Canadian Drone Services – Options, Pros and Cons

Canadian Drone Services – Options, Pros and Cons


Canadian Drone Services

Options, Pros and Cons

As drone services become more and more prevalent, how do you plan on leveraging this innovative new technology for your business?

Canadian Drone Services

Are you looking to add drone services to your offerings? Want to include aerial data in your products or services? There are a few ways to bring the value of drone services to your clients. Let’s explore the pros and cons of each!


In-house Drone Pilots

Piloting your company’s own drones sounds like a great (and fun!) opportunity at first blush. Like many new technology adoptions, there’s a bit more to it than just acquiring the new tech, though.

In Canada, drone pilots will need a certification in most cases which may be a great benefit you can offer to your employees! Aside from the time and effort required in getting certified, expect to also need to spend on related gear (vests, cones, emergency equipment) in addition to the drone itself! Remember too – it’s one thing to know how to fly a drone and a whole other to know how to collect reliable, quality data! You’ll likely want training beyond the basics to scale your drone services.


  • Pilot certification as a continued learning opportunity
  • Flexibility


  • Investment in aircraft (and other gear)
  • Time and resource investment in training
  • Worker flying drones means other work not getting done


Contracted Drone Pilots

Hiring certified drone pilots is another way to add aerial drone services to your portfolio. The benefits here include not needing to invest time, effort or money in sourcing a drone, training or any of the related gear. You also won’t need to worry about getting employees trained and certified!
Challenges arise though in first finding qualified drone pilots and then ensuring they’re up to your standards! Will the same pilot be available to fly your jobs regularly? Will they be able to provide repeatable results? Can they prioritize your work when you need them to? Do you have to pay out the nose to get the answers you want to those questions?


  • No hardware purchases
  • No pilot certifications required


  • Expensive
  • Quality assurance
  • Inconsistencies


Remote Pilot Network (RPN) Pilots

RPN pilots come vetted by industry experts to ensure their capabilities. Not only are they certified, but they’re supported by comprehensive end-to-end software that enables scalable, repeatable, and quality data to be captured when you need it, as often as you need it. There’s no need to purchase drones, training or other equipment to create a drone services program within your organization!
While your employees might have liked to have company-sponsored training provided, they’ll certainly appreciate being able to focus on their regular job and initiatives, knowing they have access to the aerial drone data they need.


  • No hardware purchases
  • No pilot certifications required
  • Repeatable and scalable
  • Vetted pilots


  • Employees not certified


Join our nation-wide network of drone pilots and clients with the RPN – a collaboration between Coastal Drone Co and Spexi Geospatial. Click to read on to find out more information about the Remote Pilot Network and how you can begin leveraging the largest system of pilots to do work for your business.

Understanding Drone Insurance

Understanding Drone Insurance


Understanding Drone Insurance

with help from our friends at SkyWatch

As you begin building your business, drone insurance will become an important asset as it will protect you, your equipment, and your investment. Unlike other types of coverage, activating, and managing drone insurance is easier than ever.

Establishing yourself as a commercial drone pilot means being professional, detail and safety-oriented. After you’ve invested in your training and drone gear, and you will begin getting hired for jobs in which you will have to specifically prepare and plan for each mission. But (as many drone professionals know) no amount of time spent planning a mission can prepare you properly for a drone accident if you don’t have a liability policy to cover you or your customer’s loss. 

Luckily, today more than ever, drone insurance is simple, intuitive, and easy to manage. Before seamlessly activating your drone insurance policy, it is important to first understand the following basic key terms and concepts.

Here are all the important definitions that can help you understand what is included in your insurance policy:

*Please note: the following glossary is according to SkyWatch.AI Drone Insurance Policies.

Coverage Breakdown

Aviation Liability Insurance

A portion of the insurance policy which provides coverage against physical or property damage to a third party entity caused by drone operations.

Hull Insurance

An optional portion of the insurance policy which provides physical damage coverage to the drone in use. Includes drone loss, theft, flyaway, disappearance.

Aviation insurance provides the following types of liability coverages: 

  • Property Damage: Liability protection for physical damage to property caused by a pilot’s operations 
  • Bodily Injury: Liability protection against physical damage or trauma to an individual resulting from an accident by the drone pilot
  • Personal injury: Liability for an injury to an individual arising from libel, slander, invasion of privacy, etc. 

Liability limits range anywhere from $100,000 to $5,000,000. Canadian Drone regulations state that you must be certified for all drone operations, including recreational and commercial flights. When it comes to activating an insurance policy above $2M in liability, you will be asked to confirm that you have the required Pilot certificates for performing commercial RPAS operations. Secondly, while hull insurance is an optional coverage, it is only available for annual insurance policies and cannot be purchased short term, i.e by the hour or month. 

*Note that Aviation Liability insurance includes coverage specifically to your drone operations – which is not always covered by standard General Liability policies.


Certificates and Documentation

After purchasing drone insurance you want to make sure you are provided with two essential documents. First, you need a policy document which declares all the conditions, specific coverages, and exclusions. Secondly, a Certificate of Insurance (COI) will serve as proof of coverage for clients and local authorities. The COI is a flexible working tool that can be modified during the policy period to include your additional insured as well as the specific language required by certain clients.

Coverage Details 

Insurance jargon can be confusing. In order to simplify this, we’ve gathered some of the most frequently used terms in drone insurance policies to make sure you truly understand what it’s all about.

