drone with Transport Canada before you fly it for the first time
  • Mark your drone with its registration number
  • Pass the Small Basic Exam
  • Be able to show your Pilot Certificate – Basic Operations and proof of registration when you fly

Advanced operations

If you meet any 1 of these conditions, you are conducting advanced operations:

  • You want to fly in controlled airspace
  • You want to fly over bystanders
  • You want to fly within 30 metres (100 feet) of bystanders (measured horizontally)

For advanced operations, here are some of the rules you must follow:

  • Register your drone with Transport Canada before you fly it for the first time
  • Mark your drone with its registration number
  • Pass the Small Advanced Exam
  • Pass a flight review with a flight reviewer
  • Be able to show your Pilot Certificate – Advanced Operations and proof of registration when you fly your drone
  • Fly within the operational limits of your drone

You can only use drones that meet the safety requirements for the operation you want to conduct. See tips on choosing the right drone before you fly.

If you have a Pilot Certificate – Advanced Operations, you do not need a Pilot Certificate – Basic Operations to conduct basic operations.

Micro drones (under 250 grams) and drones that weigh more than 25 kilograms

Micro drones (under 250 grams) and drones that weigh more than 25 kilograms do not fall into the basic or advanced operations categories. If you have a micro drone, you must fly it away from aircraft and airports. Never put people, aircraft or property in danger. Only fly your drone where you can see it and avoid flying in clouds or fog. Always fly responsibly.

If your drone weighs over 25 kilograms or you want to fly outside the rules, you will need to get special permission from Transport Canada before you fly.

How to get your advanced drone pilot certificate - 

To get your advanced drone pilot (RPAS) certificate you must first pass the advanced exam and then a flight review with an instructor.

The Canadian Drone Institute is offering two types of classes that you can take at home that will help you pass your basic or advanced drone pilot exam. 

1. The first that we offer is live with an instructor for $449 + HST. The benefit of having an instructor is that you will be able to have live Q & A. This course is a commitment though as we only offer it twice a month with other students. All you need is a computer to get take this course. For more information click here

2. Starting March 1st we will be offering a fully online course for $249 that you can take over the course of several weeks or months. You will not have a live instructor, but this course will have quizzes you can take as many times as you'd like and will also fully prepare you to pass your basic or advanced drone pilot exam through Transport Canada. We are currently pre selling this course if you would like to sign up you can here. We will e-mail you a link to begin the course on March 1st, 2019.

Please e-mail us at info@thecanadiandroneinstitute.com or call 1.866.209.7214 if you have questions.


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