4 things to know before flying a drone

by | Mar 8, 2024 | Automotive, Travel and Leisure

Flying a drone is an increasingly popular hobby and tool for various jobs from construction to real estate. But every drone operator, from a beginner to an experienced veteran, needs to know some important information before they take flight.

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Transport Canada requires that all drones ranging in size from 250 grams to 25 kilograms be registered. Whenever you head out with your drone, make sure you have printed or electronic copies of your proof of registration, your pilot’s certificate and the owner’s manual in case you need to troubleshoot any issues.

Pre-flight prep
Before you take flight, you should thoroughly inspect your drone. Look for any loose or missing parts, make sure the drone and controller batteries are fully charged and test the flight and connectivity systems.

Protect privacy
When operating a drone equipped with a camera, you must be respectful of people’s privacy and avoid recording people if you can. If you’re recording in a public setting like a park, you should ask for consent from anyone whose image you might capture. Any footage you post online should blur out personal details, like a person’s face or a license plate number. Failure to do so could result in criminal charges for violating personal privacy.

Be aware of your surroundings
You should check the area for hazards like trees or power lines, but you should also be aware that the airspace around airports is restricted. Unless you have permission from Nav Canada, you can’t fly in controlled airspace, like near an airport. You also need to keep your distance from bystanders, outdoor events such as concerts and parades, as well as emergency sites.

If you fly a drone near a wildfire, firefighting crews will be grounded for their protection, putting the people and structures on the ground and in the air at risk. You could face serious penalties, including fines and/or jail time, if you break the rules.

Learn more about operating your drone safely and legally at canada.ca/drone-safety

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