Drones and Drone Filming on Campus

The Film & Events Office is responsible for managing and approving all drone use requests at UBC.

Drone Filming Requirements

  • All commercial and non-research drone filming requests must be submitted at least 15 business days prior to the filming dates.  

  • All UBC research-related drone use requests must be submitted at least 5 business days prior to the filming dates. 

  • Drone pilots must carry a valid drone pilot certificate and only fly drones that are marked and registered. If you are flying a drone that is less than 250 grams, you do not need to register the drone or get a drone pilot certificate. Visit the Transport Canada website to learn how to obtain a certificate and how to register your drone.  

Drone Use Guidelines

  • There are two categories of drone operation: basic and advanced. Each one has a different set of rules drone pilots must follow. Visit the Transport Canada website to learn more.  

  • A Certificate of Insurance of $5 million with UBC named as additional insured is required.   

  • Filming of students, faculty, and staff for personal use and/or posting to social media is not permitted without the individual's prior written approval.  

  • Flying near student and/or private residents will not be considered.   

  • A flight and safety plan must be provided when you fill out the Drone Filming Request form. This would include the proposed launch and land locations. 

Botanical Garden

  • Drone filming will not be considered on the main entrance side of the Botanical Garden, except for UBC Research. 
  • Drones are only permitted in event areas such as the Contemporary Lawn, Main Lawn, and Amphitheatre. 
  • Drones are not permitted at the Garden Pavilion or Taylor Plaza. 
  • Drones are not permitted at Nitobe Garden.
  • Drone filming is not permitted on the Asian Garden side of the Botanical Garden. 
  • UBC will be required to obtain approval from UBC Botanical Garden management. 

Download map of the Botanical Garden here. 



Flying of drones over and around the Main Sub-station is not permitted. Keep 3 meters away from fencing. 

Flying of drones over and around the Main Sub-station is not permitted.

To keep yourself and others safe, please review and abide by the following:  

  • fly your drone where you can always see it  

  • you can fly at night if you have lights on your drone  

  • fly your drone below 122 meters (400 feet) in the air  

  • fly your drone away from bystanders, at a minimum horizontal distance of 30 meters for basic operations  

  • fly your drone away from emergency operations and advertised events  

  • avoid forest fires, outdoor concerts, and parades  

  • fly your drone 5.6 kilometers (3 nautical miles) from airports 

  • fly your drone 1.9 kilometers (1 nautical mile) from heliports  

  • fly your drone outside controlled airspace (for basic operations only)  

  • fly your drone far away from other aircrafts and drones 

Note: You could face serious penalties, including fines and/or jail time, if you do not follow these safety guidelines.  

If you have other questions about drone filming or about the request form, please contact the Film & Events Office: