Can I Fly Here? Guidelines for where you can fly your drone safely and legally in Canada

Can I Fly Here? Guidelines for where you can fly your drone safely and legally in Canada

Can I fly here? It’s a common question for drone pilots in Canada. This video outlines the simple guidelines RPAS operators must use to determine if they can fly their drone safely and legally:
1. Are you within an aerodrome keep-out zone or controlled airspace?
2. Are you in any other potentially restricted areas?
3. Are there NOTAMS in effect that would affect flying here?
4. Is there an advertised event happening here?
5. Are there bystanders close to where you will be flying?
And I touch on the subject of privacy as well. Enjoy!

This checklist is part of the Drone Pilot Canada app. Drone Pilot Canada is the app of choice for Canadian drone flyers and is available for purchase here:

Please join the Drone Pilot Canada Exam and RPAS Regulation Discussion Group on Facebook:

My DonDronesOn Exam Study Guide PDFs and Soft Copy Log Books are available for purchase here:
Drone Study Guides

Videos are available on my channel with demos and training for all capabilities in Drone Pilot Canada. Contact me at with any questions or suggestions.

This video was filmed around Beaver Lake, Erinsville, Ontario, Canada in July and August 2019 using a DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone, a DJI Osmo Pocket camera and royalty free stock photos. All filming was done in compliance with the 2019 Canadian RPAS regulations and permission was obtained where necessary.

Choosing the right music for a video is important. I use music from Epidemic Sound. You can join Epidemic Sound from the link below and enjoy a free month:

#dronepilotcanada #dondroneson #newcanadiandroneregulations


  1. Daria on November 10, 2021 at 9:53 am

    Where can I find the listr of drones approved to fly over bystanders?

  2. Lilith Smith on November 10, 2021 at 9:54 am

    Thanks for the video, it is very helpful! Do you happen to know if I can fly a Mavic Mini in Montreal? The Transport Canada site seems to show Montreal as an entire red zone! I am a bit confused by it!

  3. AmerSheikh on November 10, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Can you fly in the red zones inside a house if I have Basic License. Thanks!

  4. Herve Despres on November 10, 2021 at 9:56 am

    You’ve answered my questions with this.. Thank You!!

  5. Seluila Drone on November 10, 2021 at 9:59 am

    Thanks Don!

  6. PB Martin on November 10, 2021 at 10:00 am

    What snout drones under 250 grams

  7. mark131984 on November 10, 2021 at 10:00 am

    Drone laws here in US is way better than Canada. No offense.

  8. Ross Johnson on November 10, 2021 at 10:00 am

    Thank you for another informative video. I plan to write my advanced RPAS very soon, and this is really helpful.

  9. Len Lekx on November 10, 2021 at 10:00 am

    Quite informative to a newbie like me 🙂 One thing I still feel compelled to ask, though…

    Close to where my parents live, there’s a small park attached to a schoolyard. I checked the Nav-Canada maps, and it’s located (rough guess…) about 100 meters inside an orange zone. (Buttonville Airport is approximately 4km away).

    Being an extremely new pilot, I only want to practice takeoffs, landings, and a few basic maneuvers with my DJI Mini 2. I don’t plan to fly higher than 10m, and I intend to keep the drone within 20m of my take-off point.

    My understanding suggests that I’d be okay, but given that I *am* so new at this, I’d appreciate the advice of someone more knowledgeable than myself…

  10. Osprey Cove Productions on November 10, 2021 at 10:01 am

    Can you direct me to the site that says you can’t take off outside of a national park and fly over the park.

  11. Derek Cox on November 10, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Another great episode! I have the dpc app and I love it! Solid info here. Thanks for the good work!

  12. OldGal's Fishin' & Frolics on November 10, 2021 at 10:04 am

    Hi Don…First and foremost thank you for the great content you make to help us undestand these rules and regulations. WIth your help I was able to pass my basic pilot licence. Now I live in Edmonton Alberta and I was wondering if you know if it’s permissible to fly a drone in our parks here? I keep emailing & asking the city but nobody seems to get back to me!

  13. Scuba Travel and Adventure on November 10, 2021 at 10:05 am

    not sure why someone could not like this video putting thumb down, i found it informative

  14. GunnerMac on November 10, 2021 at 10:06 am

    Do you know why Ottawa has 2 bubbles around the airport? Is one the 5.6km keep out zone and the other is the controlled airspace?

  15. Steve F on November 10, 2021 at 10:06 am

    Great videos Don, I am studying hard to write the exam. Just a quick question if you know the answer, because I can’t find the correct answer in the rules. You read you can not fly in a provincial park, but can you fly a drone in a city park? Of course if no one is around.

