Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), also known as drones, are used more frequently in film production and live events. According to current TCCA regulations, drones must stay below 122 metres (400 feet) and be flown by someone with a pilot’s license. Anything higher than that is regulated airspace and not allowed.

Drones require special consideration

Insurance companies may issue policies to cover liability and physical damage to or caused by drones – however, the following information needs to be clarified and submitted to insurance companies to start the process:

  • Does the owner/operator have proper authorization
  • What are the capabilities and fail-safe methods of the specific drone model being used?
  • What are the operator's/remote pilot's qualifications?
  • How is the drone being used?
  • Where will the drone be used?
  • Is a drone allowed for this type of event?

If a large amount of filming is planned, consider purchasing a non-owned aviation policy to further protect the production company or business. 

Safety always comes first

Drone safety protocols are important and should be strictly adhered to at all times. Choose systems with built-in drone safety features such as automatic return home for low batteries, lost communication back-up or high winds manoeuvring capacity. Conduct a pre-flight visual and operational check, including checking the communications link between the UAS and the control station, to ensure the UAS is safe for flight. Additionally, drone pilots must carry a valid drone pilot certificate.

Contact HUB before you consider a drone for filming or aerial photography so we can advise you on the necessary coverage for your project.

Always adhere to the following:

  • Fly below 122 metres (400 feet).
  • Fly at least 5.6 kilometres away from the nearest airport and 1.9 kilometres from the nearest heliport.
  • Fly during daylight hours or in well-lit locations.
  • Maintain direct sight of the drone
  • Ensure the UAS weighs less than 25 kilograms including payloads.
  • Do not operate over any persons not directly participating in the operation, not under a covered structure, or not inside a covered stationary vehicle.
  • Do not operate drone from a moving vehicle. 
  • Avoid manned aircraft and never operate in a careless or reckless manner. 
  • Remain familiar with the Canadian Aviation Regulations, and consult with Transport Canada for the most updated information.
  • Know the local provincial and municipality laws regarding drone usage in the area you will be filming.

HUB Entertainment Industry Solutions is your risk solutions partner for the entertainment industry. As expert advisors, HUB is able to leverage industry knowledge and risk specific coverage for film & TV production, music & touring, live events, theatre, venues, video gaming and business management.