Blog entry by Bruce McPherson

Anyone in the world

By Landview Drones, Markus Weber 

As of June 1, everyone operating a drone over 250 grams will require a Certificate and every drone must also be registered. This is due to coming-into-force of Transport Canada's amendments to Part IX of the Canadian Aviation Regulations.  But new rules are actually great news for agricultural drone users.

For those using a drone as a toy, these new rules are a significant new barrier since they previously could fly almost anywhere. But they are great news for those using a drone as a tool. In order to use a drone commercially on your farm last month, you would have needed to do exhaustive paperwork to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate for every drone and pilot, for a specific region and time. This month, the regulations are much clearer and for most people passing a simple online test will allow you to fly any drone up to 25 kilograms, almost anywhere.

Where can I fly?
4efd0f80-bcd1-4b1a-9eac-c885a5777051.pngFor most farmers and rural businesses, a Basic Certificate will suffice. It will allow you to fly only in uncontrolled (Class G) airspace and at least 3 nautical miles (5.6 km) from certified airports / 1 nautical mile (1.9 km) from certified heliports. Not sure what that means for you?  Well, there's a new tool for that too: the NRC has created the Drone Site Selection Tool which will show you where you can fly with a Basic or Advanced Certificate.
The Drone Site Selection Tool provides a graphical way for RPAS pilots to find where they can fly legally. It shows restricted, controlled and safe flying areas, and helps pilots ensure they comply with Transport Canada drone safety requirements.
There are of course other restrictions too, but these all make sense. You must keep the drone:
  • at least 30 metres (laterally) from people that are not part of the operation
  • at least 30 metres from buildings that are not part of the operation
  • within visual line of sight
  • no higher than 122 metres above ground
  • well away from any other aircraft
The new rules, with some restrictions, will now even allow us to fly at night or with FPV goggles.  How do you feel about checking your cows at night with a thermal camera? As long as you're well away from airports, that's legal now! 

How do I pass the test?
The Basic test is somewhat challenging, but it does make sense that you would need to know the laws and some basics of safe operation. The focus of the test is the new rules, so if you review Part IX of the regulations themselves, that should help a lot. Many questions will require some research, but you have 90 minutes to write it, so there’s time to refer to reference materials.  You cannot give or receive help from anyone or copy the test questions, but you can consult other resources.  Many questions are written so that there is one incorrect answer and three that are good, better, best.  That makes it somewhat challenging to figure out the right answer.  But the good news is that they are all multiple choice questions: 90 minutes for 35 questions. And you need only 65% to pass.

To prepare for the test you will want to especially brush up on the new laws themselves. Here are some other links to useful information:Unfortunately, farmers and agronomists are too busy to attend our Ag Drone School, so it is closed for the summer season. But we will be offering it across western Canada again this fall and spring. If you'd like to host us in your town, please do let us know.

What if I need to fly in controlled airspace?
If you are unfortunate enough to have land in close proximity to certified airports, then you will require an Advanced Certificate.  The test for it is considerably more challenging in terms of the online test (80% to pass, 50 questions in only 60 minutes).  The Advanced will also require an in-person Flight Review that tests your ability to fly and to coordinate airspace. Both of those require considerably more knowledge, both to pass the test and to actually coordinate the airspace, so we recommend the Advanced Certificate only for people that absolutely need to fly in controlled airspace (more info on the new categories of drone operation).

If you are one of the unfortunate ones with land inside the 3 nautical miles of a certified airport or in controlled airspace, we have a solution for you.
Clarion Drone Academy has developed a three-step program that gives participants a much higher likelihood of successfully completing the requirements for an Advanced Certificate, including both the online Transport Canada test and the in-person Flight Review. 

The bulk of the learning would be online, with a one-day "Mission Planning" course as preparation for the Flight Review the following day.  We still have the following dates available, but registration is required a week before the event -- and you will need to pass your online test well before attending the Mission Planning course (it is a requirement to qualify for the Flight Review).

We are working on the details of more deliveries this summer, but for those needing their Certificate immediately, we have the following dates left this month:
  • Lloydminster        June 24-25
  • Peace River         June 27-28 
  • Calgary                June 27-28
Enroll today through Clarion's website at or contact us at LandView at or (780) 448-7445.

[ Modified: Friday, 7 June 2019, 3:32 PM ]