Drones and Drone Filming

Thank you for your interest in drone filming at UBC.

NOTE: Read about Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines for filming to January 3, 2021.

The Film & Events Office is responsible for managing and approving all commercial, documentary, educational and student class drone filming requests at UBC.

Use of drones and drone filming on the UBC campus and neighbourhood lands must follow the guidelines from Transport Canada.. 

An aerial photo of Main Mall looking towards the North Shore mountains

Drone Filming Guidelines

Drone filming for commercial and research purposes requires a permit from Transport Canada

All drones or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) with a maximum takeoff weight of 250 grams (g) up to and including 25 kilograms (kg) must be registered.

Drones under 250 g do not need to be registered. Drones over 25 kg also do not need to be registered, but require a Special Flight Operations Certificate instead.

There are two main categories of drone operation - basic operations and advanced operations.  

To keep yourself and others safe:

  • Drowns must be kept in sight at all times without visual aid (binoculars, video feed, etc.
  • Drones must fly below 122 meters (400 feet) in the air .
  • Drones must fly away from bystanders and general public at a minimum horizontal distance of 30 meters (98.4 feet) for basic operations
  • Drones must fly away from emergency operations and events such as outdoor concerts, sporting events unless specifically permitted in the Special Flight Operations Certificate
  • Drones must fly away from other drones
  • Drones must not be flown closer than 75 meters (246 feet) from private residents, student residents, animals, vehicles or other buildings and structures. The drone must not be visible from a private or student residence.  
  • Drones must not be flown within 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) of a forest fire.
  • Drones must not be flown at night or in clouds.
  • A  flight plan and safety perimeter of the drone flight 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.
  • Liability insurance is required for all commercial drone filming
  • Fines will apply for drones are flown where not permitted

Contact Us

Contact the Film & Events Office: