Do you live in Canada or are planning to move there and wonder what are some of the best courses to take to fly a drone within Canada’s airspace effectively? This post is for you.
While there are many other courses you can take, it helps to start with a course that will teach you the local laws and procedures and prepare you for exams that you need to pass to get licensed to fly drones within Canada.
Here are the top Canadian drone courses online:
- AlteX Academy
- Sugu Drones
- Canadian Drone Institute
- Dr Drone
- Aboriginal Training Services
- Iris Automation
- Advanced Drone Services
- Pilot training Online Ground School
- UAV Coach
Please keep reading to learn more about the drone courses you can take in Canada and what they offer.
The Altex Academy is another company designed solely to teach people about drone usage. Yifei Zhao and Alex Shvartsev are the brains behind AlteX. To give you an idea of why you should trust Yifei and Alex, they both have a strong background in filmmaking, especially using drones, and were partners in a company called NTFG Aerial.
They were also some of the first people to introduce drone services in Canada, were the first to introduce Co-axial drones, and have even played a considerable role in assembling drones for companies like Tesla.
Before launching AlteX, Yifei and Alex had partnered with Humber College to offer drone training to real estate agents, engineers, and many other people who may need to use drones in their line of work.
But AlteX came later, in 2016, when they decided that drones shouldn’t be limited to filming, and they launched a fully-fledged drone flight training school.
Besides offering basic and advanced drone training, they also offer equipment-specific training for DJI’s equipment and industry-specific training for Real Estate and Geomatics industries. Their courses start at $59.
Sugu Drones is a leading drone flight school and distributor based in Markham, Ontario, Canada. So, why did Sugu Drones make it to our top list?
Sugu Drones is instrumental in teaching various public organizations about public safety when using drones. These include fire and rescue companies like Central York and Centre Wellington.
Secondly, Sugu is a leading contributor to STEM education, where they empower students to learn how to design, build, and even fly drones.
Thirdly, before you even pay for any of their courses, you can still access free information about flying drones on their YouTube channel.
And to top it all, once you sign up for their drone course, you also get a free radio license, which allows you to communicate over the radio and even understand communications made over the radio by control towers in case of any emergencies.
Below are some of the courses Sugu Drones offers and their costs:
- Basic Pilot Certificate and a Free Drone License – $99 – This course introduces you to the basics of flying a drone and prepares you for the RPAS exam.
- Advanced Pilot Certificate – $495 – If you’d like to fly closer to airports, closer to people, and other flying techniques not allowed in the Basic Pilot Certificate, this is the course to take.
- 24-Month Recency Training in case you’re a little rusty
- Flight Review – $220 – This is a review of your drone flying skills in preparation for the Advanced Pilot Certificate. If you’re taking the Advanced Pilot Certificate course, the flight review package will be included therein.
- Radio License Exam – $85
- Drone Design and Build course – $130
- Remote Sensing $1100– A course that will teach you drone mapping, GIS, and how to collect and interpret various forms of spatial data.
CanDrone provides solutions that help companies integrate drones and robots into their workflow. This includes coming up with a wide range of payloads, customizing drones and ground robots to fit a particular task, and renting out such systems for testing before companies decide to purchase.
Other technologies that they provide alongside the drones include LiDAR and Thermal sensors, which are applicable in crop disease detection, fire fighting, and rescue, as well as surveying and Remote Sensing.
With such a background, it’s easy to see why you would choose to pay for their training. You not only learn the theoretical application of drones, but you get to practice and learn from people who are actually doing it.
Whether you need a Basic License, an Advanced Pilot License, or an SFOC, CanDrone will teach you everything you need to know.
Below are some of the online courses they offer and their prices:
- UAV RPAS Online Training – $200
- Flight Review Canadian Drone License and Booking – $149 and $200, respectively.
They also offer a wide range of outdoor courses when you want to advance your drone flying skills.
