Choosing the right drone for advanced operations

When buying a drone, it's important to choose the right one for you. That means selecting a drone that is safe enough to do what you want to do with it. We developed a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Safety Assurance rating system to help with this.

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Advanced operations require RPAS Safety Assurance

The RPAS Safety Assurance tells you what advanced operations your drone is approved for.

These include flying your drone:

  • in controlled airspace
  • near or above people

You must operate your drone within the limits outlined in the RPAS Safety Assurance declared by the drone manufacturer. Manufacturers may self-declare to Transport Canada that specific models of drones meet the requirements for advanced operations.

Drone safety requirements for basic operations

Basic operations pose less of a risk to people and aircraft. Your drone does not need to have an RPAS Safety Assurance for basic operations.

Drone safety requirements for advanced operations

Advanced operations pose a higher risk to people and aircraft. They include operations near people, over people and in controlled airspace.

A drone must meet the relevant RPAS Safety Assurance requirements to conduct specific advanced operations. Meeting the RPAS Safety Assurance for one advanced operation does not make the drone fit for all of them.

For example, a drone may be allowed to operate at a horizontal distance less than 30 metres (100 feet) from bystanders but not over them.

Declaring your drone for advanced operations

If you build or modify drones, you can submit a drone safety assurance declaration to Transport Canada identifying the capabilities of the system.

List of drones eligible for advanced operations

The table below lists drone manufacturers and models that are eligible for certain advanced operations.

If your drone is listed

Drones are listed only if they have an RPAS Safety Assurance declaration submitted by their manufacturer. If your drone isn’t listed, the manufacturer may have yet to submit the declaration or the declaration is yet to be reviewed. You’ll be issued a new registration certificate if the declaration is submitted. Contact your drone’s manufacturer to ask if a declaration will be submitted.

Note: RPAS Safety Assurance declarations may be invalidated after being listed below. If you have a registered RPAS that has been invalidated, you will be notified by email that it no longer qualifies for Advanced Operations and you will be issued an updated registration certificate.

Categories of advanced operations:

  • Controlled airspace - flying your drone within airspace controlled by air traffic control (Class A-F)
  • Near people - flying your drone within 30 metres (100 feet) and 5 metres (16.4 feet) of any person not associated with the operation
  • Over people - flying your drone within 5 metres (16.4 feet) or directly over any person not associated with the operation

Find your drone and its ratings

Instructions: Sort any column by selecting the arrows. Enter a manufacturer, model or type in the filter items field to find your drone.

Manufacturer name Model Type Manufacturer RPAS safety assurance
Controlled airspace Near people Over people

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