tel: 905-525-2181

HCA Guidelines for Drone Permits

Hamilton Conservation Authority Guidelines for Drone Permits

Please note: permits for personal usage of drones will not be issued at this time, only for commercial or professional photography on a very limited basis.  Hamilton Conservation Authority does not permit personal drone usage in any Conservation area for the safety of its visitors.


1. Any person wishing to fly a drone on HCA lands must have permission granted by the HCA. A user agreement and liability insurance in the amount of $2 million naming the HCA as additional insured will be required.

2. Permit approvals will be granted by Gord Costie, Director of Conservation Area Services or Bruce Harschnitz, Manager of Conservation Area Services with the consultation of Conservation Area Superintendents.  The main office phone number is 905-525-2181.

3. Persons flying a drone must adhere to Transport Canada’s regulations for recreational drone use. Recreational drone use is done for fun and the drone weighs between 250g and up to 35 lbs. If drone users fly where you are not allowed or choose not to follow any of the rules below, they could face fines of up to $3,000. Do not fly your drone:

  • higher than 90 m above the ground
  • closer than 75 m from buildings, vehicles, vessels, animals, people/crowds, etc.
  • closer than nine km from the centre of an aerodrome (any airport, heliport, seaplane base or anywhere that aircraft take-off and land)
  • within controlled or restricted airspace
  • within nine km of a forest fire
  • where it could interfere with police or first responders
  • at night or in clouds
  • if you can’t keep it in sight at all times
  • if you are not within 500 m of your drone
  • if your name, address, and telephone number are not clearly marked on your drone.

4. Persons flying a drone for work or research use, including commercial photography must have Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) from Transport Canada AND permission from the HCA. All drone users should research up to date drone regulations with Transport Canada to ensure compliance with regulations and to avoid potential conflicts or fines. Photography permit fees may apply.


Please forward any questions or concerns regarding drone usage on HCA lands to:
Hamilton Conservation Authority
P.O. Box 81067
838 Mineral Springs Rd.
Ancaster, Ontario   L9G 4X1
Phone: 905 525-2181
Email: nature@conservationhamilton.ca