Where to fly your drone
Where to fly your drone
When you fly a drone for any reason you should generally not fly:
- around airports and aerodromes
- in busy, populated areas
- in national parks
- over border crossings
You can only fly your drone in these areas for specific purposes by getting permission from Transport Canada.
Check an interactive map
The National Research Council has created an interactive map. The map helps drone operators understand airspace and find out where to fly. It is for your convenience only.
If you fly a drone in Canada, you must follow the rules that help keep people and aircraft safe.
All drone operations
Prior to each flight, drone pilots must conduct a survey of the area and also consult:
- Notice to Airmen (NOTAMs) for the flight location: NAV CANADA NOTAMs portal
- the Canada Flight Supplement
- the Designated Airspace Handbook
- appropriate aeronautical charts
NOTAMs tell pilots about event and obstacles that may affect them. All NOTAMs include the time and location of the event. Enter the ID of an aerodrome near you into the NAV CANADA NOTAMs portal to find NOTAMs in your area.
Any chart that has aeronautical information relevant to the flight will do. This may include aeronautical charts listed on the NAV CANADA website.
You must get air traffic control approval for operations in controlled airspace. For airspace controlled by NAV CANADA, request an RPAS Flight Authorization.
Drone pilots must maintain communications with the air traffic control authority while flying.
Areas that limit the use of drones
Airports, heliports and aerodromes
An aerodrome is anywhere that an aircraft can take off and land. This includes airports, heliports, and seaplane bases.
Unless you are following an established Transport Canada procedure, you cannot fly closer than:
- 5.6 kilometres (3 nautical miles) from any airport listed as Certified (“Cert”) in the Canada Flight Supplement
- 1.9 kilometres (1 nautical mile) from heliports or aerodromes used by helicopters only
There are no distance requirements for operations near all other aerodromes. Operators must maintain a safe distance from other aircraft at all times.
Drone pilots are not allowed to take-off or land within a national park.
Drone pilots are not allowed to fly within the security perimeter of a police or first responder emergency operation, such as a traffic accident. You must also avoid sites near disasters (forest fires, floods, earthquakes). A drone flying near these areas may interfere with emergency personnel aircraft and the work of emergency personnel.
Drone pilots are not allowed to fly near or over advertised events, such as outdoor concerts and sporting events, unless they have a Special Flight Operations Certificate that specifically allows them to do so.