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Canada Mavic Mini in controlled airspace?
2081 30 2019-11-4
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djiuser_0sznpSoW5hVC
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I'm new to drones and have been looking at the rules in my country for flying (Canada). The Mavic Mini is sub 250g and is classified as a micro-drone so the regulations are limited to "flying responsibly." This makes it a great choice for me except that I live in a control zone. It's class C airspace and I want to fly about 5 km from the center of the control zone in a small park near my house. Would the Mavic mini be able to takeoff here? Or would DJI's geofencing prevent it from takeoff?

Any insight would be appreciated. (I previously posted accidentally in the mavic forum but couldn't find a way to remove my thread)

2019-11-4
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DJI Paladin
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Hi and welcome to DJI Forum. Thank you for choosing DJI and thank you for the inquiry. In compliance with the relevant laws, policies, and regulations for Canada, some GEO Zones will not appear on this web map. Please refer to the DJI GO app for more GEO Zones in effect. As it consumes too much time for mass data uploading, all safe-fly zones may be hidden when zoomed out. For additional reference I will post a link where in you can check the DJI Flysafe Geo Zone Map ( https://www.dji.com/flysafe/geo-map ). Thank you.
2019-11-4
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djiuser_0sznpSoW5hVC
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Thank you so much. It seems like it's an altitude zone with a height limitation so I should be able to takeoff. Thanks for the fast reply!
2019-11-4
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ssylca44
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Canada
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No the Mini is still affected by NFZ
2019-11-4
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DJI Paladin
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djiuser_0sznpSoW5hVC Posted at 11-4 13:16
Thank you so much. It seems like it's an altitude zone with a height limitation so I should be able to takeoff. Thanks for the fast reply!

Hi we do appreciate your response. If you have any other inquiries or concerns with DJI. Please feel free to reach us at DJI Forum. We are all here to help and support you. Thank you.
2019-11-4
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simplesimon
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ssylca44 Posted at 11-4 13:23
No the Mini is still affected by NFZ

I have pretty much the same question as the OP.

I live within the restricted area of an airport on a 3 acre lot, and would like to get a mini to fly it over the trees on my property just for fun.  The Canadian regulations for under 250 grams are kind of vague, and could be reasonably interpreted to mean that anything goes with that size of drone.

My property does show up in a geofenced area on the DJI map, so I assume I would need to send some kind of proof about having permission to unlock the drone to DJI.

Does anyone know definitively if the Mini is exempt from restricted airspace regulations in Canada, and if so, how do I get the drone unlocked?

If I have to go through all kinds of hoops with Nav Canada to try to get permission, I won't be buying a drone.  
2019-11-4
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ssylca44
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simplesimon Posted at 11-4 13:35
I have pretty much the same question as the OP.

I live within the restricted area of an airport on a 3 acre lot, and would like to get a mini to fly it over the trees on my property just for fun.  The Canadian regulations for under 250 grams are kind of vague, and could be reasonably interpreted to mean that anything goes with that size of drone.

Hi, I also live near a small airport and inside a NFZ. I have a Spark since July 2018 and I am able to fly it in my backyard after getting a small unlocked zone around my house. Contact DJI Fly safe for this. The Mavic Mini using GPS will likely be under DJI's NFZ control. Cheers for Kingston.
2019-11-4
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SeanGalbraith
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It appears that DJI's NFZ implementation will be stricter than Transport Canada's requirements for sub250 drones.
2019-11-4
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simplesimon
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ssylca44 Posted at 11-4 14:40
Hi, I also live near a small airport and inside a NFZ. I have a Spark since July 2018 and I am able to fly it in my backyard after getting a small unlocked zone around my house. Contact DJI Fly safe for this. The Mavic Mini using GPS will likely be under DJI's NFZ control. Cheers for Kingston.

Interesting!

So I suppose it would be possible to make this inquiry before making the purchase?
2019-11-4
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djiuser_0sznpSoW5hVC
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ssylca44 Posted at 11-4 13:23
No the Mini is still affected by NFZ

Is your NFZ class C airspace?
2019-11-4
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simplesimon
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djiuser_0sznpSoW5hVC Posted at 11-4 16:25
Is your NFZ class C airspace?

