New Rules for Drones in Canada

Canada’s civil aviation authority, Transport Canada (TC), published new regulations for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) on January 9, 2019. UAS are typically referred to as remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) or drones. The new regulations go into effect June 1, 2019 and require operators to pass a mandatory knowledge exam and a practical flight review in order to obtain a permit. RPAS operations are divided into Basic or Advanced operations and place restrictions on aircraft weight, airspace and operator age.

In a conversation with AMA, Model Aeronautics Association of Canada (MAAC) President Peter Schaffer stated MAAC members are exempt from these new regulations.  You can read his statement in full below.

To all MAAC Members,

Re: Transport Canada Gazette II news release of January 10, 2019

We would like to advise you that the anticipated new regulations for Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS ) have now been published. However, it should be clearly understood that nothing has changed for MAAC members and even though the regulations have now been published, they do not take effect until 1st June 2019. Until that date the Interim Order Respecting the use of Model Aircraft remains in effect, and as this order does not apply to MAAC operations, MAAC members can continue to operate as we always have.

Once the new regulations do come into effect, they will apply to all aircraft without a pilot onboard, whether for recreational or non-recreational purposes. However, be assured that MAAC continues to working with Transport Canada to ensure your current privileges are protected. As we advised you in the last email update, MAAC is working with Transport Canada on an exemption from the new regulations. With this exemption, once the new regulations do come into effect, MAAC members will enjoy the same freedoms they always have. It is expected that the MAAC exemption will be approved well before the new regulations come into effect on 1st June 2019. In the meantime please see the attached letter from Transport Canada, Letter – AARV – MAAC – 2019-01-09 , showing their commitment to these ongoing efforts and the preservation of our privileges.

MAAC leadership continues to work for its members and to ensure that we can all enjoy our passion of operating model aircraft. We will provide additional updates, once we have secured the exemption. Until then, please let me repeat that nothing has changed for MAAC members and you can continue to operate as you always have.

On behalf of the MAAC transport Canada Advisory Group

Peter Schaffer

President – MAAC


AMA members who frequently visit Canada and our Canadian Affiliate Members should continue to monitor MAAC’s website and social media for the latest information.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your AMA government affairs team at