What is an RPAS?

RPAS stands for Remotely Piloted Aircraft System.  It’s the technical term for “drone” and it is the official government term you will see in any laws or regulations related to drones. Previously, Transport Canada referred to these aircraft as UAV so many provincial and municipal bylaws will still reference drones this way, but it means the same thing. 

What is Coastal Drone Co?

Coastal Drone Co is a company dedicated to helping drone pilots learn the skills they need to pilot effectively and navigate the rules and regulations surrounding drones in Canada.  Whether you’re an individual flying for fun, or a professional flying for an organization, Coastal Drone Co is here to help get you flying safely and legally.

Do I need certification?

Since June 1, 2019, anyone flying a drone outside in Canada which weighs more than 250g will require a pilot certification, regardless if the purpose of the flight is for fun or work.  There are two types of pilot certifications – Basic and Advanced.   The type of certitication you require depends on where you want to fly, and how close to bystanders.

What happens if I fly without certification?

Flying without a pilot certification can lead to hefty fines.  Individuals caught flying without a license can face fines of up to $3000 for their first offence.  For organizations, those fines can go up to $15,000!  Worst case scenario is being charged with a criminal offence.  

What kind of certification do I need?

There are two types of pilot certifications in Canada – Basic and Advanced.

1) BASIC is for flying in un-controlled airspace (far away from airports), and further than 30m from bystanders.  

2) ADVANCED is for flying in controlled airspace (close to airports, and populous areas), and closer than 30m from bystanders.

If you are going to be flying frequently or for work, we recommend getting an Advanced certification.  The Advanced certification gives the pilot the most freedom to operate 


I just want to fly my drone on my own property. Why do I need certification?

While you are generally free to do whatever you want on your own property, the rules change when you are sending aircraft into the sky. Drones have the ability to fly into airspace that is sometimes used by low flying airplanes and helicopters which lead to the risk of a collision or serious accident.  This means it is important that their pilots have the knowledge and ability needed to safely pilot their drone.

What kind of training do I need?

While you aren’t legally required to take ground school by Transport Canada, the exams that you are required to take can be quite challenging if you’re unprepared. Coastal Drone Co offers ground school for both basic and advanced certifications that will prepare you to take the pilots exam and develop the skills you need to fly safely and professionally.

I am visiting from another country so I can’t take the Transport Canada Exam. Can I still fly?

Yes, you can! The process is slightly different than it would be for Canadian citizens, but is definitely still possible to get permission to fly. In order to get permission to fly as a foreign pilot, you will need to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate which will ask for proof that you have taken a comparable ground school to those needed to get your Canadian certificate. Our  foreign pilots’ course will give you the TP15263 compliant training you need to get approved for your Special Flight Operations Certificate.

I hold an SFOC. Do I still need certification?

Yes. As of June 1, 2019, all SFOCs related to drones that were issued before that date have become invalid. You will need to get a basic or advanced certification to fly a drone regardless of whether you held an SFOC previously.

Are there any terms and conditions for your courses?

Yes. You can read all about them here.

Do you offer group rates?

Absolutely! If you’d like to organize a group rate, reach out to [email protected] and we’ll be happy to work something out with you!

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