header logo

UAV Image

Drones, UAV, UAS & RPAS

Unmanned Air Vehicle


Pour le français cliquer ici


As the national voice for general aviation in Canada, COPA keeping a close eye on the rapid development of UAV technology and actively seeking out ways of working with the UAV community and the regulator to ensure that Canadian skies can be shared by all users in a safe and effective manner.

COPA's Support for UAV Community

Through MAGNES, provider of our COPA aircraft insurance, we are excited to offer UAV insurance to cover damage and liability for commercial UAV operators. For more information on how to sign up, visit: http://www.uavinsurance.ca/

UAV membership

If you operate a UAV, would you like “advance, promote and preserve the Canadian freedom to fly” that UAV?  That’s our mission! So why not join COPA and learn all about general aviation and safely sharing our skies and enjoying our freedom.



We are also educating our own members on what it means to share the skies with UAVs and drones. Our webinar, produced with partnerships from AIG and Magnes Group, is available here 

AIG_Presentation Image

In partnership with Altex, we are working to educate members of the UAV community on the various regulations, requirements, and implications for drone operation in different classes of airspace. Click here to watch their video 

Want to know more about where to learn to fly UAVs? Visit Unmanned Systems Canada’s website here 


Recently, COPA teamed up with Transport Canada to launch the No Drone Zone campaign, highlighting the dangers and legal ramifications of operating UAVs in controlled airspace and in proximity to airports and heliports


For information click on:

-Recreational UAV (Model Aircraft)          -Non-Recreational UAV (Commercial or Research)

Current Regulation for recreational UAVs defined as model aircraft weighing up to 35 kg, you do not need permission but you should follow Safety Codes or guidelines: fly safely, don’t fly close to airports, etc…   MAAC Safety Code for modellers http://www.maac.ca/en/safety_code.php  and Transport Canada Safety Video1

In some circumstances, model aircraft are flying at a modellers Flying Club near or at airports under strict safety/operating rules and some Model Flying Clubs are declared in the Canada Flight Supplement.

CAR  No person shall fly a model aircraft or a kite or launch a model rocket or a rocket of a type used in a fireworks display into cloud or in a manner that is or is likely to be hazardous to aviation safety. 

Canada Criminal Code-  Section  Everyone who  (c) causes damage to an aircraft in service that renders the aircraft incapable of flight or that is likely to endanger the safety of the aircraft in flight, …is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life.

Current Regulation for non-recreational UAVs are under two exemptions**, depending on their weight classification***. The key words are “you must meet the safety conditions*” of this Exemption if you cannot then you need an SFOC and permission to fly.

*Safety Conditions requirement for non-recreational UAV

21. The pilot operating under this exemption shall operate a UAV at or below 300 feet above ground level (AGL).

22. The pilot conducting operations under this exemption shall only operate a UAV in Class G airspace.

23. The pilot operating under this exemption shall not operate a UAV over a forest fire area, or over any area that is located within five nautical miles of a forest fire area.

24. The pilot operating under this exemption shall not operate a UAV in airspace that has been restricted by the Minister under Section 5.1 of the Aeronautics Act.

25. The pilot operating under this exemption shall only operate a UAV at least five (5) nautical miles away from the centre of any aerodrome.

26. The pilot operating under this exemption shall only operate a UAV at least five (5) nautical miles from a built up area.

28. The pilot operating under this exemption shall not operate a UAV over an open-air assembly of persons.

 **Non-recreational UAV exemption



***Non-recreational UAVs weight

-Weighs 2 kg or less and you can meet the safety conditions in the Transport Canada exemption for UAVs that weigh 2 kg or less, you don’t need permission to fly.
-Weighs between 2.1 kg and 25 kg and you can meet the safety conditions in the Transport Canada exemption for UAVs that weigh between 2.1 kg and 25 kg, you don’t need permission to fly. However, you must notify Transport Canada…
-Weighs more than 25 kg, you must apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate


‘Tis the season of drones!

The Honorable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport took time last week to record six videos, you owe it to yourself to also take time to view His video messages on Air Safety.
‘Tis the season of drones! 
Many people will receive drones over the holidays this year. But before enjoying their gift, new users should learn how to fly them safely and legally. Click here to view the videos

US UAV Educational website

Know Before You Fly is an education campaign founded by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), and the Small UAV Coalition in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to educate prospective users about the safe and responsible operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

As excitement and enthusiasm continues to grow around UAS, and the regulatory framework continues to take shape, more consumers are looking to buy UAS for personal use and more businesses are looking to use UAS too. These prospective operators want to fly, and fly safely, but many don’t realize that, just because you can buy a UAS, doesn’t mean you can fly it anywhere, or for any purpose. Know Before You Fly provides prospective users with the information and guidance they need to fly safely and responsibly.


Drone news sites

Drone news sites give you the latest updates in our fast-growing industry.
Websites pop up every day covering the drone and UAV industry. It’s easy to get lost in the crowd, so we wanted to pick out the best sites covering drone news and rank each one of them.
Whether you’re new to the industry or a seasoned vet, these sites will keep you in the loop. They will also help you decide which drones to buy, how to fly a drone, how to build one, and much more.