Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

UNBC recognizes that the use of UAVs / Drones has increased for personal, commercial, and research purposes.  The use of UAVs falls under the Canadian Aviation Regulations and the regulations differ depending upon the weight of the device, the equipment attached, and its intended purpose.  Operators of UAVs must also adhere to privacy legislation and use the aircraft safely and legally which means they cannot be flown closer than 150 metres from people, animals, buildings, structures, or vehicles.

Use of UAVs and Applicable Regulations

  • UAVs with a maximum takeoff weight not exceeding 1 kilogram (must be operated within a visual line of sight). Transport Canada exemption sections 602.41 and 603.66 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations apply.
  • UAVs with a maximum takeoff weight exceeding 1 kilogram but not exceeding 25 kilograms, with a maximum calibrated airspeed of 87 knots or less, that are operated within visual line of sight.  Transport Canada exemption sections 602.41 and 603.66 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations.
  • UAVs with a takeoff weight exceeding 25 kilograms or a smaller UAV that is operating outside the terms and conditions of the 2 exemptions above are required to have a Special Flight Operations Certificate. These devices are regarded as aircraft and fall under responsibility of Facilities Management.

UNBC Research or Business Use

For any UAV owned or operated for University business the UAV must be registered and an exemption applied for its use.  Proof of insurance and indemnity requirements are part of the application process.  Only UAV’s that are the property of the University of Northern British Columbia or those that are formally leased/loaned to the University under contract with another company may be used for these purposes.  Privately owned UAV’s cannot be covered by the University’s insurance.

  1. Register the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or drone with Risk & Safety Management.
  2. Complete a Field Hazard Assessment.
  3. Risk & Safety Management will then register the UAV and apply for the appropriate exemption for its operation and use.
  4. A certificate of insurance will then be provided that must be carried by the pilot of the UAV at all times while the UAV is in use.

Other Persons Wanting to Fly a UAV over UNBC Property

Any other person wanting to fly a UAV over UNBC property must apply to Risk & Safety Management and receive authorization prior to flight operations.  The online External Operator Application form helps with this process.