If you plan to hire an aerial photography & videography company in Vancouver to get some aerial photos or video this summer, make sure they have a Transport Canada Pilot Certificate! As of June 1st, the rules around drones in Canada have changed. Everybody flying a drone over 250 grams MUST have a pilot certificate from Transport Canada. The fines are hefty and definitely not worth hiring an illegal operator. For a professional aerial photography & videography company in Vancouver check out Fyfe Photography!

Available to shoot aerial photography & videography in Vancouver and all over Canada.

What do these new regulations mean for aerial media producers?

Overall, I believe these new regulations are a positive thing. They will help keep the skies safer and ensure that drone pilots have greater situational awareness. However, the Transport Canada exam had a lot of questions that did not relate to drones at all (it’s a good thing I have an actual commercial pilots license otherwise I would not have known about things like density altitude, magnetic variation, altimeters, and the stall characteristics of fixed wing airplanes) but, there were a few questions surrounding airspace classification; which is most definitely critical information for an aerial photography & videography company to understand. We don’t need another London Gatwick incident – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3YYwm6RxxA  In this situation, it was lucky that nobody was hurt.

A lot of these regulations are common sense – like you shouldn’t fly over or close to people, or near an airport, but with that being said I support the initiative that government is taking by to improve safety. Thankfully in aviation, that is always the number one priority. These are still very early days for the drone industry and I can’t even imagine what the future might hold for countless applications of this technology.

We provide Transport Canada certified aerial photography & videography services in Vancouver, BC.

There are many helpful apps designed to tell pilots where they can and can’t fly. They display a 5.6km shaded radius around airports and a 1.9km shaded radius around heliports. Pilots with basic certificates are not permitted within these circles as they indicate areas of controlled airspace starting at ground level. An operator must have an advanced pilot certificate and written permission from NAV CANADA air traffic control to operate in these class C control zones. This is would be the primary difference between the basic and advanced pilot certificates. The other differentiator is that holders of basic certificates must remain 100 feet away from bystanders, whereas with the advanced certificate, one could fly up to 16.4 feet away from a bystander (with an approved drone).

Altitudes for both categories are limited to 400 feet above ground level. Pilots must register their drones with Transport Canada and mark them with the registration number and be prepared to show proof of their pilot certificates while on location. Pilots flying drones that weigh over 25kg, or outside these rules must apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate from Transport Canada. That’s pretty much the regulation breakdown! It is also illegal to drink alcohol within 12 hours of flying and the pilot must be well rested.

For more information about operating a drone or learning about the rules surrounding aerial photography and videography in Vancouver check out the new Transport Canada regulations:


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To see a gallery of drone aerial photography & videography: