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Safe Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or Drones

 
Ensure you know when and where you can fly your UAV
 
 
If you have a drone or UAV, ensure you are aware of the restrictions on these devices intended to protect public safety and citizens’ privacy. Drones that are flown in an unsafe manner can endanger lives, aircraft and property.
 
Calgary International Airport and Springbank Airport are located within or close to the city limits. Because of this, it is important for drone pilots to have a clear understanding of the different airspace classifications.
  • Calgary International Airport and Springbank Airport fall within Class C Airspace, which has a number of general restrictions. Further to these restrictions and within this classification of airspace, is an area known as the Control Zone.
  • For Calgary International Airport, this Control Zone is a seven Nautical Mile radius (12.95 kilometre) around the international airport, which extends towards the west part of the city and adjoins the Control Zone designated for Springbank Airport.
  • All drone flights within these zones are prohibited regardless of size, weight, type or purpose of operation, without a Special Flight Operations Certificate.
 
 
Transport Canada provides a number of dos and don’ts for flying safely and legally for all classes of airspace outside of the control zones both within and outside of the City of Calgary.
 
In addition to Transport Canada restrictions, the City of Calgary also has two bylaws in place at this time which will impact on when and where you can operate a drone or UAV.

City of Calgary Bylaws

​Parks and Pathways Bylaw 20M2003 Sec. 24(c) ​Street Bylaw 20M88 Sec. 12
  • ​Cannot operate a remote controlled aircraft in or over a park.
  • $100 fine
  • ​Cannot operate a remote controlled aircraft on or over a street.
  • Mandatory court appearance
 
Transport Canada provides a number of dos and don’ts for flying safely and legally for all classes of airspace outside of the control zones.
​Do Fly ​Dont Fly
​Obtain permission from the landowner (which includes The City of Calgary) before flying your drone. ​Closer than 12.95 km from any airport, heliport, or aerodrome.
​Fly your drone during daylight and in good weather (not in clouds or fog). ​Higher than 90 metres above the ground.
​Keep your drone in sight, where you can see it with your own eyes – not only through an on-board camera, monitor or smartphone. ​Closer than 150 metres from people, animals, buildings, structures, or vehicles.
​Make sure your drone is safe for flight before take-off. Ask yourself, for example, are the batteries fully charged? Is it too cold to fly? ​In populated areas or near large groups of people, including sporting events, concerts, festivals, and firework shows.
​Know if you need to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate. ​Near moving vehicles, highways, bridges, streets or anywhere you could endanger or distract drivers.
​Respect the privacy of others – avoid flying over private property or taking photos or videos without permission. ​Within restricted and controlled airspace, including near or over military bases, prisons, and forest fires.
​Anywhere you may interfere with first responders.
 
 
The Calgary Police Service acts as the first responder for all calls related to the unsafe flight of drones. The Service conducts a full investigation and lays appropriate charges, if required, and also works to educate the public regarding recreational use of these devices.
 
Investigative information is also shared with Transport Canada regarding the commercial use of drones when in breach of Transport Canada regulations.

For more information about the safe use of drones, please visit Transport Canada’s website at www.tc.gc.ca/SafetyFirst.
 
If you have questions about the safe and legal use of drones, please contact the Calgary Police Service at uav@calgarypolice.ca.
 
​The Calgary Police Service recently held a public information session. The top six questions and answers are available here: Q&As