Model Aircraft
Exemption Cancelled
in Canada

Last edited on March 14th 2023

What are the laws for model aircraft in Canada?

On February 3, Transport Canada called a special meeting with the Model Aircraft Association of Canada's (MAAC) Transport Canada Advisory Group and senior management. At that meeting, they were advised that the Exemption from Part IX of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CAR) was no longer in effect. These changes have had a significant impact on the model aircraft community, with model aircraft pilots left scrambling to study drone rules and obtain a drone pilot certificate. Model aircraft pilots are now required to follow the same rules that govern drone operations. As a result, it's important for responsible model aircraft enthusiasts to be knowledgeable on these rules to ensure safe and legal operations. In this blog post, we'll discuss the recent change to Canadian model aircraft rules, why obtaining a drone pilot certificate is more important than ever, and how our online courses can help you prepare for Transport Canada's drone exams.

Transport Canada has now revoked this exemption, meaning that model aircraft pilots must obtain a drone pilot certificate and follow the same regulations as drone operators.

Recent Changes to Canadian Model Aircraft Regulations

Prior to February 2023, model aircraft pilots in Canada were exempt from many of the regulations that applied to drone operators, including the requirement to obtain a drone pilot certificate and follow CARs and Part IX. However, Transport Canada has now revoked this exemption, meaning that model aircraft pilots must obtain a drone pilot certificate and follow the same regulations as drone operators.

Under the new rules, model aircraft pilots must obtain a Basic Pilot Certificate and comply with all Canadian Aviation Regulations, including Part IX regulations. Altitudes are limited to 400 feet above ground level, and higher altitude limits on either a Site Operating Certificate or Altitude Waivers are rescinded. All outdoor operations must comply with all Transport Canada CAR Part IX regulations, and new Site Operating Certificates will be issued reflecting Part IX restrictions.

Why did this happen?

MAAC's internal approval controls failed to identify that several flying sites were approved inside controlled airspace without an agreement with NAV CANADA. These approvals were in breach of the Exemption from the CAR Part IX regulations and in breach of an operating agreement MAAC had with NAV CANADA. As a result of these breaches, Transport Canada considers the exemption to be no longer in effect, and NAV CANADA has revoked our operating agreements.

Problems Caused by The Change

The revocation of the Model Aircraft Exemption in Canada has caused concern among model aircraft enthusiasts who have been flying their model aircraft responsibly for many years. Transport Canada has stated that the exemption was revoked due to safety concerns. Since none of the manufacturers of model aircraft have made safety declarations to Transport Canada, model aircraft enthusiasts are no longer allowed to fly in regulated airspace, which has led to significant restrictions on where they can fly their model aircraft.

Model flying clubs are now launching a letter-writing campaign to Canada's Minister of Transportation in an attempt to find a solution to this issue. They hope that this campaign will raise awareness of the situation and lead to a resolution that will allow model aircraft enthusiasts to continue enjoying their hobby while ensuring the safety of other aircraft.

Why Getting a Drone Pilot Certificate is Now More Important Than Ever

Obtaining a drone pilot certificate is more important than ever. A drone pilot certificate demonstrates that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to operate a drone or model aircraft safely and responsibly, and it's required by law for anyone who operates a drone or model aircraft for any purpose.

In order to obtain a drone pilot certificate, you must pass a Transport Canada drone exam, which covers topics such as Canadian Aviation Regulations, weather, airspace, and drone flight operations. Our online courses can help you prepare for the drone exam and ensure that you have a solid understanding of the material.

How Online Courses Can Help You Prepare for Transport Canada's Drone Exams

Online courses can be a valuable resource for model aircraft pilots who need to prepare for Transport Canada's drone exams. Our courses provide comprehensive training on the topics covered in the exam, and they allow you to study at your own pace from the comfort of your own home.

When choosing an online course, it's important to look for one that is designed specifically for Transport Canada's drone exams and that covers all of the material you need to know. Our courses include practice quizzes to ensure that you're fully prepared for the exam.

Stay Up-to-Date with Canadian Aviation Regulations to Ensure Safe and Legal Model Aircraft Operations

As a model aircraft pilot, it's your responsibility to ensure that you're operating in a safe and legal manner. This means staying up-to-date with Canadian Aviation Regulations and following all of the rules and regulations that apply to your operations.

In addition to obtaining a drone pilot certificate and following CARs and Part IX, model aircraft pilots should also be aware of other regulations that may apply to their operations, such as those related to privacy and trespassing.

What does canceling the Model Aircraft exemption mean for drone pilots?

For drone pilots, this change is not expected to have any impact. The new rules affect model aircraft pilots who are not currently certified under Transport Canada's drone pilot certification program. Model aircraft pilots who have already obtained their Basic or Advanced Pilot Certificates will still be minimally affected.

It's important to note that all drone pilots, regardless of their level of certification, are required to follow Transport Canada's regulations when operating their drones. Failure to do so could result in fines and other penalties.

How can our online drone school help?

If you're a model aircraft pilot who is now required to obtain a Pilot Certificate to continue flying your aircraft legally, or if you're a drone pilot who wants to ensure you're following all of Transport Canada's regulations, our online drone school can help.

Our courses are designed to prepare you for Transport Canada's drone exams, both the Basic and Advanced Pilot Certificates. We offer a comprehensive curriculum that covers everything you need to know to pass the exam and become a certified drone pilot.

Our courses are 100% online, so you can study at your own pace and from anywhere in the world. We provide lifetime access to all the study materials you need, including video lessons, practice exams, and study guides. And if you ever have any questions, our team of experienced instructors is always available to help.


In conclusion, the change in model aircraft rules in Canada is a significant development that will have a major impact on the model aircraft community. Model aircraft pilots will now be required to obtain a Basic Pilot Certificate and follow Transport Canada's regulations, just like drone pilots. While this change may seem like a pointless disruption to a beloved hobby for many model aircraft pilots, it's important to remember that Transport Canada's primary concern is safety.

At our online drone school, we're here to help pilots of all types stay safe and legal while flying. If you need to obtain your Basic or Advanced Pilot Certificate, or if you just want to make sure you're following all of the rules and best practices, our courses can help. Contact us today to learn more.