Apps for Nav Canada Chart & Flight Data

When it comes to drone use in Canada, an important element is proper planning and site survey is to ensure you know the airspace and what is around the location in terms of potential dangers or areas to watch, such as aerodromes, helipads.

While paper charts are a great source to have on hand, more and more in today’s world we prefer the convenience of electronic information, with numerous apps for mobile devices offering charts, NOTAMs, weather, checklists and other useful information in the palm of our hand.

There are many apps available, however not all use data from the official source of Nav Canada, and as such may not be 100% reliable or accurate, as they rely on third-party data, such as from the US or other free sources.

For the most reliable information, it is always best to use the official source – Nav Canada lists the distributors that use their data here for those looking for options: 

As with anything be sure to research before you buy to get the most reliable information possible.


Halifax Regional Municipality Drone By-Laws

The following outlines the Halifax Regional Municipality Drone By-Laws:

Unmanned Air Vehicles and Model Aircraft 8A
(1) No person shall operate an unmanned air vehicle or model aircraft from within the boundaries of a park except in the circumstances set out in subsection (2).
(2) A person may apply to operate an unmanned air vehicle or model aircraft from within the boundaries of a park on a form as prescribed by the Director.
“unmanned air vehicle” means a power-driven aircraft other than a model aircraft, that is designed to fly without a human operator on board;
“model aircraft” means an aircraft, the total weight of which does not exceed 35 kg (77.2 pounds), that is mechanically driven or launched into flight for recreational purposes and that is not designed to carry persons or other living creatures;
“Park” means any land, owned, leased, or controlled by the Region, designated or used as parkland or as a trail, including gardens, playgrounds, sports fields and beach areas;

Transport Canada Aeronautical Information Manual (TC AIM) RPAS Chapter

If you are looking to get some further details on Canadian drone regulations outside of the CARs Part IX, a great place to look is the newly released Transport Canada Aeronautical Information Manual (TC AIM) MARCH 26, 2020 RPA—REMOTELY PILOTED AIRCRAFT.

This new chapter was added to support operational needs and to be aligned with the new Part IX — Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems in the CARs.

Click to access AIM_2020-1_E_RPA.pdf


Canadian Sub 250g Drone Laws

One of the questions that seem to come up multiple times per day in the various Facebook groups is what regulations apply in Canada to drones like the DJI Mavic Mini and others that fall in the sub 250g category.

Transport Canada clarified this and other of the CARs Part IX RPAS regulations in the most recent AIM (Aeronautical Information Manual) with a new section specific to RPAS – 

As noted:

Micro remotely piloted aircraft systems(mRPAS) are made up of a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) weighing less than 250g and its control station. The weight of the control station is not factored in to the weight calculation when determining whether an RPAS is micro (< 250 g) or small (250 g to 25 kg). However, the weight of any payload carried, such as optional cameras, will be considered part of the weight.

Pilots of micro RPASs are not subject to Subpart 1 of Part IX of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARS), so they are not required to register their RPAs or obtain a certificate to fly them. However, they must adhere to CAR 900.06 and ensure they do not operate their RPA in such a reckless or negligent manner as to endanger or be likely to endanger aviation safety or the safety of any person. While there are no prescriptive elements of the regulation that inform the pilot how to accomplish this objective, there is an expectation that the pilot of a micro RPAS should use good judgment, identify potential hazards, and take all necessary steps to mitigate any risks associated with the operation. This should include having an understanding of the environment in which the RPA pilot is operating, with particular attention paid to the possibility of aircraft or people being in the same area

If CAR 601.04 – IFR or VFR Flight in Class F Special Use Restricted Airspace or Class F Special Use Advisory Airspace, 601.16 – Issuance of NOTAM for Forest Fire Aircraft Operating Restrictions, and 5.1 of the Aeronautics Act restrict the use of airspace to all “aircraft”, they therefore apply to micro RPAs as they are considered aircraft under the Aeronautics Act and CARs. For more information, see RAC 2.8.6 Class F Airspace in the TC AIM.

A pilot that is found to have created a hazard to either aviation safety or people on the ground is subject to an individual penalty of $1,000 and/or a corporate penalty of $5,000 (CAR 103, Schedule II)

As such drones in this category have a very limited set of restrictions, basically 900.06:

900.06 No person shall operate a remotely piloted aircraft system in such a reckless or negligent manner as to endanger or be likely to endanger aviation safety or the safety of any person.

In short:

  • No registration required
  • No pilot certificate required
  • No flight restrictions beyond Class F Restricted areas and any NOTAMs limiting all aircraft use including models that may be in effect

Basically, fly smart and don’t be an idiot.

Keep in mind that in addition to the TC regulations, other city and park bylaws may still apply even to micro drones, as well as other laws in the criminal code.

New Nav Canada RPAS Coordination Process Announced

Nav Canada has announced their new process for coordinating RPAS in controlled airspace:

We would like to inform you of some important changes that may impact the operation of your remotely piloted aircraft (RPA). As of June 1, 2019, new Transport Canada regulations will apply to all RPA operating in Canadian airspace. For more information on these new regulations, visit Transport Canada’s Drone Safety page​.

If you plan to operate your RPA in controlled airspace (Classes C, D or E), you must have a Transport Canada Pilot Certificate – Advanced Operations, and you must now obtain a written RPAS Flight Authorization from NAV CANADA, by submitting an RPAS Flight Authorization Request. This written authorization process replaces any previous email or telephone method and is now the only way to receive NAV CANADA authorization to fly your RPA in controlled airspace.

For more information or to submit an RPAS Flight Authorization Request, please visit our new RPAS webpage.
Mark Telewiak
Airport Operations Specialist | Spécialiste de l’expoitation aéroportuaire
Regional Training Specialist | Spécialiste, Formation régionale
6055 Midfield Road, Mississauga, ON, L4W 2P7
T. 905-676-4609 C. 416-540-1078

The main take away is 2-14 days required processing time.

Depending on the complexity of your request, expect a minimum of 48 hours to 14 days for review.  You cannot operate your RPA in controlled airspace unless you receive a written RPAS Flight Authorization from NAV CANADA.​ Failure to comply with legal requirements when flying an RPA, including failure to obtain an RPAS Flight Authorization from NAV CANADA before flying an RPA in controlled airspace, can give rise to serious penalties, including fines and jail time.

It becomes hard to operate a business and plan operations with such a wide ranging service level.  This really impacts the industry in a bad way.  Concerns on such delays were raised in the draft regulations but it seems that went unheard.