UAV Use in Squamish

Flying an Unmanned Air Vehicle  (UAV)

drone

More and more people are using unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), commonly called drones, for recreation, filming, and special events. Transport Canada regulates their use to keep the public and our airspace safe. Drones are aircraft, which makes you a pilot. When you fly a drone you are sharing the skies with other drones and aircraft.  Therefore, before you fly a drone, make sure you understand the rules that apply and follow them.

Drone pilots must follow the rules in the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARS). Part IX – Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems. It contains most of the rules that apply to drones weighing up to 25 kilograms. You should read these regulations before you fly a drone for the first time. The infographic below will help you determine if you need permission from Transport Canada. If you are flying a drone that is less than 250 grams you do not need to register the drone or get a drone pilot certificate but you must respect all other laws.

Children younger than 14 must be supervised by someone with a drone pilot license. This includes clubs, camps and other youth groups.

Tips for first time pilots:

  • Make sure it is safe to fly. For example:  is it too cold or windy and are the batteries fully charged?
  • Fly your drone with someone who has flown a drone before.
  •  Fly your drone in an open space and away from people.
  • Fly your drone close to the ground and at a low speed.
  • Fly your drone during daylight and in good weather.

Also, to use your drone for any form of work or research, you are legally required to apply for a Transport Canada Special Flight Operations certificate (SFOC). This applies to all drones used for filming or to capture event footage and regardless of how much the drone weighs.

 Please note that you are required to notify the district of Squamish of any drone use upon submission of your Filming Application or Special Event Application.

Drone Pilot Certificate

A Drone Pilot Certificate issued by Transport Canada will require the holder to adhere to the following Certificate Rules and Regulations:

PILOT

  • Must be at least 16 years of age
  • Must meet recency requirements

SAFE DISTANCES

  • At a maximum altitude of 400 ft (122 m)
  • No flights within 5.6 km (3 nautical miles) of an airport, or 1.9 km (1 nautical miles of a heliport)
  • Operations between 100 ft (30 m) and 16.4 ft (5 m) near people permitted (declaration of safety assurance required from the manufacturer).
  • Operations less than 16.4 ft (5 m) horizontally over people permitted (declaration of safety assurance required from the manufacturer)

OPERATING RULES

  • Maintain visual line of sight at all times.
  • Must be fit to fly, which means not suffering from fatigue or having consumed drugs or alcohol within the last 12 hours.
  • Operations permitted in controlled airspace.
  • Night operations permitted with proper lighting.

If you are unsure if Transport Canada regulations apply to your drone use, please refer to the following info graphic:

 

Info graphic Flying an umanned aircraft

 More information: