There are 2 types of drone pilot licenses in Canada
- Basic license &
- Advanced license
Before obtaining a drone pilot license it is important to decide on which license you will need.
The main difference between the 2 types of licenses deals with “where” you can fly.
On a basic license you may NOT fly;
- In controlled airspace
- Closer than 5.6km (3NM) from a “certified” airport
- Closer than 1.8km (1NM) from a “certified” heliport (most hospitals have a heliport attached to them)!
- Closer than 30m (100ft) horizontally from any other person not involved with your flight mission.
If you do not comply with any of the above limitations then the flight is automatically an advanced mission and you will need an advanced license.
Please note – you do not need to 1st do the basic license before moving onto an advanced license. You can go direct into the advanced license category training.
Pilot Licensing Process
The licensing process is dependent upon whether you are wanting to operate under a Basic license or an Advanced one. Either way, the process is not as onerous as initially appears to be.
There are a couple of steps that you need to follow;
- Set up your own personal account within the Transport Canada Drone Management Portal
- Your drone needs to be registered within this account ($5 one off fee)
- It is within this account that you also write the online exams ($10 per exam)
Before you challenge the Transport Canada Basic or Advanced license exam it is important to gain the required academic knowledge as mandated by TC. This is where our online & instructor led courses come into play.
If you are pursuing an Advanced license you do not need to first complete the TC Basic exam. You can proceed direct to our Advanced course – this saves you both time and money. You needn’t worry that you might be missing out on important information from the Basic course – the advanced course syllabus is an extension to the basic syllabus, just with a lot more learning material.
Once you have studied the required academic material as regulated by Transport Canada you can then challenge the TC exam.
The Basic exam consists of 35 questions which need to be completed in 90 minutes with a 65% pass mark.
Once you have passed this exam you are now legally allowed to fly your drone – with the below limitations;
- Not in controlled airspace
- More than 100ft away from bystanders
- No closer than 5.6km to airports in uncontrolled airspace
- No closer than 1.8km to heliports in uncontrolled airspace
The Advanced exam consists of 50 questions which need to be completed in 60 minutes with a 80% pass mark.
Once you have passed this exam you will be issued with a Basic license which allows you to legally fly with the same above limitations. Once you are competent in flying you can then book a Flight Review with an accredited reviewer. Upon passing the flight review you can then upgrade your Basic license to an Advanced one.