Transport Canada Drone Exam

Transport Canada Drone Exam

Flying a drone (RPAS) in Canada that weighs more than 250 grams up to and including 25 Kilograms, requires the operator to possess a Drone Pilot Certificate. Obtaining one from Transport Canada is relatively simple by completing a short online exam depending on the drone license you are looking to obtain. It should be noted that Transport Canada recommends attending a Drone Flight School prior to taking the exam to ensure you have the knowledge and skills not just to pass the exam but also to be a safe RPAS pilot. Lucky for you Level Flight offers an online ground school for aspiring drone pilots. 

Which exam should you take? 

There are currently two Transport Canada drone exams available for aspiring pilots. which exam you require depends on the type of operations you wish to conduct. Basic operations or Advanced operations. If you don’t already know which of these you will be operating under check out the FAQ at the end of this article for easy guidance on the difference between the two types of RPAS operations.

If you have determined that you will be conducting basic operations you need to complete the Small Basic Exam. If you are conducting, or think in the future you will conduct advanced operations you are required to complete the Small Advanced exam, then complete a flight review with an authorized person. 

Online Transport Canada Drone Exam

Both the Small Basic, and Small Advanced exams are done online through the Transport Canada Drone Website and cost $10 each. Transport Canada publishes a document called Knowledge Requirements for Pilots of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (TP15263) which provides details about what knowledge is required in order to pass the exam and safely operate your drone. Level Flight Drone Flight School courses comply with this document and will prepare you for the exam.

Eligibility

  • 14 years or older for the Small Basic Exam
  • 16 years or older for the Small Advanced Exam

Small Basic Exam

  • 35 multiple-choice questions
  • 90 minutes to complete the exam
  • Passing score of 65%
  • If you fail the exam you must wait 24 hours before re-taking it. There is no limit to the number of times you can retake the exam
  • Results are immediately provided

Small Advanced Exam

You must pass this exam AND your flight review to obtain a Pilot Certificate for Advanced Operations. If you pass this exam but have not yet completed the flight review you may only conduct Basic Operations

  • 50 multiple-choice questions
  • 60 minutes to complete the exam
  • Passing score of 80%
  • If you fail the exam you must wait 24 hours before re-taking it. There is no limit to the number of times you can retake the exam
  • Results are immediately provided
  • When you book your flight review you will be required to provide the reference number from your exam so ensure you keep it handy. 

Set Yourself Up for Successful RPAS Flying

As a member of the Canadian aviation community, you now have a responsibility to keep the skies safe. By learning how to properly operate your specific drone, becoming knowledgeable of the rules and regulations, and practicing your skills you will be a welcomed addition to our community. 

The best way to get up to speed on everything you need to know to safely operate your drone and pass the exam is by taking a Level Flight ground school course. Reach out to us today to learn more!

A Pilot Certificate for Basic Operations allows you to:

  • Fly in uncontrolled airspace
  • Fly at least 30 meters (100 feet) horizontally from bystanders
  • Never fly over bystanders
  • Fly at least 3 nautical miles from a certified airport or a military aerodrome
  • Fly at least 1 nautical mile from a certified heliport

If you operate outside of any of these 5 limitations then you need to hold an advanced RPAS license for advanced operations. 

As a basic RPAS operator, your responsibilities include:

  • Registering your drone with Transport Canada before taking flight for the first time
  • Ensuring your drone is marked with its registration number
  • Successful  completion of the Small Basic Exam
  • Be ready to produce your Pilot Certificate - Basic Operations and proof of registration any time you fly

A Pilot Certificate for Advanced Operations allows you to do a lot more than Basic Operations. Flights conducted under any of the following is considered Advanced and require a Pilot Certificate for advanced operations. 

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

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

As an advanced RPAS operator, your responsibilities include:

  • Registering your drone with Transport Canada before taking flight for the first time
  • Ensuring your drone is marked with its registration number
  • Ensuring your drone contains an appropriate Safety Declaration for the intended operation
  • Successful completion of the Small Advanced Exam
  • Successful completion of a flight review with a flight reviewer
  • Be ready to produce your Pilot Certificate - Advanced Operations and proof of registration any time you fly
  • Obtaining the required permission from air traffic control (Nav Canada or the Department of National Defence) to operate in controlled airspace. This would be done by requesting an RPAS Flight Authorization from Nav Canada
  • Ensuring the flight is conducted within the operational limits of the drone.

Note: A Pilot Certificate - Advanced Operations qualifies you to conduct basic RPAS operations as well. 

If you are operating a drone over 25 kilograms you will require special permission from Transport Canada before you fly. 

Take Flight Now

Level Flight is Canada’s best online ground school. It is our mandate to provide higher quality, more engaging training for Canadian Student Pilots. If you are seeking the exhilarating freedom of flight for a hobby or with aspirations of a career in the skies, Level Flight offers the best ground school experience available. Sign up for our online learning platform now and discover the adventure that awaits you at Level Flight. 

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