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.

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  1. Shayan on May 1, 2022 at 6:23 pm

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

  2. Team Game Channel on May 1, 2022 at 6:24 pm

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

  3. Herve Despres on May 1, 2022 at 6:26 pm

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

  4. RODPIKER DRONES UK on May 1, 2022 at 6:28 pm

    Great video and information very well done thanks for sharing cheers

  5. AmerSheikh on May 1, 2022 at 6:30 pm

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

  6. John Rumball Photography on May 1, 2022 at 6:31 pm

    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. 👌

  7. zhe jia on May 1, 2022 at 6:31 pm

    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

  8. IN10TH RC on May 1, 2022 at 6:31 pm

    Just thought I’d share some notes: After watching this video a few weeks ago (might have actually been a different vid), it occurred to me that I might just be violating a bylaw by flying in a local Ontario municipal park. I’m recently licensed (Basic ops) and have a Phantom 3 Pro. I visited the municipality’s website and found the bylaws pertaining to parks. This is what I found: "21- Model Aircraft And Rockets- While in any park, no person shall operate any powered models of aircraft, rockets, watercraft, or vehicles unless authorized by permit".
    It’s important to note that this bylaw was penned over 20 years ago (2001), before drones as we know them, existed. Now, the way it is worded, sounds very much like I can gain permission- so I tried. I called the municipality and explained my case. I told the officer that I am a Transport Canada certified drone pilot, and I wished to fly at this particular park. I told her that the written law predates this type of aircraft (surely, they were thinking about traditional RC airplanes and such), and that I have very strict flight laws to adhere to, under threat of some pretty bad trouble from the Feds. I went on to say that since the bylaw states "unless authorized by permit", the door is open to permission- so what do I need to do to get permission?
    It took her almost a week to call me back, as she was going to have to speak to someone a bit higher up the food chain. When she did call me back, it was a flat-out "no". Disappointed, I asked why. "We’ve had some problems in the past", was all I got. No opportunity for permission in any municipal park in my township. I thanked her for her time, and that was that.
    I won’t fly in municipal parks here, anymore, as I do not wish to make things harder for myself or future drone pilots, but this left me rather annoyed.
    Breaking it down, I conclude that bureaucracy honks, and the little town that I live in, needs to catch up to the times and at the very least, update the bylaws with specific regards to modern droning. The law was written before these were invented, so they don’t know what to expect. Something going wrong with a traditional aircraft, helicopter, or rocket, is far more likely than with a modern, GPS-guided quadcopter. Of course in the last couple years, qualification and licensing became a big thing, and I fly by a rulebook an inch thick, to prevent me from doing anything remotely hazardous to property or persons. I’m certain that the "problems in the past" that the officer referred to, occurred before all the new TC rules and licensing was put into effect. If you don’t have (or need) a license, you’re not risking one by doing stupid stuff, right?
    Lastly, I’m greatly annoyed by the wording that suggests that I can get a permit, when I can not. Seems to me that if permission is not possible, that rule is misleading at best and entirely disingenuous at worst.
    I’m hoping my little tale might help other Canadian drone pilots make smart, legal decisions in the future. I’m no expert, just a guy with a drone. I got my used Phantom 3 Pro at the beginning of the year, and my Basic Ops license a few weeks ago- with your help. Thanks for your excellent content. Drone on, sir!

  9. Ross Johnson on May 1, 2022 at 6:32 pm

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

  10. Hank Vana2 on May 1, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    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.

  11. Alvaro Torrado on May 1, 2022 at 6:34 pm

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

  12. mark131984 on May 1, 2022 at 6:36 pm

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

  13. Aby Cre on May 1, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    It’s very helpful n thanks 🙏🏾

  14. Steve F on May 1, 2022 at 6:38 pm

    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.

  15. No Name on May 1, 2022 at 6:40 pm

    Thank you for such an informative video. I just bought a DJI Mini 2 and I was going to fly it in parks with open fields, but if this is not allowed where can I actually fly?

  16. Derek Cox on May 1, 2022 at 6:44 pm

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

  17. Rod MacPherson on May 1, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    @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.

  18. Osprey Cove Productions on May 1, 2022 at 6:44 pm

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

  19. Hao S on May 1, 2022 at 6:45 pm

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

  20. Cosmo Valentino on May 1, 2022 at 6:46 pm

    Thank you much for the detailed information!

  21. Fraser Langley-Waldron on May 1, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    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?

  22. Tony on May 1, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    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!

  23. jacques dubord on May 1, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    Hi Don! I am New on drone recretionnal drone hobby, by the way I am from Québec, let me tell you I find you your vidéos on YouTube extremly interesting and usefull. I subcribed to your channel when my wife bought me the dji mini 2, I love it. You give me and other Droners a ton of informations regarding canadian pilot reglementation. Thank you so much. Jacques D.

  24. GunnerMac on May 1, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    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?

  25. Catnet44 on May 1, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    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.

  26. Len Lekx on May 1, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    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…

  27. spcvicar on May 1, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    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!

  28. Daria on May 1, 2022 at 6:55 pm

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

  29. Omar Bedair on May 1, 2022 at 6:58 pm

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

  30. Jus Phone on May 1, 2022 at 6:58 pm

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

  31. Taber Bucknell on May 1, 2022 at 6:59 pm

    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.

  32. Seluila Drone on May 1, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    Thanks Don!

  33. Dominic Owens on May 1, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    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.

  34. Tommy Texter on May 1, 2022 at 7:04 pm

    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?

  35. OldGal's Fishin' & Frolics on May 1, 2022 at 7:05 pm

    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!

  36. Brimet on May 1, 2022 at 7:06 pm

    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.

  37. Northcoast Drone on May 1, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    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

  38. Lilith Smith on May 1, 2022 at 7:08 pm

    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!

  39. christopher britton on May 1, 2022 at 7:09 pm

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

  40. PB Martin on May 1, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    What snout drones under 250 grams

  41. GCxCD on May 1, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    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…

  42. Osprey Cove Productions on May 1, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    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.

  43. Steve Arnold on May 1, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    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?

  44. Saadon Aksah on May 1, 2022 at 7:13 pm

    nice one! 👍

  45. Scuba Travel and Adventure on May 1, 2022 at 7:13 pm

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

  46. Lew Scagnetti on May 1, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    Canada is being run by a bunch of Morons with the crown going to Justin Trudeau !! A country where drugs are legal and take a 15 min test to drive a 5000 pound machine around children and populated areas BUT those drones are the major danger to the citizens of Canada !! Ridiculous !!

  47. Matt Humphrey on May 1, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    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.

  48. Andy Fyon on May 1, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    Excellent review. Txs

  49. D S on May 1, 2022 at 7:20 pm

    Thank you for your help

  50. Steve Arnold on May 1, 2022 at 7:21 pm

    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.

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