It's class E.  Not a busy airport.
2019-11-4
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ssylca44
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simplesimon Posted at 11-4 15:44
Interesting!

So I suppose it would be possible to make this inquiry before making the purchase?

You would need the Serial Number of the remote to get the authorization. Cheers
2019-11-5
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USS Pretty-Bird (NCC-1702)
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Sub 250g drones in Canada are NOT subject to any of the regulations that pertain to drones over 250g since Transport Canada only has jurisdiction to regulate "Aircraft" which it has defined in the Regulation (same with the FAA rules).  TC has defined these aircraft to be limited to 250g and over.  Unfortunately (?) Geofencing may still prohibit flight within controlled airspace.  
2019-11-6
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fans683f78b4
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Try this from the transport Canada website . Prolly the most accurate to get right from the source .
https://nrc.canada.ca/en/drone-tool/
2019-12-4
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fans683f78b4
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Will help
Screenshot_20191204-164900_Chrome.jpg
2019-12-4
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fans683f78b4
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DJI Paladin Posted at 11-4 12:55
Hi and welcome to DJI Forum. Thank you for choosing DJI and thank you for the inquiry. In compliance with the relevant laws, policies, and regulations for Canada, some GEO Zones will not appear on this web map. Please refer to the DJI GO app for more GEO Zones in effect. As it consumes too much time for mass data uploading, all safe-fly zones may be hidden when zoomed out. For additional reference I will post a link where in you can check the DJI Flysafe Geo Zone Map ( https://www.dji.com/flysafe/geo-map ). Thank you.

This works well
Screenshot_20191204-164900_Chrome.jpg
2019-12-4
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LTE-49
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USS Pretty-Bird (NCC-1702) Posted at 11-6 15:18
Sub 250g drones in Canada are NOT subject to any of the regulations that pertain to drones over 250g since Transport Canada only has jurisdiction to regulate "Aircraft" which it has defined in the Regulation (same with the FAA rules).  TC has defined these aircraft to be limited to 250g and over.  Unfortunately (?) Geofencing may still prohibit flight within controlled airspace.

I wonder if municipal regulations around drones are also based on the Transport Canada definitions.

If a park has "no drone" signs I'd be interested if that refers to drone as defined by transport Canada.
2019-12-5
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6arret
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Your not allowed to fly in Class C airspace unless your have an advanced operator certificate and an SFOC. Even if your drone is under 250 grams you still have to follow Part IX - Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems.  https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/aviation/drone-safety/flying-drone-safely-legally.html
While flying
To keep yourself and others safe, fly your drone:
  • where you can see it at all times
  • below 122 metres (400 feet) in the air
  • away from bystanders, at a minimum horizontal distance of 30 metres for basic operations
  • away from emergency operations and advertised events
    • Avoid forest fires, outdoor concerts and parades
  • away from airports and heliports
    • 5.6 kilometres (3 nautical miles) from airports
    • 1.9 kilometres (1 nautical mile) from heliports
  • outside controlled airspace (for basic operations only)
  • far away from other aircraft
    • Don’t fly anywhere near airplanes, helicopters and other drones


2019-12-5
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6arret
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I would not be flying in Class C airspace. You have IFR and VFR traffic in and out of the airport and Class C tends to be pretty busy airspace. Depending where your park is it could right under an approach or take off zone where you have aircraft flying at low altitudes.
2019-12-5
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Prairie Chicken
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LTE-49 Posted at 12-5 08:37
I wonder if municipal regulations around drones are also based on the Transport Canada definitions.

If a park has "no drone" signs I'd be interested if that refers to drone as defined by transport Canada.

In Saskatoon, a local bylaw prohibits drones in public parks. You can observe all the federal regulations, like keeping the correct distance away from people and roads, but if you're in a public park, it's still illegal. And there are no signs posted.
2019-12-5
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LTE-49
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Prairie Chicken Posted at 12-5 10:06
In Saskatoon, a local bylaw prohibits drones in public parks. You can observe all the federal regulations, like keeping the correct distance away from people and roads, but if you're in a public park, it's still illegal. And there are no signs posted.

