Canadian Drone Rules: Time to Fix Them!! Recommendations to improve the current regulations

Canadian Drone Rules: Time to Fix Them!! Recommendations to improve the current regulations

In this video, I analyze the current Canadian drone (RPAS) regulations on a scale of ‘good’ to ‘dumb’, and make specific recommendations for improvement.
Please send your opinions on what YOU think needs to be changed to the head of the Transport Canada RPAS task force, and/or the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra ( and/or your member of parliament.

Key recommendations I make:
– Eliminate regulations that should be exclusively for manned aircraft. The alcohol and cannabis timelines are the best example. Just align these with driving prohibitions.
– Eliminate regulations that should be downgraded to useful guidelines…things like the use of checklists and procedures. These are good things to do, but should not be laws.
– Eliminate the advertised events rule. This would be better served by NOTAM-based temporary flight restrictions.
– Introduce a Situational Awareness rule to replace a myriad of overly restrictive rules like those related to FPV devices, visual line of sight, site surveys, and weather conditions.

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  1. Terry Driedger on September 13, 2021 at 11:24 pm

    Thanks Don. I agreed with many of your points and especially the flight hours required prior to achieve the advanced certification. I certainly appreciate all your efforts to bring us all this information.

  2. Brant Aerials on September 13, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    This all seems to make too much sense for a government entity to adopt. Well said Don!

  3. frollard on September 13, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    I was surprised by the max altitude interpretation; I figured it was the opposite, the lesser of, not the greater of; rendering anything over 122-30m (92m) like the tower you pictured a no fly zone, because the localized ceiling would be less near the building. Your interpretation makes more sense for someone inspecting a tower, as pilots would know to avoid the tower to begin with.

  4. Donald Round on September 13, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    Agree on everything you said.

  5. The Art and Science of Flight on September 13, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    Well said! I think a review of the rules with input from recreational drone pilots makes a lot of sense. Maybe TC should bring you on as a consultant!!

  6. MG Astro on September 13, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    Well expressed Don. Summarizing. Drone registration and pilot certification equivalent to drones should be the norm. Too many regulations are producing a contrary effect. People still buying drones and do not care about legal mandate. Precepts should mostly focus in registration and certification exclusively for drones. Not assimilated as manned aircrafts.

  7. Terence Cook on September 13, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    Amazing stuff Don. Thank you. You are a treasure trove.

  8. Roger LeBlanc on September 13, 2021 at 11:45 pm

    Totally agree with all your remarks Don. What you have done represents an incredible amount of hours and I, as well as the vast majority of drone flyers I am sure, are very grateful and appreciative of all this energy put forward to improve drone safety and accessibility.

    Certainly hope that TC take good note of your colossal work!!

  9. The .Monolith on September 13, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    I see little credibility with the Canadian government trying to enforce harsh draconian drone laws if not even the authorities themselves won’t follow them (i.e. the police recently crashing a drone into a Cessna in Ontario).

  10. Peter Kember on September 13, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    YAY!…..BINGO!…..EUREKA!…..RIGHT ON, DON! I’m aligned with your thinking….entirely.

    My particular interest (and my total drone experience to date) revolves around the DJI FPV and the nearly-universal rule requiring visual observers.
    My “half-baked” idea revolved around this topic and a possible path to a rule change. The half-baked idea was underdeveloped and flopped in the oven.

    Now that I know we’re on the same page on this issue, I will edit my “weird attachment” (created in “Pages” on a Mac) into an email….

  11. Bill 3D on September 13, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    I’m thinking you should be the person writing the regulations. Once again you’re 100% on point! Have you given any thought to a new career? A consultant possibly?

