Unmanned Air Vehicles / Drones in the Vicinity of Port Facilities and Marine Vessels - SSB No.: 06/2017

RDIMS No .: 12755862
Date (Y-M-D) : 2017-05-16
We issue Ship Safety Bulletins for the marine community. Visit our Website at www.tc.gc.ca/ssb-bsn to view existing bulletins and to sign up to receive e-mail notices of new ones.

Purpose: to make the marine community aware of the rules and regulations that apply to Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones.

Drones are used for commercial and recreational purposes. Currently, different rules apply to commercial and recreational drones:

  • In most cases, commercial drones should not fly closer than 100 lateral feet away (approx. 30 meters) from any building, structure, vehicle, vessel, animal, or person. If the drone weighs more than 1 kg, this distance grows to 500 lateral feet away (approx. 150 meters).
  • Recreational drones (regardless of size) should not fly closer than 75 meters (approx. 250 feet) from buildings, vessels or people.

Transport Canada is developing a strong regulatory framework that will apply to both commercial and recreational drone operators. We expect to publish new regulations later this year.

If you see someone is flying a drone near a vessel or a port facility in a way that poses a threat to safety, security or privacy, please report the incident to local police for investigation.

If you think someone is flying a drone in an irresponsible manner and it is not an emergency, please complete and submit a Drone Incident Report Form at:

You can find more information at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/drone-safety.html.


1. Unmanned Air Vehicles
2. Drones
3. Drone Incident Report Form

Questions concerning this Bulletin should be addressed to:

Scott Naugler
Transport Canada
Marine Safety and Security
Tower C, Place de Ville
330 Sparks Street, 11th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

Contact us at: Email: marinesafety-securitemaritime@tc.gc.ca or Telephone: 1-855-859-3123 (Toll Free).