Canada Recognize
Part 107?

Last edited on January 25th 2023

Can an American Fly Drones in Canada?

Many drone pilots and companies operating from the United States may be wondering: can American citizens and American-based companies legally fly drones in Canada under Part 107? Does Canada recognize Part 107? Unfortunately, the answer is no, and there are several reasons for this.

Transport Canada does not recognize the Part 107 drone laws. Foreign operators must obtain a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC).

Foreigners Can't Register Drones in Canada

Transport Canada doesn't allow Foreign citizens and corporations to register drones in Canada. In order to register a drone in Canada, the person or corporation must be Canadian. This means that American pilots and companies would have to go through the process of creating a foreign-owned corporation in Canada that complies with both federal and provincial laws regarding foreign ownership. This can be a difficult endeavor, as foreign entities must fulfill specific director residency requirements and have at least 25% of their board of directors composed of individuals with Canadian residency status, depending on the province.

As a foreign citizen or corporation, it is not possible to register drones in Canada. However, it is possible for foreign operators to fly drones in Canada with a Canadian Operator's Certificate and a Special Flight Operations Certificate issued by Transport Canada.

SFOC Required

Foreign pilots are not allowed to fly drones in Canada without first obtaining a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) for each operation. This certificate is required for any foreign drone operator in Canada, whether it is basic or advanced, and it can take a minimum of 21 days to obtain. The process of obtaining an SFOC can be lengthy and uncertain, with no guarantee of approval. Learn more about the requirements for foreign drone operators.

Differences between drone regulations in the US and Canada

While both countries have many similar rules, such as the requirement to register drones above 250 grams and to keep them below 400 feet, there are also some key differences to be aware of.

Drone License Requirements

In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates drones and requires pilots to hold a Part 107 license if they are flying drones for commercial purposes. In Canada, Transport Canada is responsible for regulating drones and requires pilots to hold a Canadian drone pilot license if they are flying drones above 250 grams. However, Transport Canada does not recognize the Part 107 license from the United States, so American pilots must obtain a Canadian operator's certificate in order to fly drones in Canada.

Commercial vs Recreational

Another significant difference between the two countries is the way that they distinguish between commercial pilots operating under Part 107 rules and recreational pilots. In the United States, Part 107 rules apply to pilots who are flying drones for commercial purposes, while recreational pilots have different requirements. In Canada, however, there are no such distinctions, which means that all drone pilots must follow the same rules regardless of whether they are flying for fun or for commercial purposes.

Airspace Authorization

NAV CANADA's Nav Drone app and the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system in the United States are both designed to facilitate the process of obtaining authorization for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones to operate in controlled airspace.

Both NAV CANADA's Nav Drone app and LAANC provide a way for drone operators to request authorization to fly in controlled airspace near airports and other sensitive areas. The apps allow operators to input information about their planned flight, including the location, altitude, and duration, and receive real-time authorization to fly based on the airspace rules and regulations in the area.

Both Nav Drone and LAANC are designed to make it easier for drone operators to comply with aviation regulations and reduce the wait times drones operators experience. They also provide a way for authorities to manage and monitor drone activity in their jurisdictions and ensure the safety of manned aircraft operations.

Overall, Nav Drone and LAANC are similar in that they both provide a digital platform for requesting and obtaining authorization for drone operations in controlled airspace.

Remote ID

As of 2022, Canada does not have a mandatory remote identification (ID) system for drones. Remote ID is a system that allows authorities to identify and track drones in flight, and it is seen as an important tool for ensuring the safety and security of drone operations. Many countries have implemented mandatory remote ID systems for drones in order to better manage and regulate their use.

While Canada does not have a mandatory remote ID system in place, the country's civil aviation authority, Transport Canada, has been working on the development of a remote ID framework for drones.

National Parks

Canada has stricter policies on where drones are allowed to fly, especially in national and local parks. These restrictions can vary by municipality, but are generally more relaxed for smaller and lighter drones. As a result, micro-drones are very popular in Canada.

Final Notes

It's important for drone pilots in both the United States and Canada to understand the specific regulations in each country in order to safely and legally operate their drones. By following the rules and being aware of any differences, pilots can ensure that they are flying safely and legally in either country. Check out our courses to prepare for your Canadian drone exam.