Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Search

Canadian Aviation Regulations (SOR/96-433)

Regulations are current to 2022-09-22 and last amended on 2022-03-06. Previous Versions

Part IX — Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (continued)

Subpart 1 — Small Remotely Piloted Aircraft (continued)

Division III — General Operating and Flight Rules (continued)

Prohibition — Canadian Domestic Airspace

 No pilot operating a remotely piloted aircraft shall cause the aircraft to leave Canadian Domestic Airspace.

Controlled or Restricted Airspace
  •  (1) Subject to subsection 901.71(1), no pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft in controlled airspace.

  • (2) No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft in Class F Special Use Restricted Airspace, as specified in the Designated Airspace Handbook, unless authorized to do so by the person specified for that purpose in that standard.

  • (3) For the purposes of subsection (2), a person specified in the Designated Airspace Handbook may authorize the operation of a remotely piloted aircraft when activities on the ground or in the airspace are not hazardous to aircraft operating in that airspace or access by aircraft to that airspace does not jeopardize national security interests.

Inadvertent Entry into Controlled or Restricted Airspace

 A pilot of a remotely piloted aircraft shall ensure that the appropriate air traffic control unit, flight service station or user agency is notified immediately any time the aircraft is no longer under the pilot’s control and inadvertent entry into controlled airspace or Class F Special Use Restricted airspace, as specified in the Designated Airspace Handbook, occurs or is likely to occur.

Flight Safety

 A pilot that operates a remotely piloted aircraft system shall immediately cease operations if aviation safety or the safety of any person is endangered or likely to be endangered.

Right of Way

 A pilot of a remotely piloted aircraft shall give way to power-driven heavier-than-air aircraft, airships, gliders and balloons at all times.

Avoidance of Collision

 No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft in such proximity to another aircraft as to create a risk of collision.

Fitness of Crew Members
  •  (1) No person shall act as a crew member of a remotely piloted aircraft system if the person

    • (a) is suffering or is likely to suffer from fatigue; or

    • (b) is otherwise unfit to perform properly the person’s duties.

  • (2) No person shall act as a crew member of a remotely piloted aircraft system

    • (a) within 12 hours after consuming an alcoholic beverage;

    • (b) while under the influence of alcohol; or

    • (c) while using any drug that impairs the person’s faculties to the extent that aviation safety or the safety of any person is endangered or likely to be endangered.

Visual Observers
  •  (1) No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system if visual observers are used to assist the pilot in the provision of detect and avoid functions unless reliable and timely communication is maintained between the pilot and each visual observer during the operation.

  • (2) A visual observer shall communicate information to the pilot in a timely manner, during the operation, whenever the visual observer detects conflicting air traffic, hazards to aviation safety or hazards to persons on the surface.

  • (3) No visual observer shall perform visual observer duties for more than one remotely piloted aircraft at a time unless the aircraft are operated in accordance with subsection 901.40(1) or in accordance with a special flight operations certificate — RPAS issued under section 903.03.

  • (4) No visual observer shall perform visual observer duties while operating a moving vehicle, vessel or aircraft.

Compliance with Instructions

 Every crew member of a remotely piloted aircraft system shall, during flight time, comply with the instructions of the pilot.

Living Creatures

 No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft that transports or carries on board a living creature.

Procedures
  •  (1) No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system unless the following procedures are established:

    • (a) normal operating procedures, including pre-flight, take-off, launch, approach, landing and recovery procedures; and

    • (b) emergency procedures, including with respect to

      • (i) a control station failure,

      • (ii) an equipment failure,

      • (iii) a failure of the remotely piloted aircraft,

      • (iv) a loss of the command and control link,

      • (v) a fly-away, and

      • (vi) flight termination.

  • (2) If the manufacturer of the remotely piloted aircraft system provides instructions with respect to the topics referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) and (b), the procedures established under subsection (1) shall reflect those instructions.

  • (3) No pilot shall conduct the take-off or launch of a remotely piloted aircraft unless the procedures referred to in subsection (1) are reviewed before the flight by, and are immediately available to, each crew member.

  • (4) No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system unless the operation is conducted in accordance with the procedures referred to in subsection (1).

Pre-flight Information

 A pilot of a remotely piloted aircraft shall, before commencing a flight, be familiar with the available information that is relevant to the intended flight.

Maximum Altitude
  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), no pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft at an altitude greater than

    • (a) 400 feet (122 m) AGL; or

    • (b) 100 feet (30 m) above any building or structure, if the aircraft is being operated at a distance of less than 200 feet (61 m), measured horizontally, from the building or structure.