  16. Andy Fyon on November 10, 2021 at 10:07 am

    Excellent review. Txs

  17. RODPIKER DRONES UK on November 10, 2021 at 10:08 am

    Great video and information very well done thanks for sharing cheers

  18. zhe jia on November 10, 2021 at 10:10 am

    Hi, thank you for the video. My question is whether I can fly the mavic mini in the red zones and yellow zones? As long I don’t do anything stupid and irresponsible? Thank’s

  19. Taber Bucknell on November 10, 2021 at 10:10 am

    Hi Don … Thank you very much for this, and your other, introductory videos for drone / drone pilot licencing! How does the 400 foot rule apply to model airplanes? Model sailplanes in particular can thermal up to many hundreds, if not thousands, of feet altitude.

  20. christopher britton on November 10, 2021 at 10:12 am

    New drone owner here… thank you so much for an excellent video, great information!! cheers

  21. Saadon Aksah on November 10, 2021 at 10:13 am

    nice one! 👍

  22. Cosmo Valentino on November 10, 2021 at 10:13 am

    Thank you much for the detailed information!

  23. Catnet44 on November 10, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Question? If a drone weighs less than 250g, (eg the rumoured Mavic Mini or the current zerotech dobby) All that I can find from Transport Canada is " If you have a micro drone, you must never put people or aircraft in danger. Always fly responsibly. " Are you aware of other restrictions, given that "responsibly" would cover privacy, national parks and disaster restrictions.

  24. Northcoast Drone on November 10, 2021 at 10:16 am

    Hey there had a question for you. When I took my ground school they told me I would need my ROC-A license and an aviation radio. So that when I was flying in controlled airspaces I had to announce on the mandatory frequency that I would be operating an RPA. To the point when I submitted an flight request with Nav Canada, in the email they sent me it included broadcasting on the mandatory frequency. However during a chance phone conversation with Nav Canada they had said that they dont want RPA pilots talking on the radio. This is where it gets odd, in the NRC drone selection webpage for the heliports around my town in the access procedures it mentions making a "Blind Call" on the applicable frequency found in the CFS. I must say this is a tad bit confusing. Perhaps you might have an answer. Thanks and keep your great videos coming

  25. Drone vidéo & travel on November 10, 2021 at 10:17 am

    Very good job !

  26. Steve Arnold on November 10, 2021 at 10:18 am

    Hi Don, I have a question about interpretation of "flying over" people. Without a constant gimbal-down orientation, how can one ensure they’re not "flying over" random people while flying from point A to point B? Or is the intent that you’re not intentionally directly overhead while maintaining a stationary position? If a drone has a catastrophic failure and turns into a brick at 100m altitude while traveling horizontally at anything more than 1m/S (a mere 3.6kph), then it can certainly hit someone 5m away at ground level. Also, VLOS to the drone does not necessarily include VLOS with people on the ground below the drone. How does practicality and common sense prevail here where the letter of the law seems blind to the laws of physics?

  27. Omar Bedair on November 10, 2021 at 10:21 am

    Thank you Don. My goto expert for my drone flying.

  28. Dave Stredulinsky on November 10, 2021 at 10:21 am

    Thank you Don. A great summary with clarifications of the "rules". A good refresher "course". I agree re the inaccuracy of DJI information. On occasion I have had warnings while flying when I was in a zone which had no flying restrictions. Thank you for sharing.

  29. Osprey Cove Productions on November 10, 2021 at 10:26 am

    fyi I have contacted both Nova Scotia Parks and New Brunswick Parks, and ALL provincial parks in those provinces have a no drone policy regardless of size. They are all slow in updating their websites and social media pages. I’ve been attacked for posting this information on some Facebook pages so I’m not going to that anymore.

  30. Hao S on November 10, 2021 at 10:27 am

    Ottawa is all red zones, can I fly a mavic mini at all?

  31. Team Game Channel on November 10, 2021 at 10:30 am

    great video. I have a question, do all these rules apply to drones under 250grams?

  32. Matt Humphrey on November 10, 2021 at 10:31 am

    Advanced Operations Orange Zones: Ask Permission –
    Do we always require an RPAS Flight Authorization submission, or is there ever a time where it’s okay to just phone the tower for permission?

    I feel like I’m asking so many stupid questions… there’s just so much to remember. You should see how many manuals and lists and maps I’ve printed off for my Flight Review next week… I wish I was able to do the review right after my flight school that I completed, but now it’s been almost a year since I learned all this stuff.

  33. Jus Phone on November 10, 2021 at 10:32 am

    Nav canada has an app it shows approved in my area but I was told that I can’t fly within parks

  34. Polish Surprise Eggs on November 10, 2021 at 10:38 am

    cool video, sub and big like for you

  35. sHaYAA VG on November 10, 2021 at 10:40 am

    What is the name of the app to show the red and orange zones in Canada?

