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Can I fly my Mini 3 Pro in Old Port Montreal at night?

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Visiting Montreal and staying in the Old Port area August 20-23. Barring any public events (ie. Fireworks), the Drone Pilot Canada app which incorporates the NRCC Drone Site Selection Tool, says that I should be able to fly my Mini 3 Pro in that area.

Are there any City of Montreal Bylaws that prevent flying “any drones” regardless of weight in this area?
 

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Looks like you are not allowed to operate in parks.


Tracking back to the actual bylaws (linked in that article), with amendments, this appears to be the relevant wording:

13. No person visiting or frequenting a park may: …
(15) operate a motorized scale model or a scale model aircraft, unless it is during an activity authorized by the authority having jurisdiction;
 
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from the above.... They talk of as Scale model
What is a Drone a SCALE model of ?
They possibly infer for all miniture moterised aircraft... but they dont literally exclude drones....

So Id go for it...
... and do they 'It didnt say drones' thing... if a problem... LOL
Up to you
 
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I read the "Good Habits to adopt" link and it states:

Do not use drones or motorized models​

To protect the privacy and tranquility of users, it is prohibited to operate a drone for recreational purposes or a motorized model such as a remote-controlled car.

However, when I read the By-Law that governs Montreal parks, that is not exactly what is stated in the By-Law.

A recent amendment from April 25, 2022 added the following prohibition:
(8) adding, after paragraph (13), the following paragraphs:
“(14) behave in a manner that disturbs the peace and tranquility of users;
(15) operate a motorized scale model or a scale model aircraft, unless it is
during an activity authorized by the authority having jurisdiction;

I don't know how they define a "scale model" but I am pretty certain that drones are not scale models of anything. They are drones. And if they intended to prohibit drones, they could have used plain language to prohibit them.

So as far as I am concerned, sub-250g drones are not prohibited in Montreal Municipal Parks.

They are prohibited in Provincial and Federal parks however.

I have annexed the original by-law from 2010 as well as the recent amendments.

And in case you are worried of the consequences, it would be a fine of $100.00 for a first offence.
 

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from the above.... They talk of as Scale model
What is a Drone a SCALE model of ?
They possibly infer for all miniture moterised aircraft... but they dont literally exclude drones....

So Id go for it...
... and do they 'It didnt say drones' thing... if a problem... LOL
Up to you
See my analysis just after you posted. I think we are on the right track!
 
if they intended to prohibit drones, they could have used plain language to prohibit them
They could, but I could easily see them assuming that "scale model aircraft" would include quadcopter drones. Is the French any clearer?

I'm not certain I'd like to try arguing technicalities with Montreal police, given I'm strictly anglophone (and their reputation).
 
They could, but I could easily see them assuming that "scale model aircraft" would include quadcopter drones. Is the French any clearer?

I'm not certain I'd like to try arguing technicalities with Montreal police, given I'm strictly anglophone (and their reputation).
If you read the attached by-laws, you would see that there is a section on "definitions" and there is no definition for "scale model aircraft". I am quite certain that I have applied the law correctly in this case.
 
If yr drone is less than 250 grams then the law in CANADA allows operation provided you conduct your operation safely. The broad term “safely” covers lots of issues and local police or public safety officers could fine you and/or confiscate your drone if in their minds yr not conducting yr operation unsafely.
I operate a couple of drones above 250grams in the Montreal area, I have the advanced pilot certificate and registered drones. I have never had a confrontation with police or public security, in fact any encounters I have had simply generate curiosity and a few laughs. But I always operate within the law and an overabundance of safety.
You should also be aware that we frequently have no-fly NOTAMs that cover 2kms around events. The easiest way to determine if there are active NOTAMs applicable to drones is to access the Nav CANADA NAVdrone App, you can browse the app without registering, I assume this would allow you to see active NOTAMs on the map.
 
If yr drone is less than 250 grams then the law in CANADA allows operation provided you conduct your operation safely. The broad term “safely” covers lots of issues and local police or public safety officers could fine you and/or confiscate your drone if in their minds yr not conducting yr operation unsafely.
I operate a couple of drones above 250grams in the Montreal area, I have the advanced pilot certificate and registered drones. I have never had a confrontation with police or public security, in fact any encounters I have had simply generate curiosity and a few laughs. But I always operate within the law and an overabundance of safety.
You should also be aware that we frequently have no-fly NOTAMs that cover 2kms around events. The easiest way to determine if there are active NOTAMs applicable to drones is to access the Nav CANADA NAVdrone App, you can browse the app without registering, I assume this would allow you to see active NOTAMs on the map.
Hi Ralph,

I fully agree with your post regarding the right to fly sub-250 gram drones in the Montreal area since it is Class C airspace and heavier drones require the proper license to fly.
I invite you to check out the "Drone Use Policy" stated by the authority for the new Champlain Bridge.
Visit their webpage:

They state the following:

Drone use policy​

For recreational purposes:

For health and safety reasons, it is prohibited to use an unmanned air vehicle (UAV), an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) or a drone (hereafter collectively referred to as a “drone”) for recreational purposes above the Samuel De Champlain Bridge and the entire corridor managed by Signature on the Saint Lawrence (SSL), no matter the weight of the drone. If a drone is used in violation of this policy, SSL reserves the right to take all necessary measures, including appropriate legal recourse, to stop this unauthorized use.

