Drone Photography: Do You Know the Law?

by Photo Life

Have you recently gotten into aerial photography? Do you know the law about operating unmanned air vehicles? Though you might consider it a “toy,” it’s important to educate yourself about the law and flying safety regulations. Transport Canada has educational tools available on its website to help photographers be safe when doing drone photography.

Transport Canada offered the following instructions for drone operators in a recent press release.

  • Fly their drone during daylight and in good weather (not in clouds or fog).
  • Keep their drone in sight, where they can see it with their own eyes – not only through an on-board camera, monitor or smartphone.
  • Make sure their drone is safe for flight before take-off. Check if the batteries are fully charged and if it is too cold to fly.
  • Respect the privacy of others – avoid flying over private property or taking photos or videos without permission.

Recreational drone operators should not fly:

  • Closer than 9 km from any airport, heliport, or aerodrome.
  • Higher than 90 metres above the ground.
  • Closer than 150 metres from people, animals, buildings, structures, or vehicles.
  • In populated areas or near large groups of people, including sporting events, concerts, festivals, and firework shows.
  • Near moving vehicles, highways, bridges, busy streets or anywhere they could endanger or distract drivers.
  • Within controlled or restricted airspace including near or over military bases, prisons, and forest fires.
  • Anywhere they may interfere with first responders.
  • Anyone using a drone for commercial or research purposes must hold a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) from Transport Canada, unless they are able to meet all the strict safety conditions required for an exemption.

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