The Ultimate Guide to Canada’s Drone Pilot Exams!

The Ultimate Guide to Canada’s Drone Pilot Exams!

Flying a drone in Canada? Before you let your device soar into the blue expanse, you need to familiarize yourself with Transport Canada's regulations. With the rise in drone usage, Canada has implemented two crucial exams for all budding drone pilots - the Small Basic Exam and the Small Advanced Exam. Here’s a deep dive into everything you should know.

1. The Two Key Exams: Small Basic & Small Advanced

Small Basic Exam

Targeted For: Those aiming to fly in uncontrolled airspace, keeping a safe distance from bystanders.

Coverage: Fundamental drone flying principles.

Small Advanced Exam

Targeted For: Pilots wishing to operate in controlled airspace or closer to people.

Coverage: Comprehensive drone knowledge, encompassing advanced flying practices and regulations.

2. The Significance of These Exams

The sky isn't just for birds anymore! With drones becoming increasingly popular, it’s vital to ensure that Canadian airspace remains safe. These exams are designed to validate that every drone pilot has adequate knowledge to operate responsibly.

3. Why Every Drone Pilot Should Get Certified

Legal Compliance: 

Fly with confidence, knowing you're on the right side of the law.

Professional Edge: 

Stand out in industries like aerial cinematography or drone delivery with a recognized certification.

Safety Assurance: 

Understanding drone operations ensures you and everyone around stay safe.

4. Exam Syllabus & Prep Tips

Small Basic Exam Syllabus:

Air laws & traffic rules.
Basic navigation.
Introductory Meteorology.
General drone knowledge.

Prep Pointers:

Study Up: Transport Canada’s guide is an excellent starting point.

Mock Tests: Familiarize yourself with online practice questions.

Small Advanced Exam Syllabus:

All Basic exam topics, plus.
In-depth air navigation.
Advanced flight operations.
Emergency drills.

Prep Pointers:

Deep Dive: Refer to Transport Canada's advanced study resources.

Hands-On Training: Post-exam, undertake a flight review with an accredited flight reviewer.

5. Exam Dynamics: Duration & More

Small Basic: 1 hour, encompassing 35 multiple-choice queries.

Small Advanced: A 90-minute challenge with 50 multiple-choice questions.

6. The Objectives Behind the Exams

Transport Canada's primary goal is clear skies and safe operations. The exams ensure:

1. Robust safety measures.

2. Minimized mishaps between drones and traditional aircraft.

3. Comprehensive understanding among pilots.

7. No Exam? No Legal Flying!

Avoid the pitfall! Flying drones weighing between 250 grams and 25 kilograms in Canada without passing one of these tests is illegal.

8. Exam Costs & Passing Criteria

Small Basic Exam: At a modest CAD $10, you’ll need to score at least 65%.

Small Advanced Exam: Another CAD $10, with a steeper pass mark of 80%.


Embarking on your drone journey in Canada is exciting, but certification is pivotal. Transport Canada's comprehensive exams ensure a uniform knowledge base among all drone pilots, fostering a safer environment for everyone.

Official Source: For a deep dive into the details and updates, always anchor to the official Transport Canada Drone Safety page.

So, drone enthusiasts, gear up, study hard, and take to the skies with confidence and knowledge!

This article aims to be a comprehensive guide, but always consult official sources or professionals for specific advice.

If you loved this article, we suggest reading our this article too for in depth knowledge on Drone Registration in Canada: The Ultimate Guide to Drone Registration in Canada: A Step-By-Step Process Explained!

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