  • (2) A pilot may operate a remotely piloted aircraft at an altitude greater than those set out in subsection (1) if the operation is conducted in accordance with a special flight operations certificate — RPAS issued under section 903.03.

Horizontal Distance

 Subject to paragraph 901.69(1)(b) or (c), no pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft at a distance of less than 100 feet (30 m) from another person, measured horizontally and at any altitude, except from a crew member or other person involved in the operation.

Site Survey

 No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system unless, before commencing operations, they determine that the site for take-off, launch, landing or recovery is suitable for the proposed operation by conducting a site survey that takes into account the following factors:

  • (a) the boundaries of the area of operation;

  • (b) the type of airspace and the applicable regulatory requirements;

  • (c) the altitudes and routes to be used on the approach to and departure from the area of operation;

  • (d) the proximity of manned aircraft operations;

  • (e) the proximity of aerodromes, airports and heliports;

  • (f) the location and height of obstacles, including wires, masts, buildings, cell phone towers and wind turbines;

  • (g) the predominant weather and environmental conditions for the area of operation; and

  • (h) the horizontal distances from persons not involved in the operation.

Other Pre-flight Requirements

 A pilot of a remotely piloted aircraft shall, before commencing a flight,

  • (a) ensure that there is a sufficient amount of fuel or energy for safe completion of the flight;

  • (b) ensure that each crew member, before acting as a crew member, has been instructed

    • (i) with respect to the duties that the crew member is to perform, and

    • (ii) on the location and use of any emergency equipment associated with the operation of the remotely piloted aircraft system; and

  • (c) determine the maximum distance from the pilot the aircraft can travel without endangering aviation safety or the safety of any person.

Serviceability of the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System

 No pilot shall conduct the take-off or launch of a remotely piloted aircraft, or permit the take-off or launch of a remotely piloted aircraft to be conducted, unless the pilot ensures that

  • (a) the aircraft is serviceable;

  • (b) the remotely piloted aircraft system has been maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions;

  • (c) all mandatory actions have been completed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions; and

  • (d) all equipment required by these Regulations or the manufacturer’s instructions are installed and serviceable.

Availability of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System Operating Manual

 No pilot shall conduct the take-off or launch of a remotely piloted aircraft for which the manufacturer has provided a remotely piloted aircraft system operating manual unless the manual is immediately available to crew members at their duty stations.

Manufacturer’s Instructions

 No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system unless it is operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Control of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems

 No pilot shall operate an autonomous remotely piloted aircraft system or any other remotely piloted aircraft system for which they are unable to take immediate control of the aircraft.

Take-offs, Launches, Approaches, Landings and Recovery

 A pilot of a remotely piloted aircraft shall, before take-off, launch, approach, landing or recovery,

  • (a) ensure that there is no likelihood of collision with another aircraft, person or obstacle; and

  • (b) ensure that the site set aside for take-off, launch, landing or recovery, as the case may be, is suitable for the intended operation.

Minimum Weather Conditions

 No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system unless the weather conditions at the time of flight permit

  • (a) the operation to be conducted in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions; and

  • (b) the pilot of the system and any visual observer to conduct the entire flight within visual line-of-sight.

Icing
  •  (1) No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system when icing conditions are observed, are reported to exist or are likely to be encountered along the route of flight unless the aircraft is equipped with de-icing or anti-icing equipment and equipment designed to detect icing.

  • (2) No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system with frost, ice or snow adhering to any part of the remotely piloted aircraft.

Formation Flight

 No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft in formation with other aircraft except by pre-arrangement between the pilots of the aircraft in respect of the intended flight.

Prohibition — Operation of Moving Vehicles, Vessels and Manned Aircraft

 No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft while operating a moving vehicle, vessel or manned aircraft.

Use of First-person View Devices

 No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system using a first-person view device unless, at all times during flight, a visual observer performs the detect and avoid functions with respect to conflicting aircraft or other hazards beyond the field of view displayed on the device.

Night Flight Requirements
  •  (1) No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system during the night unless the remotely piloted aircraft is equipped with position lights sufficient to allow the aircraft to be visible to the pilot and any visual observer, whether with or without night-vision goggles, and those lights are turned on.

  • (2) No pilot shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system using night-vision goggles unless the goggles are capable of, or the person has another means of, detecting all light within the visual spectrum.

 
Date modified: