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New safety rules for recreational drone use take immediate effect

Canadians expect to feel safe on the ground and in the sky. The number of incidents involving recreational drones has more than tripled since 2014, prompting the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport to introduce a measure to prevent the reckless use of drones that is putting the safety of Canadians at risk.

Today at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, in the presence of airport, airline and pilot representatives, Minister Garneau announced an immediate measure which will affect the operations of model aircraft and recreational drones of more than 250 g and up to 35 kg. Minister Garneau was joined by representatives of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Toronto Police Force.

The key new rules are that recreational drone operators must mark their drone with their contact information, and may not fly:

  • higher than 90 metres;
  • at night;
  • within 75 metres of buildings, vehicles or people; or
  • within 9 kilometres of the centre of any airport, heliport, aerodrome or water aerodrome where aircraft take off and land.

Operators of drones for commercial, academic or research purposes are not affected by this measure. The rules that are already in place are effective and most commercial users operate their drones in a safe manner.

Any recreational operator who fails to comply with the new flying restrictions and conditions could be subject to fines of up to $3,000. Call 911 or your local law enforcement agency immediately if you witness illegal drone use.