My question is:  What definition of "Drone" are they using in that municipal bylaw?
2019-12-5
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djiuser_0sznpSoW5hVC
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6arret Posted at 12-5 08:55
Your not allowed to fly in Class C airspace unless your have an advanced operator certificate and an SFOC. Even if your drone is under 250 grams you still have to follow Part IX - Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems.  https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/aviation/drone-safety/flying-drone-safely-legally.html
While flyingTo keep yourself and others safe, fly your drone:
  • where you can see it at all times

  • This is a pretty old thread and I didn't expect to get response anymore haha. Nevertheless, I've had the mini for awhile now and I after emailing transport canada, we ARE allowed to fly in class C airspace.
    2019-12-5
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    6arret
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    djiuser_0sznpSoW5hVC Posted at 12-5 12:28
    This is a pretty old thread and I didn't expect to get response anymore haha. Nevertheless, I've had the mini for awhile now and I after emailing transport canada, we ARE allowed to fly in class C airspace.

    Can you post the reply from transport? I'm curious to what they said.
    2019-12-6
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    djiuser_0sznpSoW5hVC
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    6arret Posted at 12-6 06:56
    Can you post the reply from transport? I'm curious to what they said.

    Of course! I included 2 images. The first was from their general inquires office who gave me conflicting info on whether we should maintain VLOS (we don't for the mavic mini). The second was direct from a civil aviation safety inspector at the RPAS division of Transport Canada (this is the one I print out and bring with me in case). I also carry with me emails from my local police department, bylaw office, and a copy of the transport canada aeronautics law (highlighted with contact info, definitions etc). You don't have to do that, I'm just nuts. Figured it couldn't hurt. At least for me, when I talked with police, they didn't really know the laws and the site they had up was outdated. But again, I printed out all that stuff just in case haha. Everyone who sees me flying a drone are more interested than anything, which is always nice!

    Basically, UAVs under 250 g in Canada are largely unregulated aside from "use common sense" laws. We still have to follow provincial/municipal laws if applicable. For me, Class C airspace covers like 95% of my city so the mavic mini was an instant buy for me.
    ***i have no idea what happened with the formatting of the pictures. it shows duplicates, sorry!! Maybe a moderator could remove the duplicates.***
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    2.jpg
    2019-12-6
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    Prairie Chicken
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    LTE-49 Posted at 12-5 10:26
    My question is:  What definition of "Drone" are they using in that municipal bylaw?

    That's a good question. The city's website just says that all federal regulations apply, plus flying in public spaces is prohibited. It doesn't say if that also applies to sub-250 gram drones like the Mini.
    2019-12-6
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    LTE-49
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    Prairie Chicken Posted at 12-6 19:18
    That's a good question. The city's website just says that all federal regulations apply, plus flying in public spaces is prohibited. It doesn't say if that also applies to sub-250 gram drones like the Mini.

    That's the thing, the feds have categorized "Drone" as anything over 250 g and "Micro drones" as anything under 250 g.  So if the municipals and provincial laws don't specifically mention Micro Drones then they should need to have a different definition in those bylaws.
    2019-12-6
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    Prairie Chicken
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    LTE-49 Posted at 12-6 20:09
    That's the thing, the feds have categorized "Drone" as anything over 250 g and "Micro drones" as anything under 250 g.  So if the municipals and provincial laws don't specifically mention Micro Drones then they should need to have a different definition in those bylaws.

    Yes, good point. Getting clarification from the local authorities would be a good idea.
    2019-12-7
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    skywriter
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    Transport Canada has publicly confirmed that restriction on where you can fly do not apply to drones weighing less than 250g (link below).

    Part IX of the Canadian Aviation Regulations applies to all Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems, but subparts 1 & 3 - which include all the regs involving registration, hard limits on where you can fly, pilot certificate testing & special flight operations certificates - only apply to RPA systems that include an aircraft with "a maximum take-off weight of at least 250 g (0.55 pounds)."

