On June 16, 2017, Transport Canada, the department within the government of Canada which is responsible for developing regulations, policies and services of transportation in the country, issued an Interim Order (“the Order”) under the Aeronautics Act and Canadian Aviation Regulations, to regulate recreational drone use. The order applies to all aircraft between 250 g and 35 kg, including unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAV), that are flown for recreational purposes. All commercial UAV operations continue to be subject to the rules set forth in the Canadian Aviation Regulations (or the terms of any Special Flight Operations Certificates issued to the operator).

According to the order, all UAV flown for recreational purposes must be flown:

  • At altitudes below 90 m above ground;
  • At least 30 m from vehicles, vessels or the public in the case of a model aircraft weighing more than 1 kg;
  • No closer than 5.5 km from an airport, or 1.8 km from a heliport; and
  • No more than 500 m away from its operator.

The Order also requires that individuals flying a UAV for recreational purposes include their contact information somewhere on the UAV itself.

Violations of the Order could result in penalties up to $3,000.