Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.
In March 2017, Transport Canada implemented new regulations that imposed significant new restrictions on the recreational use of drones, also known as unmanned air vehicles. The changes highlight the perceived risk of drone usage and reflect the higher level of public policy concerns around safety risks and privacy concerns.
In June 2017, Transport Canada further revised “recreational use” regulations in response to public pressure; clearly, the law pertaining to drone usage is evolving.
Drone usage has increased as part of marketing efforts of REALTORS® seeking to provide listing clients, as well as potential buyers, with better service and access to helpful information on listings through aerial video of listed properties.
REALTORS® should be mindful of legal issues of drone usage, including:
- The Special Flight Operations Certificates generally required by Transport Canada to operate drones for commercial purposes (like selling real estate), and
- Privacy laws, Criminal Code issues and civil liability for property or personal injury risks.
It may be best to deal with credible licensed drone operators to source aerial footage of listings or, in the alternative, seek legal advice if you wish to use your own drone for marketing purposes.
More information from BCREA about commercial drone usage, requirements and penalties is available on REALTOR Link®: http://bit.ly/2fw1zqW. (members only)
The Canadian Real Estate Association has also prepared a document called Drones FAQ: http://bit.ly/2hKgyya. (members only)