Drone pilots will need to pass online exam according to new Transport Canada rules

The new rules come into force on June 1st, 2019

DJI Phantom drone

Canadian drone pilots will need to pass an online exam and earn a pilot certificate for “basic or advanced operations,” according to Transport Canada’s new drone laws.

Minister of Transport announced the new rules today at a media event in Ottawa. The rules come into effect on June 1st, 2019 and apply to all drones between 250 grams and 25 kilograms.

Additionally, pilots will need to meet a minimum age requirement of 14 for basic operations, while advanced operations have a minimum age requirement of 16.

In addition to earning an online pilot certification, drone-owners will need to register and mark their aircraft with a unique registration number, and ensure that their drones stay below 122 metres (400 feet) above ground level during operation.

As per Transport Canada’s previous laws, all drone operators will need to continue to keep their aircraft away from air traffic.

“Drones are part of an important economic sector with significant potential to improve lives and connect communities across the country,” said Garneau, in a January 9th, 2019 media release.

“Our new regulations will create new opportunities for Canadians by establishing a safe and predictable regulatory environment where the industry can innovate and where recreational and non-recreational drone pilots can safely access Canadian airspace.”

Transport Canada’s new rules are available online, as well as a piloting course provided by an approved flight school.

Until the new laws come into force, the Interim Order Respecting the Use of Model Aircraft remains the rulebook for drone pilots.

It’s worth noting that drone pilots are subject to the Criminal Code of Canada, as well as the regulatory framework within the province, territory and municipality in which they reside.