Drone Safety Tips and Best Practices


New drone? Nice.

But before you fly your cool new drone for the first time, make sure you are well-prepared to operate your drone safely and legally.

A new drone is delivered to a new drone pilot and she unpacks the drone in her living room.

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Operate your drone safely and legally

Fly safely

We know, it’s tempting to learn “on the fly,” but take the time to read your drone’s operating manual which will explain: your drone’s features; how to fly; and how to care for your drone.

The new drone pilot daydreams about flying her drone right away but then 3 chapters in her operating manual are highlighted.

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Operating manual

Drone features

Drone flying

Care and& maintenance

And always fly with fully-charged batteries in both your drone and the control system.

Before each flight, perform a mechanical check of your drone to make sure that both the flight system and the connectivity system are in good working condition.

The drone and the controller show that their batteries are fully-charged. The screen of the controller displays a mechanical checklist and both items on the check list are checked.

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Mechanical check

Flight system operational

Drone connection verified

Also, know your drone’s range and plan your flight accordingly.

The drone pilot is reading the range section in the operating manual.

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Make sure that you are complying with Canada’s drone regulations

An infographic of the drone regulations appears.

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Drone regulations

register drone

get certificate

visual line of sight

below 400 feet

stay away

and stay out of controlled airspace unless you have: permission, an advanced pilot certificate and an eligible type of drone.

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Stay out of controlled airspace unless you have:

  • permission
  • an advanced pilot certificate
  • an eligible type of drone

And always make sure that you maintain the minimum distances from airports and stay well-clear of other aircraft.

A split-screen shows a pilot flying a drone on one side, and an airport on the other side. Markers and a dotted-line show the distance from the airport that the drone is allowed to fly and the drone maintains this distance while it’s flying.

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Maintain minimum distances from airports and stay clear of other aircraft

Know your limits.

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Know your limits.

Find a flight school and take a drone safety course. You can also get involved in the drone community and benefit from the experience of others.

Drone-related icons appear to represent learning. A group of people representing the drone community appear.

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Flight school and& drone safety course

Get involved in the drone community

Join a local club or find an experienced pilot to fly with. As a new pilot, you have a lot to learn and talking to others can help.

The new drone pilot appears in a park landscape with other drone pilots and the new drone pilot is asking questions to the more experienced pilots as she flies her drone.

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Join a local club or find an experienced pilot

When it’s time for take-off, be smart! Start with small, slow and lower-altitude missions until you get a feel for your drone, then you can gradually increase the altitude and complexity of operations.

The new pilot is flying the drone in a slow and low-altitude mission in an open rural landscape in the Summer. The season changes to Autumn to show that time has passed, and the pilot is more experienced. The new location also has a few more obstacles and is more complex. The drone flies a more complex operation.

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Be smart

Start with small, slow and lower-altitude missions

Gradually increase the altitude and& complexity of operations

And avoid distractions – you are a pilot and you are responsible for flying your drone safely.

The screen of the tablet attached to the drone-controller is magnified so that you can see icons of some of the potential distractions on the tablet (apps, social media, videos etc.). A red-X appears over these icons.

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Avoid distractions

Fly respectfully

Be respectful of others’ privacy, including their personal space, private property, and personal data like facial images and licence plates.

An aerial view of a private swimming pool is revealed with a drone flying over it. The drone flies away from the pool area. An image of a person’s face and an image of a licence plate appear with arrows pointing toward the drone’s camera.

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Be respectful of privacy, personal space, private property

Personal data like facial images and licence plates

If there are people around, it’s a good idea to let them know what you are doing before you start flying, including if you plan to take photos or video that might capture them in the background.

In a park landscape, the drone pilot uses her tablet to show the people around her the flight path she wants to fly, and an example of the kind of photo she plans to capture with her drone.

Know before you go!

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Know before you go!

For more tips and best practices, please visit our website.

Text on screen:

For more tips and best practices, please visit our website.


The Government of Canada FIP screen and then the Canada Wordmark screen appear.