    To be specific:

    Subpart 1 "applies in respect of the operation of remotely piloted aircraft systems that include small remotely piloted aircraft" where the definition of "small remotely piloted aircraft" is given as "a remotely piloted aircraft that has a maximum take-off weight of at least 250 g (0.55 pounds) but not more than 25 kg (55 pounds)." The word "include" trips some people up here - as if it might "include" aircraft of at least 250g, but maybe others also. Actually, this really just means if your remotely piloted aircraft SYSTEM includes an AIRCRAFT in that weight range (there's a distinction between the system & the aircraft, for instance, so your remote control doesn't towards the weight).

    Subpart 3, prohibits "operations using a remotely piloted aircraft system that includes a remotely piloted aircraft having a maximum take-off weight of 250 g (0.55 pounds) or more" unless you have a "special flight operations certificate" (SFOC), but this subpart puts no limits on drones under 250g. Of course, flying with an aircraft over 25kg is one of the operation types that requires as SFOC, so that's why this subpart is phrased differently.

    Here's the link to Transport Canada's confirmation:

    twitter (dot) com/Transport_gc/status/1197862816159617024
    2019-12-8
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    LTE-49
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    I checked some municipalities around me and can confirm that in the bylaws affecting drones they do actually have different definitions.  One near me bans any "Any Motorized flying apparatus" from public parks.
    2019-12-9
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    Madperk
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    simplesimon Posted at 11-4 13:35
    I have pretty much the same question as the OP.

    I live within the restricted area of an airport on a 3 acre lot, and would like to get a mini to fly it over the trees on my property just for fun.  The Canadian regulations for under 250 grams are kind of vague, and could be reasonably interpreted to mean that anything goes with that size of drone.

    Ok I guess I'm a little grumpy but here goes.  

    The weight of the drone determines if it needs to be registered and if you need to have a license/certification to fly. Just because it is less than 250 grams does not mean you don’t need to be responsible. Irresponsible behavior by the minority is what caused the majority to have more stringent regulations pushed on to them.  

    A 249 gram drone flying at 3000 ft struck by a small airplane could cause some serious damage to the plane. Most of the drone would shatter around the battery which would make a hole in the skin of the plane

    Anything goes is not a reasonable interpretation of the regulations or flying safely. You are still expected to fly safe and follow regulation.  Not doing so can result in some serious trouble.  Go fly your drone over a police car in traffic and see what happens.  When you get in trouble tell them there wrong be cause a 249g drone means you can do what ever you want.  
    2019-12-9
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    djiuser_v0mz8MJpszFU
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    I recently got my Advanced Drone Licence here in Canada.  It's a must if you need to fly a 250g+ drone in controlled airspace, but to fly your drone in that airspace you still need to get approval before your flight.  I recently purchased the Mavic Mini to make things easier.  As long as you don't do anything stupid with it you should be good.  Everyone will do what they want, but I would suggest:

    1.  Don't go over 400 feet AGL
    2.  Don't fly it FPV without a visual observer
    3.  Don't fly it near other aircraft
    4.  Be cautious around people....people love to complain about drones
    5.  Follow the municipal by laws, since they will trump the Part IX in terms of where you can fly your drone.  

    Micro-drones definitely seem be a 'gray area', or perhaps misunderstood area, in terms of the regulations.  But if too many people do stupid things with them (drones under 250g), then Transport Canada will definitely change the weight classification to include the Mini in the future I would think.

    Also, with the DJI geofences, the Fly app does not appear to have all the NFZ in there.  Where I live there are hospitals that do not have their aerodrome listed on there....only the airport seems to show up.  So you still need to be mindful of where you fly.  Use the Drone site selection tool from https://nrc.canada.ca/en/drone-tool/ to get a better idea of where the different controlled airspaces actually are.

    Sounds like soon DJI will release a firmware update that allows you to fly the Mini in controlled airspace.  But for now, if you live near an airport, the DJI software locks you out....even though it shouldn't.
    2019-12-19
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