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Calgary Police Service

Safe use of remote piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) or drones

Ensure you know when and where you can fly your RPAS

If you have a drone or Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), 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 damage property.

Transport Canada provides a number of dos and don’ts for flying safely and legally within and outside the City of Calgary.

Please visit Transport Canada for more information:  Flying your drone safely and legally 

​Recreational Operator – Devices weighing less than 250 grams ​Recreational Operator – Devices weighing more than 250 grams ​Professional operator

Do I need pilot certification? 

​If your drone or RPAS weighs less than 250 grams, you are not required to obtain a pilot certificate.


Basic License holders must be aged at least 14, with Advanced License holders being at least 16. Anyone operating a drone or RPAS under 14 must be accompanied by a license holder. 

​If your drone or RPAS weighs more than 250 grams, you should obtain Remote Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Pilot Certificate – Basic Operations certification.

​Professionals, or operators that previously had a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) are now required to have a Remote Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Pilot Certificate – Advanced Operations to fly within the Calgary Control Zones.

Do I need to register my device with Transport Canada?


​You must register your device with Transport Canada after obtaining your RPAS Pilot Certificate

​You must register your device with Transport Canada after obtaining your RPAS Pilot Certificate. 

​Where can I fly?

​There are few restrictions on where you can fly drones or RPAS weighing less than 250 grams. You may not fly over or within the perimeter established by a public authority in response to an emergency. Also, you may not operate at or near an aerodrome in a manner that could interfere with other aircraft.


Avoid advertised events. This includes concerts, festivals, protests and any other large gathering of people that the general public is aware of and has access to.  

​You can fly your drone or RPAS within the city limits in designated areas if you are not within the Control Zones. ​

Professional operators can fly drones or RPAS in uncontrolled airspace.


To operate in controlled airspace, you must contact Air Traffic Control to obtain permission to fly. 


Certain types of operations may still require an SFOC. Please contact Transport Canada for more information. 

​Can I fly over people?

​No restrictions, however, operators are encouraged to review the safety tips provided by Transport Canada when operating drones or RPAS.


Advanced can with restrictions. Check the TC website for more details. 

​No, you cannot fly over people.


City of Calgary Parks & Pathways Bylaw

The City of Calgary’s Parks and Pathways Bylaw now permits the use of drones and RPAS under 250 grams in designated areas. Drones and RPAS over 250 grams can operate with a permit issued by the Director, Calgary Parks.

Control Zones

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.
  • For drones weighing more than 250 grams, all flights within these zones are prohibited regardless of type or purpose of operation, without a Special Flight Operations Certificate or Advanced Operations Pilot Certificate.
  • For drones weighing less than 250 grams, all flights must be conducted in a manner that will not endanger the safety of other aircraft or any person.  The operator should maintain visual line of sight at all times and avoid flying above 400ft above the ground.  Stay far away from airports, aerodromes and heliports.
  • Pilots with the appropriate certification must contact the ATC for clearance to fly.  Advanced Operations Pilots will be permitted to fly in the Control Zone as they were previously, if they held an SFOC

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, please refer to Transport Canada’s information for flying your drone safely and legally, and review the full Canadian Aviation Regulations for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems


In an emergency always call 911

Non-emergency 403-266-1234