Canadian Drone Institute
Unlike Sugu Drones or CanDrone, which started as drone service companies, the Canadian Drone Institute is primarily a training institution.
Started by retired airline pilots, the Canadian Drone Institute aims to teach you all you need to know about using a drone within the Canadian airspace. Recently, they even ventured into teaching BLVOS flying.
If you’re not aware, BVLOS is one of the trends in the drone industry where drones will be allowed to fly beyond the line of sight, making them more applicable in more industries where flying within VLOS limits their usage. Their courses are offered online and are self-paced, allowing you all the flexibility you need to complete them.
Their courses and prices include:
- Transport Canada Basic Flight Training – $85
- Advanced Flight Training – $465.95
- Advanced Flight Certificate – $289.95
- Non-resident Advanced Certificate and SFOC – $289.95
- Flight Review – $199
Coastal Drone comprises a team of instructors with a background in flying airline planes, helicopters, and drones.
They understand the need for drone pilots to understand the law and safety requirements, which is necessary to succeed in their drone business. That’s why they launched Coastal Drones to teach aspiring drone pilots the fundamentals of flying drones in Canada and teach them various ways they can use drones to solve real-world problems.
If you’re only planning to learn how to fly drones for personal use, you can enroll in their micro-drones course that will teach you how to get the most use out of small drones like the DJI Mavic Mini series. And guess what? This course is free.
But for basic, advanced, and industry-specific training and certification, you’ll need to enroll in their professional courses, which start at $95.
DR Drone is another leading drone service provider in Canada that has also ventured into training. For starters, DR. Drone is authorized by DJI to conduct all kinds of repairs, including drop damage, water damage, user errors, and many more.
Secondly, they are an authorized store for DJI drones, which means that once you complete your training, you can get a DJI drone for them, whether a hobby drone or a professional drone.
Thirdly, DR. Drone has trained various companies about drone safety, including Halifax Fire, Natural Resources Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and learning institutions such as Dalhousie University.
DR. Drone partnered with Aerovision Canada to offer a wide range of courses for hobbyists and professional drone users. Below are some of them and their costs.
- Equipment Specific Training – Varies
- Flight Review – $225
- RPAS Ground School Prep Course – Varies
They also offer in-person courses to institutions, government agencies, and individuals who need hands-on training.
In-Flight is another leading drone services provider in Canada. They specialize in using drones to collect data, analyze, and report for better decision-making for drones in sectors like Agriculture, Public Safety, Forestry, Energy and Utility, Search and Rescue, and Municipal Operations.
Their operations, especially BVLOS operations, have seen them break the Guinness world record of the furthest BVLOS drone flight by flying 414 km. With such a background, In-Flight is perfect for anyone who wants to pass the Advanced exam and get certified to fly in controlled airspace.
01R not only prepares you for the Transport Canada exam to get your license, but they also go ahead to teach how exactly drones fit in surveying and mapping. 01R was started and is run by Paul Bennett, an experienced drone pilot and instructor who has trained more than 4,000 pilots.
And the fact that his drone flight training school is listed on Transport Canada’s website shows that he has made a name for himself in the drone training world. Some of the courses listed on the website include:
- Pix4D Survey – $200
- Mapping Essentials + Pix4D – $1,000
- Survey and Mapping with Pix4D – $800
- Drone Mapping and Survey Fundamentals – $500
Aboriginal Training Services
This is another online drone training service recommended by Transport Canada. While Aboriginal Training Services doesn’t offer industry-specific training, they are well-equipped to prepare you for the Basic and Advanced drone pilot exams.
This is thanks to their partnership with airline pilots, helicopter pilots, and many other stakeholders with a strong background in the aviation industry. Aboriginal Training Services offers both online courses and in-person courses.
But even the in-person classes can be delivered through Zoom if you can’t make it there physically.