Patrollers for the corridor believe that they can order you to cease flying based upon this policy.

I have obtained written confirmation from NavCan that this is not a no-fly zone.

I would be interested in your view on this Drone Use Policy
 
Hi Ralph,

I fully agree with your post regarding the right to fly sub-250 gram drones in the Montreal area since it is Class C airspace and heavier drones require the proper license to fly.
I invite you to check out the "Drone Use Policy" stated by the authority for the new Champlain Bridge.
Visit their webpage:

They state the following:

Drone use policy​

For recreational purposes:

For health and safety reasons, it is prohibited to use an unmanned air vehicle (UAV), an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) or a drone (hereafter collectively referred to as a “drone”) for recreational purposes above the Samuel De Champlain Bridge and the entire corridor managed by Signature on the Saint Lawrence (SSL), no matter the weight of the drone. If a drone is used in violation of this policy, SSL reserves the right to take all necessary measures, including appropriate legal recourse, to stop this unauthorized use.

Patrollers for the corridor believe that they can order you to cease flying based upon this policy.

I have obtained written confirmation from NavCan that this is not a no-fly zone.

I would be interested in your view on this Drone Use Policy
Several points;
1 - the construction of the Champlain bridge is complete so I'm not sure of the validity of that post. Its not illegal to fly over bridges and roads as long as its considered safe, within VLOS and not over people but if the city specifically asks operators not to fly over parks, bridges, events etc then you should restrain from doing so. Expect the police to be more alert to these local bylaws than they might be to the national regulations. You don't want to get on the wrong side of Montreal police.
2 - the OP didn't show flying over the Champlain bridge, its the Jacques Cartier bridge however if the red line is the circuit then the drone would be way beyond VLOS and therefore unquestionably unsafe and illegal. But hopefully it was just an approx. area where the operation was intended. The Jacques Cartier Bridge is lit at night and there have been multiple NOTAMs issued restricting drone use. If a NOTAM is issued it applies to all drones.
3 - there is a very popular VFR circuit goes along the St Laurence river over the Jacques Cartier bridge and 1000 ft is the preferred altitude, beware.
4 - I'm not aware of many cases of prosecution around Montreal, I think most people operate sensibly and in my experience, police and security just ignore operations if they're not bothering anyone.
5 - if someone, anyone asks that the drone not be flown then you should land immediately and go somewhere else. Its common courtesy.
6 - In the end it depends what the operation consists of. If someone is part of a film crew then a SFOC is absolutely necessary. If it's just recreational, then select a safe place, no people around and keep the drone close.
FYI the Nav Drone team have just published the stats on SFOC's granted including foreign operates below
SFOCs issued from January 1st to December 31st, 2022
  • Foreign Operators: 435
  • Special Aviation or Advertised Events: 172
  • Flying In or Near Department of National Defence (DND) Airspace: 56
  • Flying Greater Than 400 Feet: 48
  • Beyond Visual Line-Of-Sight (BVLOS) Operations: 62
  • RPAS Weighing Over 25Kg: 41
 
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If you read the attached by-laws, you would see that there is a section on "definitions" and there is no definition for "scale model aircraft". I am quite certain that I have applied the law correctly in this case.
I did read it.

Are Montreal police willing to engage in legal hairsplitting? Some OPP officers are, but many aren't and will just issue the citation and tell you to argue it in court. And hit you with a citation for 'disturbing the peace and tranquility' as well, just to make something stick.

The absence of a definition means that in the event of an encounter with police who give you a ticket you will get a chance to make that argument in court. Does a scale model have to be representational, or can it just be based on similar principles? When does a "model rocket" become just a "rocket"? Is the word "scale" legally significant? A friend who's a lawyer said that in the absence of case law it would come down to the judge's interpretation of the law, and whether the bylaw was written to exclude drones from regulation.

I'm not a lawyer myself, I just have a friend who is and who's willing to chat about things like this (always with the caveat that while he's a lawyer he's not my lawyer, that this isn't legal advice, and that he isn't licensed to practice in Quebec).
 
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Agree but I’d say if your friend is a good friend he’ll tell you “ don’t get involved in a law suit over a frivolous issue, you don’t want the misery & stress”. Be friendly, humble, apologize and move on. In my experience as a journalist for decades, humble pie wins every time.
 
I’d say if your friend is a good friend he’ll tell you “ don’t get involved in a law suit over a frivolous issue, you don’t want the misery & stress”.
What he says is that even if you win a court case you lose, unless you're so rich that the lawyers fees are inconsequencial.

And for the record, I just had a chat with another friend who's a former cop, with several Ontario police forces. His comment was (roughly) that there's no fornicating way anyone sane would want to argue with a Montreal cop — he actually laughed at the idea that someone would try to argue the law with one.
 
Visiting Montreal and staying in the Old Port area August 20-23. Barring any public events (ie. Fireworks), the Drone Pilot Canada app which incorporates the NRCC Drone Site Selection Tool, says that I should be able to fly my Mini 3 Pro in that area.

