The drone laws of Ontario are the rules that can be followed by drone pilots to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Knowing the proper procedures for using your drone is imperative if you want to avoid breaking any laws, which could lead to fines or even jail time.
In Ontario, it’s illegal to fly a drone within 5 miles of an airport without permission from Transport Canada. It’s also illegal to fly a drone within 150 meters of a person, vehicle, building or animal. And it’s illegal to fly your drone if you’re drunk or high on drugs.
The following information will help you learn what steps you need to take in order to avoid these consequences while still enjoying your drones!
Drone Laws In Ontario
You Must Fly Your Drone Within Your Line-of-sight At All Times.
In Ontario, you must fly your drone within your line-of-sight at all times. What does this mean? It means that you should be able to see your drone with your own eyes. If you can’t see it, the law says you shouldn’t be flying it—don’t take chances!
You are responsible for your drone at all times while in flight. This includes being responsible for its safe operation, respecting other people and property by avoiding collisions and other dangers around you, and not damaging any property (including other people’s).
If visibility conditions are poor because of weather conditions such as fog or heavy rain, don’t fly unless someone else is present who can help keep track of where the drone goes during flight time. You should also avoid flying when tired or taking medication that may affect vision abilities (e.g., eye drops).
Keep Your Drone Below 122 M (400 Ft)
If you are flying within 9 km (5.6 miles) of an airport, heliport or aerodrome, the maximum height is 91 m (300 ft). This is measured from the point where your drone takes off.
Do Not Fly Closer Than 75 M (250 Ft.) From Buildings
Always keep your drone away from people, buildings and structures. Follow these rules to avoid crashing into someone, damaging property or injuring yourself:
- Do Not Fly Closer Than 75 M (250 Ft.) From Buildings, structures or people.
- Make sure that the area in which you’re operating is clear of other aircraft and helicopters.
Do Not Fly In Controlled Airspace Near Airports, Heliports Or Aerodromes.
- Controlled airspace is defined as airspace in which air traffic control service is provided to IFR flights and to VFR flights in accordance with the aircraft operating rules.
- Controlled airspace is typically near airports or heliports, such as the one shown below.
- Flying within controlled airspace without permission from air traffic control could result in a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 6 months (Penalty: up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 6 months).
Do Not Fly Near Emergency Operations And First Responders.
You must not fly your drone near or over an emergency operation or first responders.
If you do, you could be fined $1,000 and/or imprisoned for up to six months.
Why? Because people in these situations don’t expect drones to be there, so they may not be able to see them coming.
That means they’ll have a harder time avoiding them if one crashes into their vehicle or equipment—and that could cause serious injury or property damage.
It could also interfere with the work of first responders (like police officers), which could put people at risk by delaying responses to emergencies.
Do Not Fly Over Private Property Without The Owner’s Permission.
You can fly your drone over public property, but you cannot fly it over private property without the owner’s permission.
Fly During The Day.
- You will be able to see your drone better: Drones have lights and reflectors that make them visible to other aircraft. The best way to avoid collisions is to be able to see the other aircraft, so fly during the day when you can see your drone easier.
- It’s easier to avoid people, structures and animals: Flying at night makes it difficult for pilots who are flying manned aircraft and air traffic controllers on the ground, who need precise information about where drones are flying so they can separate them from other aircraft in their area.
- It’s easier for you as a pilot: Flying at night requires more skill than flying during daylight hours because there’s less contrast between a small object like a drone against the background sky or landscape (for example, an airport runway).
- If something goes wrong while operating your UAV at night—such as losing visual contact—it may not be possible for others around you (such as other pilots) or on the ground (such as air traffic controllers) to see that something has gone wrong until it’s too late.”
Fly In Good Weather Conditions.
- Fly only in good weather conditions. If you’re flying a small drone, you should be able to see the drone and its surroundings at all times. This means it’s best to avoid testing your drones on rainy, foggy or stormy days unless you’re experienced with flying drones in these conditions.
- Check the weather forecast before takeoff. If it’s raining, use one of many websites that provide real-time information about local weather conditions such as [insert website name]. These websites will allow users to check current precipitation totals as well as forecasts for the next day or week by simply entering their location into an online form.
Do Not Fly Under The Influence Of Alcohol Or Drugs.
As a drone pilot, it’s your responsibility to respect the laws of Canada.
You must also be aware that flying a drone under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal and can result in fines and criminal charges. Drone crashes often cause serious injury or death, so it’s important to always fly your drone safely and responsibly.
Drone Pilot Certificate Requirements
There are two types of pilot certificates: basic and advanced. The type you need depends on the weight and purpose of your drone.
- Basic certificate: If your drone weighs more than 250g and up to 1kg, you must pass an online exam before you operate it in Canada. You don’t need to take any other training or flight time if this is the first time flying a model aircraft as long as it’s under 2kg.
