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  • Josh White

Transport Canada Certified Drone Pilot!

Updated: Nov 2, 2019

Why should you hire a licensed drone pilot? Well, here are some examples why you might want to consider a licensed pilot…


https://torontosun.com/news/local-news/drone-pilot-fined-for-flying-device-over-crowds-at-raptors-victory-parade


https://bc.ctvnews.ca/drone-operator-probed-for-flying-over-lion-s-gate-bridge-1.2695835


Earlier this year Transport Canada, the governing body of all transportation in Canada created a new set of laws for Drone Operators/ pilots to adhere too. Under the old laws it was recommended that you go to a drone ground school to learn the basics of airspace laws and regulations if you wanted to use a drone commercially. Then, you would have to file a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) every time you flew your drone for work. You would also have to file a Notice to Airman (NOTAM). To keep all other manned aircraft in the area aware that there would be a UAV in their possible flight path.


Under the new laws the government changed the way drone/ UAV pilots can gain access into airspace in most areas. Transport Canada created a multi-step process to get your license depending on how and where you want to fly your drone.


Anyone who owns a drone now has to do two things.

1. Register their drone if it weighs more than 250g.

2. Pass the basic flight operations exam through transport Canada


Basic Pilot Certificate

To become an Advanced pilot, I had to complete the above steps and in addition, I also had to:

3. Pass the Advanced Flight Operations Exam

4. Own a drone that meets Transport Canada’s Safety requirements (complete list of drones can be found here, "https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/aviation/drone-safety/choosing-right-drone.html#approved".

5. Pass the “In Person Flight Review”


Advanced Pilot Certificate


So, what exactly does it mean to be an Advanced Pilot? It means that Transport Canada recognizes that I understand the different airspace requirements. Whether I can fly in a specific area and/or airspace and when I may need to file a NOTAM and/or SFOC. It also allows me to fly within 5 metres of of people, fly within controlled airspaces if given permission by the air authority nearest the area of flight and most importantly, know when it is NOT safe to fly.


Drones are extremely weather dependent and can only maintain flight in certain weather conditions. Wind, rain, temperature, cloud cover and even natural magnetic interference can effect the drones performance during flight so I will always recommend you, as the client account for this. Rain checks happen, weather is unpredictable!

So, feel free to check out some of my work on

the photography page, or find me on instagram

@j_white89 to see some of my aerial photography and cinematography. Below are some shots of ALTEX Academy's flight facility where I took my Flight Review test as well as some aerial photography from some of the recent projects I have worked on for 48north and City of Burlington.



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