New regulations take effect for all drone pilots in Canada

All drone pilots in Canada are under one regulatory roof as of Saturday.

Transport Canada says new rules for recreational drone operators with certain models are in effect as of June 1st, 2019.

It says flyers must register their aircraft weighing between 250 grams and 25 kilograms and pass an online test. This, after it announced the changes in January 2019.

Operators must be at least 14 years old to obtain a basic certificate and users looking for an advanced operations flight certificate must be 16 or older. Other rules include keeping drones away from traffic and not flying over 122 metres in the air.

Transport Canada says there are penalties for unregistered drones or endangering people. Individuals could see fines up to $1000 for flying without a certificate, registration or in restricted areas, and corporations could face penalties of up to $5000 for the same. Multiple rules broken could result in multiple penalties and jail time is a possibility.

“For the government to take a first crack at it, they’ve hit it pretty well on,” said Evan Turner, a recreational and competitive pilot.

Cellar Dweller owner Kerry Fingler said the new regulations could deter some pilots but believes advanced users have been prepared.

“Most of these laws were very similar to the recommendations that have been in place the last couple of years, so we’ve been educating customers in that time frame,” said Fingler.

It will cost $5 to license a drone and you can do so online.