- Advanced certificate: If your drone weighs more than 1kg (2 lb) and up to 35kg (80 lb), which includes most recreational drones, you’ll need an advanced pilot certificate if its purpose is commercial or research-related.
- To get this certificate, complete a minimum of 5 hours of flight time with an instructor in the controlled environment of a Canadian airspace area (CAA). You also have to pass an in-person exam administered by Transport Canada before being able to fly solo with passengers on board
It Is Essential To Know The Drone Laws For Ontario.
- It Is Essential To Know The Drone Laws For Ontario.
- If you break the rules, you could face fines, injury and even loss of your pilot certificate.
How To Register Drone In Ontario
Am I Required To Register My Drone?
If you are flying a drone that weighs between 250g and 25kg, you are required to register it with the Ministry of Transportation (MOT) before operating it in Ontario. If your drone is used for recreational purposes and weighs less than 250g, no registration is required.
Is There An Age Limit For Registering A Drone?
You can register a drone of any age, even if you’re under 13 years old.
If you’re between 13 and 17 years old, your parent or guardian must register the drone on your behalf. If you’re under 18, they’ll also need to enter their own information when they register your drone with us.
You can register multiple drones in one account as long as they all have serial numbers that are different from each other (for example: if you have more than one drone but they are all DJI Phantoms).
You cannot register a drone that is not yours; anyone who wants to use our services must first become an owner of an eligible product before registering it with Transport Canada
How Do I Register With Transport Canada?
You must register your drone with Transport Canada through their online registration system.
Once you have completed the registration process, you will receive a certificate of registration in the mail from Transport Canada. This is proof that your drone has been registered.
You must keep this certificate with you when flying your drone and it must be available at all times for inspection by law enforcement officials. It is valid for 2 years and should be renewed before the end of its validity period to avoid paying late fees or other penalties.
Can I Use My Drone If It Isn’t Registered?
If you’re under the impression that you can use a drone without registering it, think again. If your drone weighs between 250g and 25 kg, then you must register it. This applies to both recreational and commercial drones alike.
If you do not register your drone, you could be subject to fines up to $3,000 per violation—and if your flying habits are so egregious that they warrant criminal charges instead of fines? Well then those fines go up to $10,000 per violation!
Is There A Fee To Register My Drone?
Yes, there is a fee of $5 for a three-year registration. The fee is non-refundable and you can only register your drone once. However, if you want to register multiple drones at once (say, one for personal use and another for business) then you’ll be able to do so by following the steps in this article!
What Happens If My Drone Breaks In Half
If your drone breaks in half or gets lost, do you have to re-register it?
Yes, if the drone is still usable. You don’t need to register new pieces if your drone breaks into pieces.
If I buy a battery for my drone, do I have to re-register it?
No, but you may need an exemption from Transport Canada as long as the new battery has the same capacity and voltage as one of those allowed on Canadian certified aircraft models and doesn’t deviate from any maximum weight limits.
If your battery doesn’t meet these requirements or has been modified by adding a higher capacity cell, then yes—you’ll need to register a whole new model with Transport Canada before using it again (and you should probably get in touch with them about what happens next).
You Are Required To Register Your Drone With Transport Canada
If you meet the following requirements:
- Your drone weighs between 250g and 25 kg.
- It’s being used for recreational purposes.
- You wish to operate your drone outside (i.e., not within a hangar or a closed environment).
Are Drones Allowed In Ontario
Drones Are Not Allowed In Ontario Parks.
If you are flying a drone in Ontario, it must be within your line of sight. This means that you cannot fly your drone over people or water. You also cannot take off from or land on the ground in any provincial park or conservation reserve.
In provincial parks and reserves, you can fly your drone as long as:
- You stay below 122 metres (400 feet) above ground level;
- The total weight of equipment does not exceed 35 kilograms (77 pounds); and
- You are at least 9 kilometres away from any airport or heliport.
Drones Are Prohibited In National Parks.
Drones are not allowed in national parks. Drones are also not allowed in provincial parks. If you want to fly your drone in a provincial park, you must first get permission from the Ministry of Natural Resources.
If you’re flying your drone on private property, make sure it is approved by the landowner beforehand.
Flying Drones Is Illegal Within 9 Km Of An Airport Or Heliport.
- You can’t fly your drone within 9 km of an airport or heliport.
- If you’re unsure whether it’s safe to fly your drone in an area, contact the airport authority directly and ask them if they have any restrictions on where you can fly.
You Can’t Fly Your Drone Higher Than 90 Metres Above Ground Level.
- A drone may not be flown higher than 90 metres above ground level.
- The maximum distance from the operator’s location is 500 metres at any time during flight, and there is no maximum distance for takeoff or landing.
- Drones must be flown in daylight unless they have special lighting equipment that allows them to be flown at night (e.g., special LED lights).
The Same Rules That Apply To Model Aircraft Also Apply To Drones.
