Canadian Drone Law

"There's a drone flying over my property, what can I do?"

(This page is intended for information purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal advice)

*The Rules of Law outlined here are applicable to ALL drones, regardless of their size and weight!

Reckless or Negligent Operation

Canadian Aviation Regulations Part IX (Section 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.


If you believe a drone is being operated in a reckless or negligent manner, you can report the incident directly to the Government of Canada by following this link...

Flying Drones Safely & Legally

The full details of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (Part IX) for Drone Pilots, and the legal requirements when flying drones in Canada can be found here...

In addition to the strict Transport Canada rules and regulations for safe RPAS flying (CARs Part IX), every drone pilot is also subject to Provincial Laws related to Trespass, Nuisance and Privacy, as well as various sections of the Criminal Code.

At Skygate, we are committed to educating people about drone safety and the rules and regulations surrounding drone operations in Canada.



Every intrusion upon the land of another person without permission constitutes a trespass. Therefore, a drone taking off, landing, or crashing on your land without permission is trespass. Landowners have the right to sue for trespass even where they suffer no actual damage.

On the other hand, landowners do not have an absolute right to control all of the airspace above their property. A landowner’s right to control the airspace above their property is limited to a height that is necessary for the ordinary use and enjoyment of the land and the structures upon it. As such, a drone flying over land at a height sufficient to avoid crashing into structures, clotheslines, trees, etc., is unlikely to be considered a trespass violation.

Note: if a drone lands or crashes on your land for any reason, even though it would technically be considered ‘trespassing’, you are legally obliged to return the drone to its owner. Refusal to return the drone to its lawful owner could result in criminal charges or a civil lawsuit being brought against you.


Nuisance refers to a substantial interference with a person’s use or enjoyment of land. In determining what constitutes nuisance, there is no bright-line rule regarding how many times a drone must fly over property, or how low to the ground, or how loud the drone is. Currently, there is no reported decisions by a Canadian court of law in which a drone has been found to constitute a nuisance.

However, if you believe a drone is 'interfering with the use and enjoyment of your land', the best course of action is to ask the drone operator if they can conduct their drone flight at another time that is more convenient to you.


All RPAS drone pilots must respect the privacy rights of others and follow the Transport Canada 'Privacy Guidelines for Drone Users', which can be found here...

Breaches of privacy, such as unreasonably intruding into a person’s private affairs or publicly disclosing embarrassing private facts about a person, can result in an individual being found liable to pay damages of up to $100,000.00.

While a drone flying above your property does not necessarily constitute an invasion of privacy, the intentional collection of personal information without consent could constitute a violation of privacy laws.

If you believe a drone is breaching your privacy rights, the pilot of the drone should respond with respect and courtesy and should, at the very least, offer to show what media they have captured.

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The 'Wildlife Conservation Act' (section 3(1)) restricts 'hunting' or 'harassing' animals with a drone...

No person shall use any air, land or water vehicle to chase, pursue, worry, molest, take, hunt or kill any wildlife.”

Additionally, if a person wilfully flies a drone close to sensitive animals (such as horses in a field or on a highway) and they do so in a manner that can cause the animals unnecessary stress or suffering, the drone operator could also be charged under the Criminal Code regarding cruelty to animals (section 445.1) and for reckless or negligent operation of a drone (CARs IX section 900.06).


'Your first course of action should always be to try and communicate with the drone operator/crew to resolve any concerns'


All Parks Canada places are “No Drone Zones” for recreational use. Please leave your drone at home.


In Canada’s national parks, the landing and take-off of an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) – also known as a drone – is prohibited pursuant to Section 2(1) of the National Parks Aircraft Access Regulations. Flying a drone without park or site approval may result in law enforcement action and a fine of up to $25,000. Learn more about using drones in National Parks here...

Additional guidelines for PEI National Parks can be found here...


Local municipalities may have bylaws in place which establish ‘No Drone Zones’ to prevent drones (of any size) from being operated from locations used by the general public. These may include parks, public gardens, nature trails, public buildings, city centres etc.. It is the responsibility of the drone operator to comply with these bylaws and obtain the necessary permits to operate drones legally from these locations.

If you believe a local bylaw is being violated by a drone, you should inform the police and report any reckless and negligent operations to Transport Canada using the link above.


Drone Pilots are required by law to observe certain provisions of the Criminal Code. These include the following: -

    • Endangering the safety of an aircraft or airport (section 77)
    • Operating an aircraft in a manner that is dangerous to the public (section 249)
    • Causing death by criminal negligence (section 220)
    • Causing bodily harm by criminal negligence (section 221)
    • Committing criminal mischief relating to the damage, destruction or interference with the enjoyment of property (section 430)
    • Observing or making a video of a person who is in circumstances that give rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy, where certain conditions are met; (also known as “voyeurism”) (section 162)
    • Engaging in conduct that causes a person to fear for their safety, or the safety of anyone known to them, constituting criminal harassment (section 264)
    • Wilfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal or bird (section 445.1)

It is important to keep in mind that in order to be considered “criminal”, there must be conduct that is sufficiently serious.
Accidents, negligence, and even intentional acts of a minor nature will not normally rise to the level of criminality.

If you have reasonable grounds to believe that a drone pilot is violating any of these laws, you should contact the police immediately.

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