  12. Shot In The Dark on September 13, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    wise words, email sent ;)!

  13. Dawson Broughton on September 13, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    In my city there’s only a list of drones that are legal in restricted air, but the go pro karma isn’t on the list

  14. Aerosnapper on September 14, 2021 at 12:00 am

    Don – another excellent effort to see the privileges of a significant and under-represented community of recreational drone flyers (some 60,000 at least) taken into account by Transport Canada. It’s quite clear that the regulations currently in force were over-influenced by the manned aircraft lobby and by false public perceptions of an activity with which there was limited experience and even less detailed knowledge. You make an excellent case for a major revision. I agree with all the recommendations you make in this video. My fear is that official bodies are invariably reluctant to revise regulations, and the more so when easing them features strongly. It really doesn’t help that the ‘Drone Advisory Committee’ lacks any real representation for the recreational community. I wonder if they will have a group viewing of this video.. Thank you for investing so much time and effort into the ‘unofficial’ representation you provide. We are all fortunate to have you make our case in a way that is always unemotional and logical, and therefore, all the more persuasive.

  15. Derek Cox on September 14, 2021 at 12:01 am

    Well Don…there you go again! Just goin around making common sense videos. 🙄 you got sum nerve buddy. Of course you’re right and I think a majority of droners are operating within the rules,but holy crap there’s some stupid rules. I just want to say for the record,I always never fly outside of the stupid rules even when flying in the middle of nowhere ALBERTA…I take squirrel,beaver, and gopher safety very seriously and should my quad happen to fly into a long abandoned barbed wire fence…I’ll be sure to report my crash to TC and document it to the tiniest detail. I swear…
    I agree with you,drone rules can easily be simplified to at least resemble the rules of driving a motor vehicle. In my opinion it’s much easier to get a drivers license than a drone license and that’s just beyond ridiculous.

  16. DimmyV on September 14, 2021 at 12:04 am

    How can we get the rules revamped because there’s a lot of Canadian rules that’s absurd.

  17. Verdun Drone on September 14, 2021 at 12:05 am

    Don’t you think that knowing how to read METAR/TAF is a bit too much? And what about VNC charts?
    In my opinion, this is too much. However, with the RPAS Operator Certificate coming sooner or later, this may probably ne needed. I don’t know how TC is going to handle all this mess…

    Thanks for the (again) great video. TC should work with you to update the drone regulation world.

  18. Exceptional Drone Services Canada Ltd. Winnipeg on September 14, 2021 at 12:11 am

    Love you Don. I agree with some of your points for sure but not all. The test was hard, but I feel like the rigorous testing ultimately promotes safety and the underlying principles of why safety is so important. I was not a pilot so it really opened my eyes. Plus I feel like it keeps most of the idiots away from legally flying drones heavy enough to actually hurt someone or cause a devastating accident. I see what idiot’s post all the time on social media, and were one idiot away from losing the ability to fly sub 250 drones without restrictions as it is. I cant imagine them with a Matrice 300 or something like that. IMO.

  19. Canamanik66 Nik on September 14, 2021 at 12:16 am

    I admit I am a conspiracy theorist. I prefer small and limited government. I don’t have a tin foil hat and I’m pretty educated and rational. But these rules do not seem to apply to drones as toys or flying cameras. They are setting regulations against them being used a surveillance tools that only law enforcement and military will be allowed to have.

  20. Ruppo Herrera on September 14, 2021 at 12:18 am

    From what I see. Will I have to ask for permission in Canada, to fly paper airplanes too?

  21. Laure Robichon on September 14, 2021 at 12:18 am

    Hi Don, I agree that a certain amount of flight hours should be a requirement to get the advanced certification. I also think the flight review should focus a bit more on flying. There is no difficult maneuver for one to display her skills.

  22. Lowellton on September 14, 2021 at 12:20 am

    Hope transport canada is listening

  23. Frank Crispo on September 14, 2021 at 12:21 am

    You should consider making those rule changes you suggested into a template that people can just simply download and sign and then email it off to the appropriate government agency. Most people wouldn’t even know where to begin and what to write and you would get more people involved if you made it easy for them. Great video by-the-way.

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