DJI Drone Help Forum

Are DJI breaking Canadian law?

Hello, I’m new here but not new to drones.

We are a small Canadian company on the bleeding edge, as usual, using drones to map the landscape of commercial and residential sites in preparation for irrigation CAD design, then install. The amount of time we save and the accuracy we get vs. a traditional measurement whether by laser or measuring wheel is the difference between a horse and cart vs. the automobile.

The problem we are having is that although microdrones are permitted to fly ANYWHERE in Canada, and I mean ANYWHERE, we are restricted by DJI from taking off in what they call a “RESTRICTED” zone. We have been battling them for 5 months and have acquired most of the information I need, but I am wondering if anyone knows a good drone lawyer here in Canada. Why? Because DJI aren’t just non compliant with the law, they are breaking it every time they “interfere with an aircraft in flight”. For those of you who are not aware, a drone is considered an “aircraft”, regardless of it’s size, and in the few cases where our drone was airborne and the flight was interrupted by DJI remotely, telling us “landing in 90 seconds”, they have without a doubt broken the law – an extremely serious federal violation.

Now I’m here to start an argument about where we can or cannot fly. I have in my possession 3 emails from Transport Canada telling us we can fly wherever we want (excepting Class F which is essentially irrelevant because that airspace is normally above 2000’). I have a recorded call with the manager of RPAS Canada who explicitly stated we can “land 5 microdrones at the end of the runway” if we wanted to. Of course we don’t do that, but we could, yes Virginia even though it’s private property, and even though it’s an airport and a really dumb thing to do, it is LEGAL. This has been made abundantly clear over the last half year, and I see all kinds of things to the contrary written all over the place, but it’s not true. The liberty the microdrone has is ridiculous and scary, but for the responsible operator, it’s also just common sense.

The problem we have is DJI won’t unlock a “RESTRICTED” zone without authorization from NAV Canada, and NAV Canada actually don’t have jurisdiction to authorize any microdrone, since they are essentially totally unregulated. NAV Canada are sitting on their hands because they aren’t dumb and won’t engage with a Chinese company breaking the law left right and center, but we are left in limbo, losing money by being unable to get authorization to take off by someone we can’t even legally get it from (I’ve already confirmed this rudimentary fact with our lawyer – but he’s not a drone expert). NAV Canada get their authority from a different Act and they can intervene if someone was throwing rocks at an airplane. But we aren’t throwing rocks, and yet they won’t budge.

It took us months to figure out what the heck was going on, and after dozens of iterations with DJI and NAV Canada and Transport Canada, we conclude that we’re stuck in no mans land / between a rock and a hard place.

Another question: I’ve asked DJI repeatedly for the terms of use they set upon us by using the Mavic Mini, but they have categorically ignored that request. Is anyone aware of any terms from DJI that we have overlooked?

thx all.


My best guess is that DJI’s position is that you accept the limitations of the drone as they sell it, and, if you willingly buy it, knowing all those limitations, and your use of it breaks Canadian law for lack of complete pilot control, that’s your problem, not theirs! You are more likely to get the sale of the Mini banned in Canada than to get DJI to change their GEO limitations! Be careful what you ask for!

Maybe, but that is not what I gleaned in my conversation with NAV Canada management. He agreed that we were legit and operating responsibly, but specifically honed in on DJI taking the flight offline as the major reason they have not and will not engage with DJI – because they cannot because the only organization in Canada that can take a drone out of the air, is the RCMP. The military can do it too, but not even generally in Canadian airspace, unless we are at war…

Notice is an important thing in law, and it must be served correctly and maybe even implicitly I don’t know, or it is not valid.

As stated previously, if you push this too far, Canada will ban all DJI aircraft from being sold and flown flown in Canada, “to protect you.” Is that really what you want? DJI won’t budge. On that you can be certain. We have had the same issue in the U.S., ever since DJI decided to take control away from the PIC. No one has succeeded in getting DJI to back down.

You are incorrect DocDJI. We are the responsible ones – we have been told so, as if that would matter to me – it does not.

We are no different than the 3KG drone operator who get’s permission to fly in DJI’s imaginary “restricted” zone because they are licensed pilots. DJI have told us they are sorry they can’t do better with their geo zones because the world is a big place. The irresponsible party here is DJI – so much so, NAV Canada won’t even engage with them. I could give more details, but I won’t out of respect for my conversation with NAV Canada.

I will mention that the “restricted” zone I am talking about is in one case 1.4 km from the airport itself, surrounded by large trees – and we fly under them because an accurate picture of the canopy doesn’t help us install irrigation. Many of the other sites are the same. To say that a microdrone poses a threat to any aircraft in this situation is patently absurd.

We have a legal right to fly in these areas. We are being denied. That is what this thread is about, not to whine that demanding enforcement of what we already have is “going to far”.

You may have a legal “right” to fly there, but if you insist upon doing it with DJI equipment, you are the one responsible for using “illegal” equipment that doesn’t allow you to comply with your legal obligations.

Now you contradict yourself, and you’re derailing this thread. I specifically stated don’t come here to argue where we can or cannot fly. If you want that, go start your own thread, there are lots of them. Besides, you are in the US, so you can just bug out right now.


… as it looks like no one on this forum has anything to offer.

I have not contradicted myself in any way. However, with your condescending attitude, you clearly are not deserving of any help! Sorry I wasted my time trying to help you understand. You simply don’t want to hear that what you are complaining about is a problem of your own making. If you don’t like the way DJI works, buy another brand. No one is forcing you to buy a DJI aircraft if it doesn’t satisfy the legal requirements in Canada! DJI certainly isn’t going to bend to your will. :roll_eyes:

Good god.

“You may have a legal “right” to fly there” vs. “you are the one responsible for using “illegal” equipment”

That is a contradiction.

And a waste of my time and yours.

Are you a shill for DJI?

Perhaps you don’t understand the difference between right to fly and what equipment you CHOOSE to fly which may not be legal, according to what you were told. Clearly not getting through to you. You are on a DJI sponsored website. What are you doing here, if all you really want to do is bash DJI? Who is the troll now? :roll_eyes:

Stop wasting my time and hijacking this thread, which I expressly addressed in my original post.

Resetting this thread.

We absolutely have a legal right to fly because the Mavic Mini is a microdrone.

Interfering with an aircraft in flight is a federal crime in Canada, and by definition, the Mavic Mini is an aircraft.

These are the discussion points. If you can’t stay on topic, then leave and start your own argument on your own thread.

It’s just you, talking to yourself now. Have fun!