Are there any City of Montreal Bylaws that prevent flying “any drones” regardless of weight in this area?
Call Transport Canada, as they are the authority of the skies.

A forum is an awesome place to get information, but make sure you fact check what people tell you.
 
Great insight & recommendations all of you! I am mainly concerned about flying at night barring any NOTAMs restricting flying that evening. Was thinking of launching around 2:00am when things are pretty quiet. I would mostly be over the water taking video & photos of the lit up Old Port. I did want to fly over to the Biosphere in Parc Jean Drapeau.

What are your thoughts?

FYI I did fly my Mini2 back in August of 2020 using the same flight plan & launching from the dirt path just by the railway tracks. My flight did get cut short at the time by an Old Port security guard patrolling the area in a golf cart. He basically told me to pack it in cause in his exact words “the city is closed” which I did without arguing.
 

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Great insight & recommendations all of you! I am mainly concerned about flying at night barring any NOTAMs restricting flying that evening. Was thinking of launching around 2:00am when things are pretty quiet. I would mostly be over the water taking video & photos of the lit up Old Port. I did want to fly over to the Biosphere in Parc Jean Drapeau.

What are your thoughts?

FYI I did fly my Mini2 back in August of 2020 using the same flight plan & launching from the dirt path just by the railway tracks. My flight did get cut short at the time by an Old Port security guard patrolling the area in a golf cart. He basically told me to pack it in cause in his exact words “the city is closed” which I did without arguing.
When security asked you to pack up, it was due to the fact that Municipal Parks close between midnight and 6am.
You should not have to worry about anyone telling you to pack up if you are on public property that is not a park covered by the Municipal By-laws.
And for those who worry about Montreal police, nothing prevents you from politely asking any police officer the reason for the intervention. You don't have to argue with them. I would land and pack up if asked to do so by police, but you are entitled to know the reason for any police intervention.
Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that a police officer would issue an infraction notice without being able to indicate the law that is being applied. They know that any contested infraction notice must be issues by a Municipal prosecutor, who cannot initiate a court case without having a solid legal basis for doing so.
 
Excellent points! A quick Google Search reveals this article that claims that there were new drone laws in March 2023 being implemented by the City of Montreal. On one hand it starts off by saying you cannot fly your drone anywhere in the city yet further reading reveals that you can fly your drone at night as long as you have VLOS! 😂
 
Excellent points! A quick Google Search reveals this article that claims that there were new drone laws in March 2023 being implemented by the City of Montreal. On one hand it starts off by saying you cannot fly your drone anywhere in the city yet further reading reveals that you can fly your drone at night as long as you have VLOS! 😂
I read the article cited above about drone laws in Montreal. I am not sure that it is accurate and it may contain contradictory information.

For example, the author ("Jamie Cole") is cited in many articles about drone laws in various jurisdictions.

These articles appear to be boiler-plate articles with a few modifications, depending on whether you are using drones in Montreal, Panama, New Mexico or Las Vegas.

There is a distinguished lawyer in Toronto named Jamie P. Cole. Could it be the same person?

I guess that I will have to inquire with said attorney to see if these articles are generated by his office.

The above hyperlink article about flying drones in Montreal states:
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Flying Drones In Montreal​

Flying drones in Montreal is strictly prohibited. Many people are unaware of this, but flying drones in Montreal is illegal, and any attempts to do so will result in fines/jail time.

Further on, the article states that it is legal to fly at night:

Can I Fly My Drone At Night?​

Night flying is allowed, but you must have a clear line of sight and be able to see the drone at all times. You must also have permission from whoever owns the land it will be flying over. Night flight can be done without a permit as long as your drone weighs less than 35 kg (77 lbs).
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I am certain that it is not illegal to fly drones in Montreal.

The above citations from the article appear to be contradictory and make no sense. Why allow night flights for drones up to 35kg and prohibit day flights for all other drones?

If an article states that flying drones in certain areas is illegal, it should support the article with reference to any laws that support that prohibition.

Sub-250g drone flights in Montreal are perfectly legal.
 
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That article is absolute BS. Drone flights in Canada fall under the authority of Federal CARS. Cities can enforce bylaws as to what activities are allowed in public parks (many do ban any kind of remote control/powered devices like drones) but they don't have authority over what you can do on the boulevard or outside parks. Further, I don't know of any bylaw infraction that can result in jail time. Those are only outlined by the Criminal Code or Provincial - not city - laws.
 
That article is absolute BS. Drone flights in Canada fall under the authority of Federal CARS. Cities can enforce bylaws as to what activities are allowed in public parks (many do ban any kind of remote control/powered devices like drones) but they don't have authority over what you can do on the boulevard or outside parks. Further, I don't know of any bylaw infraction that can result in jail time. Those are only outlined by the Criminal Code or Provincial - not city - laws.
I want to thank timinator for speaking the truth. The article that I cited above as having contradictory statements appears to be penned by someone apparently (by similarity) using the name of an attorney, and posting such articles in various jurisdictions using boiler plate text. I agree that it's total B-S.
 
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