(NC) Drones have become a popular hobby, and they are not just for people who like flying remote-controlled objects. With camera drones becoming more affordable, it has also become a wonderful activity for people who like to take photos and videos. However, as fun as flying a drone may be, there are a few considerations before taking off, even if it’s just in your backyard.
Know the limitations
Flying drones properly requires practice, and since most drones should not be flown indoors, many new drone pilots choose to practice on their property or a nearby park . However, before taking your first flight, it’s critical to understand the limitations of drone flying as you’re sharing the skies with other aircraft.
As a pilot in Canada, you need a drone pilot certificate from Transport Canada to fly drones that weigh 250 grams up to and including 25 kilograms. For a basic certification, you have to be 14 years of age or older. Children younger than 14 must be supervised by someone with an advanced certification. Pilots who fly micro-drones, drones that weigh less than 250 grams, are not required to have a certification.
Drones can be flown on private property or in your backyard, provided it’s not a no-fly zone. There are several no-fly zones across Canada, such as military bases, power plants, skydiving centres and airports. Drones flying near these kinds of places pose significant safety and security risks that are deemed to outweigh your right to fly the drone on your property, as it could cause harm to others.
Pre-flight check list
Flying a drone may seem like a harmless hobby, but it’s best to know the restrictions and how to fly safely and responsibly. Pilots with an Advanced Operations Pilot Certificate can apply for permission to fly in Nav Canada controlled airspace using the NAV Drone app. All drone pilots, including micro drone pilots, can also plan flights and access interactive maps on the app to learn where they can and cannot fly their drones.
Take flight safely and legally; download the NAV Drone app or visit navcanada.ca/navdrone