It’s important to know the exact rules of your area when flying your drone, but in general the same rules that apply to model aircraft also apply to drones. Drones are considered aircraft and must follow the same rules as airplanes.
This means that you must register them and follow specific guidelines for flying them safely in controlled airspace, away from airports, etc. It can be tricky knowing what those rules are since they vary from state to state (and even city-to-city), so we’ve compiled some examples from Ontario specifically here:
- Model aircraft must stay at least 150 feet away from people not directly involved with its flight or operation
- Drones cannot fly higher than 400 feet above ground level (AGL) unless otherwise approved by Transport Canada
Flying Drones In Ontario Is Only Allowed Within Certain Parameters.
Flying Drones In Ontario Is Only Allowed Within Certain Parameters. You can fly your drone anywhere in Ontario, but there are restrictions on where you can fly them and what altitude they’re allowed to be at. These rules all come from Transport Canada, the governing body that oversees aviation and shipping safety across the country.
You must always keep your drone within line of sight, meaning you have to be able to see it with your eyes or through a camera attached to it if you’re flying an FPV (first person view) system like goggles or VR headsets. If your drone weighs more than 35 pounds (15 kilograms), then additional regulations apply:
- You must contact Transport Canada 24 hours before flying it over populated areas between 7 am and 10 pm local time
- You must notify airports that you plan on flying near their airspace (if they’re open) at least 24 hours before doing so
Frequently Asked Question (drone Laws Ontario)
Can I Fly My Drone At Night?
You should only fly your drone at night if it is an emergency. If you do not have a pilot’s certificate, or if you are flying your drone in an area where it is not permitted, then you will need to apply for a special permit. You can apply for this type of permit through the Ministry of Transportation.
If you have been granted permission to fly at night and there is no other option available (for example, if they live on a farm), then it may be ok to fly at night as long as there are no children around because they could get hurt by the propellers that spin fast enough to chop off limbs!
Can I Fly My Drone Near An Airport?
No, you cannot fly your drone near an airport. However, if you have permission from the airport or Transport Canada to fly a drone in that area, it is possible to do so.
If you are a commercial drone pilot and wish to fly within 5 nautical miles (7.4 km) of an airport – whether or not you have permission – you will need to complete training provided by Transport Canada for non-commercial operations at uncontrolled aerodromes (this does not apply if the aerodrome has an operating control tower). For more information about this course, visit [link].
Are There Other Areas Where I Can’t Fly My Drone?
Are there other areas where I can’t fly my drone?
Yes. There are many other places that you cannot fly your drone.
You cannot fly your drone:
- Over a forest fire, or in the area of a forest fire, if it is safe to do so. The purpose of this rule is to avoid interfering with firefighting efforts;
- Over an emergency scene or operation where police, firefighters and paramedics are working and could be injured by a drone (e.g., during an active shooter incident);
- Over any vehicle racing on land or water;
- Within 9 kilometres (5 nautical miles) from the centre of an aerodrome; If you’re not sure how far away from the centre of an aerodrome you are located.
How Do I Know If There Are Special Flight Rules In Place For A Certain Area?
To know if there are special flight rules in place for a certain area, you can check the DGR website. The DJR section provides a list of restricted areas, prohibited areas and restricted and prohibited areas.
If you’re unsure whether your intended route is safe to fly or not, it’s best to avoid flying over these locations until there are no restrictions on them anymore.
How High Can I Fly My Drone?
The drones that are legal in Ontario are those that weigh less than 35 pounds and can be operated by someone who is at least 16 years old. To use your drone legally, you must keep it within your line of sight while flying it. This means that you cannot fly your drone higher than 400 feet above the ground and beyond the operator’s line of sight. The maximum altitude for model aircrafts under 2kg (approximately 4 pounds) is 150 meters (492 feet).
If you have an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) with a camera on board that weighs more than 35 lbs., then before taking off, you will need to get permission from Transport Canada or from another country if the UAV has been taken outside Canada.
What Is The Maximum Weight Of The Drone I Can Fly Recreationally?
The maximum weight of the drone you can fly recreationally is 25kg. The maximum weight of the drone you can fly commercially is 25kg, with certain limitations on payload capacity. This includes any payload, such as cameras or other sensors, as well as batteries and fuel (in liquid form).
If you want to fly your drone in Ontario, you’ll need to register your drone with Transport Canada before flying it outdoors at night. If you plan on flying it during the day or at night without registering first, then you’ll be breaking the law—and there could be serious consequences.
Drones are only allowed in certain areas and you must follow the rules for flying a drone:
- You Can’t Fly Your Drone Higher Than 90 Metres Above Ground Level.
- You can’t fly in Ontario parks or near airports.
The same rules that apply to model aircraft also apply to drones, so you must keep your drone away from people and property, not fly it at night and stay clear of wildlife.