Transport Minister Marc Garneau speaks about passenger rights during a news conference at the airport in Ottawa, Monday December 17, 2018. Anyone flying a drone in Canada will have to pass an online exam and get a pilot’s certificate under new rules to be announced today by Garneau. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Drone operators subject to age limit, certification under new federal rules

The new regulations, which come into effect June 1, apply to all drone operators

Anyone flying a drone in Canada will have to pass an online exam and get a pilot’s certificate under new rules to be announced today by federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau.

The new regulations, which come into effect June 1, apply to all drone operators, whether they fly for fun, work or research.

READ MORE: London’s Heathrow briefly halts flights due to drone report

Operators will be required to register their drones and mark them with the registration number. A minimum age limit of 14 for basic operations and 16 for advanced will be introduced.

Pilots will have to keep their aircraft below 122 metres — 400 feet — above ground level and stay away from air traffic.

The new rules, which cover drones weighing between 250 grams and 25 kilograms, are aimed at countering a growing trend of drone incursions into space reserved for air travel. Violators could be subject to fines of up to $25,000 and prison.

READ MORE: Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Transport Canada has documented a spike in the number of incidents posing a risk to aviation safety in recent years. The number of reported incidents more than tripled to 135 in 2017 from 38 when data collection began in 2014.

The Canadian Press

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