Their charges are as follows:
- Basic Exam preparation – $99
- Advanced Exam preparation – $249
Advanced Drone Services
Advanced Drone Services offers a one-stop shop for training, flight reviews, and drone photography services. Based in Ontario, Canada, Advanced Drone Services understands the importance of taking photos from a bird’s eye perspective and how drones can help.
Advanced Drone Services course is more inclined to photography, but first, they’ll make sure you understand the following fundamentals:
- Legal requirements to fly a drone in Canada.
- Risk assessment and determining when and when not to fly an RPAS in Canada.
- Conducting pre-flight activities like reading aeronautical charts, site surveys, property permission, ATC coordination, checking the UAV for damage, how to get weather information, etc.
- Radio operations that adhere to Canada’s aeronautical protocol.
Once you sign up on their website, you’ll also have access to free Resources and news about drones.
Remember when I mentioned BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line Of Sight) is what we are now looking forward to? Now you’ll be glad to know that Iris Automation specializes in BVLOS.
Unlike flying within visual line of sight where you have to see the drone at all times, BVLOS allows the drone to travel further, making them applicable for transport and delivery, among other applications.
But a standard drone can’t fly too far since most of them are limited to a few miles range. And that’s where Iris Automation comes in.
They provide mechanisms such as the Casia Long Range to extend your drone’s range, training, and customization to make sure your BVLOS operations within Canada adhere to Transport Canada’s stipulated regulations.
Pilot Training Online Ground School
While they are pretty small in size, some aspects of drone operation are similar to those of larger planes. That’s why the Pilot Training Ground School, a popular pilot training institution, has also ventured into RPAS training.
Some of the courses they teach within the training include:
- Air Law
- Propulsion systems
- Human Factors
- Theory Of Flight
Also, if you’re moving from the United States and have the FAA Part 107 Drone Pilot’s License, this institution can help convert it to Canada’s drone pilot certificate.
Even better, they have an Android and iOS app that allows you to access the course materials from anywhere on your mobile device.
While this is an article about top Canadian online drone schools, it doesn’t hurt to include at least one with a broader scope. And UAV Coach fits that description.
Since drone regulation is pretty recent in Canada, you may not find as many resources locally. But, UAV Coach has been around for longer. They have tons of free information and paid courses, including drone law about specific regions, including Canada, to product reviews and how-to videos.
Their paid training includes the Drone Flight Ground School and Virtual Drone Coaching, all of which have several training videos as well as tips on setting up, calibrating, and even troubleshooting a drone.
How hard is the Advanced Drone Exam Canada?
Most students, especially beginner pilots, reported the Advanced exam as quite complex. The pass mark is usually 80%, but some had to take it at least more than once.
Besides the course material you study in drone training schools, you also need to conduct your research. You can also consult those who’ve passed previous exams.
How do I get certified to fly a drone in Canada?
You first need to take a course with an authorized drone flight school to get certified. Secondly, take the basic exam on Transport Canada’s official website.
Once you pass, you will be issued a certificate which you can download. But for an Advanced operations certificate, you’ll need to complete an online exam, get a flight review, and then apply for the certificate.
What drone license do I need in Canada?
To fly a drone weighing between 250 grams and 25 kg in Canada, you must get a drone pilot certificate.
How much does a drone pilot license cost in Canada?
The costs range from $50 to $500 depending on the institution you study with and what’s included in their curriculum.
Can I fly my drone in my backyard in Canada?
Yes, you can. But first, you need to register and get a basic drone pilot certificate. You also need to make sure you don’t pose any danger to people by flying at least 30 meters away from them, at least 5 km from airports, within visual line of sight, and not more than 400 feet (122 meters) above the ground.
While drone regulations are quite recent in Canada, several drone flight schools have been started where you can learn more about drone flight and get your drone pilot certification training.
Some will only prepare you for the Basic or Advanced exams, while others go further to teach you industry-specific skills.
It all depends on what you want to use the drones for. If you want to fly in your backyard or just for fun, the Basic drone pilot certificate and some basic drone photography skills are enough.