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How Do I Become a Drone Pilot in Canada – Transport Canada Civil Aviation

How do I become a drone pilot in Canada – Transport Canada Civil Aviation

To become to become a drone pilot in Canada, you will need to comply with the (TCCA) Transport Canada Civil Aviation authority requirements.

The TCCA split the licencing into two categories, Basic and Advanced Operations. The rules of each category do not differentiate between people who fly for fun and people who use for business. Airspace rules define each category.

Basic Drone Pilot Operations Guidelines

Meeting all 5 of the following conditions means you are conducting basic operations:

  • Fly in uncontrolled airspace
  • Fly more than 100ft horizontally from bystanders
  • Never fly the drone over bystanders
  • Fly it more than 3 nautical miles from a certified airport or military aerodrome.

NOTE: if you do not meet any 1 of these conditions then you are conducting advanced operations.

Obtaining a Drone Pilot Basic Operations Licence

You must pass the Small Basic Exam, which features 35 multiple choice questions, you have 90 minutes to complete and need a 65% or higher score to gain a pass.

All questions are based on Knowledge Requirements for Pilots of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems 250 g up to and including 25 kg, Operating within Visual Line-of-Sight (VLOS)

Basic Operations Rules before flight

  • Register your drone with TCCA
  • Add your registration number to your drone
  • Have pass the Small basic Exam (as above)
  • Have a copy of your Pilot Certificate and proof of registration when you fly

Advanced Operations Guidelines

Meeting any 1 of the following conditions means you are conducting advanced operations:

  • Fly in controlled airspace
  • Fly over bystanders
  • Fly within 100ft, horizontally of bystanders
  • Fly less than 3 neutical miles from a certified airport or military aerodrome

Obtaining an Advanced Operations Licence

You must pass the Small Advanced Exam, which features 50 multiple choice questions, you have 60 minutes to complete and need an 80% or higher score to gain a pass.

All questions are based on Knowledge Requirements for Pilots of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems 250 g up to and including 25 kg, Operating within Visual Line-of-Sight (VLOS)

You must also conduct a flight review in addition to passing the exam. Flight reviewers are Transport Canada approved drone pilots who will administer a flight review.

Advanced Operations Rules before flight

  • Register your drone with TCCA
  • Mark your drone with your registration number
  • Ensure your drone has an appropriate Safety declaration for the intended operation
  • Pass the Small Advanced Exam (as above)
  • Have passed a flight review
  • Have your Advanced Operations Pilot certificate and proof of registration why you fly your drone
  • Fly within the limits of your drone
  • Have NAV CANADA or Department for Defence permission if you intend to fly in controlled airspace.