Additional Insured
An individual, business, co-pilot or entity that is added to the policy in order to be protected by the drone pilot’s insurance policy
Certificate of Insurance (COI)
A legal document providing important coverage details and serves as proof of coverage. This document is produced immediately after activating your policy.
An incident submitted by the drone pilot to the insurance company which needs to be covered for a loss.
Your Coverage Duration
The time period in which the policy is active. Hourly policies provide coverage for a given time of day at an hourly rate while monthly/annual policies provide longer coverage periods. While policies can be pre-booked for a future date it is important to make sure that the coverage duration is stated clearly on your policy and COI.
Your Title Deductible
A portion of the loss in which the drone pilot will be expected to pay in the event that a claim is filed.
Upon making changes to an active insurance policy, an endorsement is used as a legal extension to prove that the contract has been amended.  

For example, if you add hull coverage midway through your policy period, a new endorsement with the drone details will be produced and attached to the original policy.

Liability limit
The maximum limit for which an insurance policy will provide liability coverage.

The limit you select should be based on the requirements of your client, or the risk associated for your operation. The bigger the production, the bigger the risk. The most standard liability policy is the $1,000,000 limit; however, it is important that each pilot considers the risk of his/her operations and chooses the liability accordingly.

Name Insured
The person(s) to whom the policy is issued. 

The name insured can also be the name of your business. If the named insured is your company’s name, then any employee of that company will be included under the policy.

On-Demand Policy
A type of policy that can be activated at any time.
A total payment or a periodic portion of it which is used to keep the policy active over time.

For drone insurance policies, there are separate premiums. Every drone insurance policy will include a premium for the liability portion. Other coverages, such as optional hull insurance, will have an additional premium to be paid.

Waiver of Subrogation
A legal waiver that states the name insured has waived the rights of the insurance company to seek compensation for losses paid to the third party.

Often times clients will request that pilots provide this specific waiver when conducting operations on their behalf. This waiver will be required in order to get some operations approved.

Often times clients will request that pilots provide this specific waiver when conducting operations on their behalf. This waiver will be required in order to get some operations approved. 

More definitions can be found online at SkyWatch.AI’s drone insurance dictionary.

When working in a fast-paced environment such as the drone industry, the insurance demands and requirements are ever-changing. For this reason, drone insurance is designed to be flexible. As clients needs’ change, pilots can always modify and manage their insurance.

For more information visit

The SkyWatch.AI support team is happy to help you get your policy activated and answer any questions you may have at any time.


[email protected]




New TC AIM RPA Section 

Guidance for RPA Pilots

What is the AIM?

The AIM or Aeronautical Information Manual is a 500+ page online and print resource published by Transport Canada twice a year (March and October) to provide guidance and detailed information not available in the CARs. 

Excellent Reference Tool

While this document may not be something you want to sit down and read cover to cover, it’s an excellent reference tool when questions pop up regarding airspace, flying at night or SFOC requirements. Keep it bookmarked and definitely have open when you’re writing your certification exams!

Coastal’s Contribution

Coastal Drone is proud to have contributed to the content and editing of the new RPA AIM section! Collaboration with Transport Canada in this way helps ensure the industry gets the information it needs so we’re grateful for the ongoing opportunities to work closely with TC!

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

Dear Fellow Drone Pilots,

As Canada continues to escalate the response to COVID-19 in recent days, We are doing our very best to respect our front line workers, and to practice as much physical distancing as we can. From coast to coast, individuals, organizations, and all levels of government are working together to minimize impact on our communities. We stand united as we all do our part to protect our neighbours, friends and family.

We are open for business and available to answer any questions you have regarding our courses. Flight reviews are being conducted on a case-by-case basis at the Reviewers discretion by using a combination of online and in-person tools to ensure physical distancing requirements can be fully respected. Our memo to Flight Reviewers is available here with more details. 

Now is a great time to get your drone pilot certificate online from the comfort and safety of your own home.

On behalf of the entire team at Coastal Drone – Stay safe and fly safe.

Kate, Alec, Andrew, Adam and Leland

Coastal Drone Podcast Episode: Foreign Pilot Process Update

Coastal Drone Podcast Episode: Foreign Pilot Process Update

The Podcast

Coastal Drone Podcast Episode: Foreign Pilot Process Update

Flying A Drone In Canada if you are not a permanent resident, or Canadian Citizen.

The process to get certified to fly in Canada if you are not a Canadian Citizen or a permanent resident has changed.

There is a bit of a stir online as Transport Canada has recently announced that they have changed the process available for foreign pilots.

If you are a foreign operator, meaning you are not a Canadian Citizen, a permanent resident, or a corporation that is incorporated in Canada, and you want to fly in Canadian airspace you are going to want to listen to this episode.

Kate explains what you need to fly in Canada.

DJI Mavic Mini: Busting Rumours!

DJI Mavic Mini: Busting Rumours!


Busting Mavic Mini Myths

Are the rumours true? Read on to find out!

Is it actually 249g?

YES! Even with a micro SD card the Mavic Mini weighs in at 249g.

Can I fly it in controlled airspace?

Yes! But you have to be extremely vigilant!
You’ll find on the DJI Fly app that controlled airspace isn’t depicted. You will see restrictions near airport arrival paths and on airport property.


Can I use the DJI Go app to fly the Mavic Mini?

No, DJI Fly is the app is the app to use with the Mavic Mini. DJI Go and all of its fancy features are not compatible with the Mavic Mini.

Is it good enough to use for work?

Ish? In certain situations, yes. But all the camera setting are automatic so you lose the control that professionals often want over the camera functions. It’s a good piece of kit, but maybe not your whole kit.

Can I fly a Mavic Mini in the rain?

DJI doesn’t recommend it. It also says to avoid snow and winds stronger than 8 m/s.

Is the Mavic Mini connection reliable?

At close range, absolutely. But for those that are familiar with flying Mavic Pros, you’ll be pretty disappointed with the WiFi connection at any distance. It’s been a common complaint from users.

Have more rumours you want us to take a look at? Let us know below!