Later this year, Canada could be the first country to implement sweeping, federal drone regulations that are almost as stringent as for operating a boat.
According to information leaked to the CBC, Canada’s state-run broadcaster, the new Transport Canada regulations will require all drones over 250 grams (approx 1/2 lb) to be registered.
Drone operators will be have to pass a Transport Canada knowledge test to receive a license to fly and will require proof of liability insurance covering their drone.
Based on the low 250 grams weight threshold, the new regulations will catch all but the smallest toy drones. Popular consumer drones such as DJI’s Mavic and Phantom drones, and the recently re-released GoPro Karma will be subject to the new regulations, when implemented.
Under the proposed regulations, toy drones under 250 grams will be restricted to those over age 14.
Once you’ve satisfied the requirements for registering your drone and have proven knowledge, you are also required to prove that you have liability insurance covering any damage your drone could do to people or property.
Whether this additional burden on drone operators will have a negative impact on sales is yet to be seen. Despite the re-release of the GoPro Karma in the United States, there has been no similar change in small-market Canada, perhaps due to other restrictions as a result of the Karma recall. And Canadians can still order the re-released GoPro Karma drone on the US Amazon website.