  36. Dominic Owens on November 10, 2021 at 10:40 am

    I love how the new RPAS guidelines are very unclear for "how" they don’t apply to sub-250 drone such as the Mavic Mini. Transport Canada clearly states that the Mavic Mini or any sub-250 drone does not fall under the basic or advanced categories, but doesn’t state how they rule from those categories therefore apply to said drone.

  37. Aby Cre on November 10, 2021 at 10:41 am

    It’s very helpful n thanks 🙏🏾

  38. Tony on November 10, 2021 at 10:43 am

    Thanks for all of the good work! I just passed the Canadian drone basic exam use the document from your earlier video and get an 80%! After watching this video, I have a more clear head about the place I could fly! Again, thanks for all of the great work!

  39. Steve Arnold on November 10, 2021 at 10:44 am

    Hi Don, any chance you could do a video regarding reciprocal agreements and regs for certified Canucks bringing registered drones into the US for personal/leisure use? There seems to be a lack of available guidance in this respect.

  40. GCxCD on November 10, 2021 at 10:44 am

    This is so confusing.
    I still don’t know if I can fly over buildings in my town. Nonwebsites say the same thing.
    Some say, yes, some say only if I’m 30 feet above the highest structure, some say 30 meters…

  41. spcvicar on November 10, 2021 at 10:46 am

    Great post Don. Question if someone doing real estate vids with drone less than 250 grams which permit applies? Is it advanced because commercial attachment, could go to Internet, or does no permit required as under the 250 gram size. Thanks in advance!

  42. D S on November 10, 2021 at 10:46 am

    Thank you for your help

  43. Hank Vana2 on November 10, 2021 at 10:46 am

    Thanks for the videos Don – very helpful! Just got a Mini 2 and am reviewing all the regulations in preparation for the flying season. Nice footage – looks like Shirley’s Bay area on the Ottawa river.

  44. Brimet on November 10, 2021 at 10:48 am

    From what I understand, the DJI flight app will prevent you from flying in a no fly zone, such as a close proximity to an airport condition. What will the drone do if you launch from a safe zone, but happen to fly into that no fly zone? Does the drone return to home automatically? On a similar note, hypothetically, if the government issued drone map shows a no fly zone, but the DJI map shows it as a safe to fly zone, will the drone still have the ability to launch, as no warning would be displayed? I`m using a Mini 2 as an example. Thank you for any comments you can provide.

  45. John Rumball Photography on November 10, 2021 at 10:49 am

    Great video Don! Very helpful as I contemplate a commercial shoot opportunity up north. Just to new at this to be sure. Still learning thanks to your videos. 👌

  46. Rod MacPherson on November 10, 2021 at 10:50 am

    @Don Joyce
    So I think I mentioned somewhere in the Facebook conversations leading to this video that I was trying to find out what the deal was with Rouge National Urban Park and why it is not highlighted in Orange on the NRC map like other National Parks. Well, I got my answer back straight from the source.

    "Hello/Bonjour Rod!

    Thank you for contacting Parks Canada and for your interest in Rouge National Urban Park! Drones are definitely a complicated tool and it’s even more complicated for the Rouge!

    As Rouge National Urban Park does not fall under the Parks Canada Act, the Rouge does not qualify as an automatic “No drone zone” like other parks per Transport Canada regulations. That designation has to come from Transport Canada as that department is responsible for the airspace in Canada.

    Currently Rouge National Urban Park is not a no-fly zone for drones. This may change in the future depending on park priorities, however for now the National Research Council’s Site Selection Tool is an accurate representation of where users can operate their drones. It should be noted that there are airports, heliports and aerodromes within the vicinity of the Park that users need to be aware of. These are reflected in the site selection tool.

    I hope this information helps! If you have any additional questions about Rouge National Urban Park please feel free to call us at 416-264-2020 or email us at

    Hope you had a great long weekend!


    Lesli Rynyk

    Visitor Services, Rouge National Urban Park

    Parks Canada, Government of Canada"

    In a follow up she verified that the Parks Canada restrictions on take off and landing within the park still apply though, but if you launch from outside the park, the airspace over it (for now) is not restricted unless otherwise shown on the NRC map.

  47. Alvaro Torrado on November 10, 2021 at 10:50 am

    Does rule number one applies for drones less than 250 grams? I read there is only one rule for those drones.

  48. Johnson i Bass on November 10, 2021 at 10:50 am

    Don thanks for posting good information. God bless

  49. Tommy Texter on November 10, 2021 at 10:52 am

    If my drone is Mavic mini that is under 250g, can I fly within 5km of airport? I live a few km away from a local airport. And does these rule apply to Mavic mini?

  50. Fraser Langley-Waldron on November 10, 2021 at 10:52 am

    This leads me to one question. Sorry if it sounds silly, not flying over a busy road or highway makes sense. For the advanced certificate would the 5 meter rule take place even on a very quite street? For example taking real estate shots. Could I fly over a sidewalk if there is no one for miles? or must I get permission to close off the side walk?

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