October 18, 2017

Drone Collision Draws Reaction


Canada has the dubious distinction of recording the first verified collision between a drone and a commercial aircraft and Transport Minister Marc Garneau isn’t happy about it.

A small drone hit a Skyjet aircraft on approach to Jean Lesage Airport in Quebec City Oct. 12 and Garneau issued a statement on Oct. 15 saying drone operators had better follow the rules.

“I would like to remind the public that all drone users are required to abide by the Canadian Aviation Regulations, including the Interim Order Respecting the use of Model Aircraft. Transport Canada encourages all drone users to learn about the rules and to consult the wide variety of educational tools available on our website.”

The incident occurred as the government gets ready to finalize regulations on the use of small drones, including proximity to airports and gatherings of people.

COPA submitted comments last week on the proposed regulations and among its recommendations were exclusion zones for various types of aerodromes.

Writing rules and having drone operators follow them are two different things, however, and Garneau reminded them that penalties are stiff for violators.

“Anyone who violates the regulations could be subject to fines of up to $25,000 and/or prison,” he said. “This applies to drones of any size, used for any purpose.”