Use of Drones on Campus

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

Please follow these steps prior to drone use:   

  1. Review the requirements and guidelines on this page (see below)  
  2. Complete the Drone Filming and Drone Use Request Form  


Drone Filming Requirements  

  • All drones being flown on campus (regardless of the size of the drone or purpose of flying the drone) must be approved by UBC and a request form should be completed. 

  • Drone use requests for commercial and personal use must be submitted at least 10 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.   


Drone Safety (source: Transport Canada)  

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: