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A Simple Guide to Canadian Commercial Drone Regulations

Canada Exemptions Regulations SFOC

Guide for Canadian Drone Regulations

Those who are just getting started in the field of UAVs and who want to take their hobby and turn it into a business often find the landscape to be quite confusing. They realize they need to know and understand the different rules and regulations, but they do not know where to begin. This article will provide you with the knowledge you need in a fast and simple to read guide.

What Makes a UAV Great for Business?

A UAV is a fun gadget to have and learn to fly, and you will find you can take some amazing aerial photos and videos. While they are wonderful for hobbyists, they also happen to be great for commercial endeavors. Some of the businesses that may be able to benefit include real estate, insurance, search and rescue, and filmmaking. However, because these are commercial purposes, you need to have special permission.

Transport Canada offers a wealth of rules and regulations that apply to those who plan to use their UAVs for commercial purposes. Those who want to use their unmanned drones as a means to make money, even if it is only a small or part time job, need to have permission. They can get an SFOC, Special Flight Operating Certificate from Transport Canada. You may even need to have one of these certificates if you are operating the drone on your own property if it is for a commercial purpose - but, depending on your location and other conditions, you may qualify for an exemption. 

The Importance of Regulations

The regulations from Transport Canada are highly important for a number of reasons. They help to keep the business in check and keep people and property safe. Those who do not follow the regulations can face massive fines – up to $25,000 per violation. In addition, there is the chance that you could be held personally liable for any accidents that happen with the drone, since insurance would not cover incidents where you are breaking the law. 

What Should You Do? 

First, look at the exemptions to see if any of them happen to apply to you. The exemptions apply based on the size of the drone you are flying. However, that doesn’t mean that small drones will all get a pass. It’s important to look into the full details regarding each of the exemptions, so you know if they apply or not. 

If you are not eligible for an exemption, look at the application for an SFOC and fill it out. Keep in mind that these applications are often long and tedious. However, you need to fill out every section properly if you want to improve your chance of getting one of these certificates.

Learn as much as possible about the regulations before you apply. Make sure that working commercially with a drone is something that you actually want to do. It’s easier than you might think as long as you follow the rules and fill out all of the paperwork completely.


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