In search and rescue (SAR) operations, the key to success often lies in detecting the invisible. The DJI Mavic 3 Thermal stands out in its ability to uncover individuals through their body heat in difficult terrains and poor visibility conditions.

Thermal imaging has become an essential tool for law enforcement agencies worldwide in detecting and tracking. These cameras are highly accurate, versatile, and effective at detecting small, fast-moving objects at low altitudes.

A thermographic inspection is either an interior or exterior survey. Interior scans are more common, because warm air escaping from a building does not always move through the walls in a straight line.

Using drones to calculate stockpile measurements makes it easy to compare your current stockpile volumes to previous surveys and track site progress.

All objects with temperatures above absolute zero (0 Kelvin) can be seen using a thermal sensor. Use cases include surveillance and security, infrastructure inspections, water source identification, livestock detection and heat signature detection.

The thermal cameras are also extremely useful during the mop up stage of a fire, when it is extremely important for ground crews to locate and extinguish hot spots along the fireline, insuring that further spread of the fire is prevented.

Thermal cameras see through smoke making it easy to identify where exactly where fires are. This greatly improves fire fighter safety while providing a swifter attack response.

Curious about laws and rules for both sub 250g and over? We will try to answer some of your questions here.

sub 250g
Micro drones no license required.
plus 250g
Drones over 250g, license required.
Privacy Laws
Privacy laws in Canada for drone use.
Laws to all Drones
Laws regardless of Drone size.
Quick Questions and Answers.
General questions and answers.
  • Transport Canada 900.06

A drone weighing under 250g does not require the operator to have a pilot certification. However, there is one rule that still applies! CAR 900.06 Applies to all remotely piloted aircraft, and basically says: “do not fly your aircraft in a manner which could cause a hazard to people in the air or on the ground.”

  • The addition of an extended life battery can put your drone over the 250g weight, a license would be required and the drone would have to be registered.
  • The Aeronautics Act and Canadian Aviation Regulations classify micro-drones as aircraft, thus requiring authorization prior to entering any of the following zones:
    • Class F Special Use Restricted Airspace
    • Areas with a NOTAM issued for Forest Fire Aircraft Operating Restrictions
    • Any spaces where Section 5.1 of the Aeronautics Act limits all aircraft use.
    • 5.1 The Minister or any person authorized by the Minister may by notice prohibit or restrict the operation of aircraft on or over any area or within any airspace, either absolutely or subject to any exceptions or conditions that the Minister or person may specify, if, in the opinion of the Minister or person, the prohibition or restriction is necessary for aviation safety or security or the protection of the public.

Drone pilots must follow the rules in the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs). Part IX – Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems contains most of the rules that apply to drones up to 25 kilograms. You should read these regulations in full before you fly your drone for the first time.

Drone pilots must carry a valid drone pilot certificate and only fly drones that are marked and registered. If you are flying a drone that is less than 250 grams, you do not need to register the drone or get a drone pilot certificate.

Drone pilots must always carry a valid drone pilot certificate while operating their drone. A valid drone pilot certificate is a printed or electronic document issued by Transport Canada. No other form of certification will be accepted.

Privacy laws may not mention drones by name but these laws do apply to pictures, videos or other information collected by a drone. It’s important for you to be aware of privacy rules when flying.

Some violations of a person’s privacy may go beyond privacy laws and may be offences that result in charges. This includes using drones in a way that could be:

  • voyeurism
  • mischief
  • creating a nuisance
  • violations of provincial or municipal laws

You’re responsible for knowing all the laws that may apply to your drone use.

  • It is prohibited to fly any size drone over emergency sites.

How we fight wildfires |

  • Advanced and Basic drone operations… and the difference between them

Drone operations in Canada are separated into two categories, basic and advanced. So how do you tell which is which?

Basic drone operations

If you meet all 5 of these conditions, you’re conducting basic operations:

  • You fly it in uncontrolled airspace
  • You fly it more than 30 meters (100 feet) horizontally from bystanders
  • You never fly it over bystanders
  • You fly it more than 3 nautical miles from a certified airport or a military aerodrome
  • You fly it more than 1 nautical mile from a certified heliport

If even a single 1 from these 5 qualifications are not met, you’re considered to be conducting advanced operations.

There are also certain rules you must follow if you want to perform basic operations.

  • register your drone under TCCA
  • mark your drone with a registration number
  • pass the small basic exam (you can take it online)
  • show your Pilot Certificate for Basic Operations proof of registration upon flying

Advanced drone operations

If you meet any 1 of these conditions, you are conducting advanced operations:

  • You want to fly in controlled airspace
  • You want to fly over bystanders
  • You want to fly within 30 meters (100 feet) of bystanders (measured horizontally)
  • You want to fly less than 3 nautical miles from a certified airport or a military aerodrome
  • You want to fly less than 1 nautical mile from a certified heliport

Similarly, there are certain rules you must follow to in order to perform advanced operations:

  • register your drone with TCCA
  • mark your drone with registration number
  • pass the small advanced exam (see previous link attached above)
  • pass the flight review offered in drone flight schools
  • show your Pilot Certificate – Advanced Operations proof of registration upon flying
  • request an RPAS Flight Authorization from air traffic control agencies like NAV CANADA in order to fly in controlled airspace (to know more about Canadian airspace class, click here).

fly only within the operational limits of your drone

  • Who can ask to see my license? Answer: Only an RCMP, Bylaw Officer, Border Agent or TC Inspector can legally ask for proof of licensing. You are requested though to be polite and considerate to people asking to see your license.
  • How old must you be to obtain an Basic license? Answer: 14 but can fly with a licensed pilot.
  • How old must you be to obtain an Advanced license? Answer: 16
  • How much airspace do I own over my property? Answer: In Canada you own as much as you can physically use.
  • I don’t understand the 400ft above ground law. Answer: Transport Canada describes this as the actual distance from directly under the drone to ground. Transport Canada, the regulatory body for drone operations, stipulates a maximum altitude of 400 feet Above Ground Level (AGL) for drone flights in Canada. This altitude restriction ensures the safety of manned aircraft operations. Staying within this limit is mandatory for recreational and non-recreational drone pilots unless special authorization is obtained. Furthermore, this altitude restriction serves to maintain a safe buffer between drones and manned aircraft. Lets put it this way, if you tie a 120M (400ft) string on the bottom of your drone if it ever is not touching the ground technically you are in violation.
  • Can I shoot down a drone over my property? Answer: A drone is a federal aircraft plain and simple. Same laws apply as if shooting down any other aircraft. It is illegal to shoot a drone out of the sky, even when the drone is flying over private property.
  • Fines for individuals

    • up to $1,000 for flying without a drone pilot certificate – plus 250g.
    • up to $1,000 for flying unregistered or unmarked drones- plus 250g.
    • up to $1,000 for flying where you are not allowed – CAR 900.06 applies here for micro drones sub 250g.
    • up to $3,000 for putting aircraft and people at risk – CAR 900.06 applies here for micro drones sub 250g.