Canada confirms UAV struck commercial aircraft

  • Canada confirms UAV struck commercial aircraft

Canada confirms UAV struck commercial aircraft

To date, there have been no worldwide reports of fatal collisions between recreational drones and planes, but a number of countries have reported near misses.

A drone collided with a commercial aircraft in Canada last week - the first time such a crash has happened in North America, transportation officials said.

In the United Kingdom, the pilot of a British Airways flight said a drone struck the front of the aircraft during its approach to Heathrow airport previous year.

"Millions of drones are used safely and responsibly around the world for business, agriculture and enjoyment", the company said.

A plane that charter airline Skyjet was operating was approaching the Jean Lesage Airport in Quebec City Thursday when it was struck by a drone on one of its wings, said media reports. However, Canada's Transport Minister told CBC News that the collision could have been "catastrophic".

The rules affect operations of recreational UAVs weighing between 250g (.55 lb.) and 35kg (77 lbs.), and include the specification that recreational operators can not fly UAVs within nine kilometers (5.6 miles) of the center of any airport, heliport, aerodrome or water aerodrome where aircraft take off and land.

Canada's Transport minister has confirmed that a small passenger aircraft struck a drone while on approach to Quebec City on 12 October. Transport Canada - the regulatory authority - reported the incident as the first of its kind. "My department is in contact with the Service de police de la Ville de Québec and we will cooperate with the Transportation Safety Board should they decide to investigate", Garneau stated.

Drone operators who violate Canadian Aviation Regulations are subject to fines up to $25,000 and potential jail time. All airports, helipads and seaplane bases are "No Drone Zones" if you do not have permission from Transport Canada.

According to the interim rule imposed by Transport Canada, flying of drones for the goal of recreation is proscribed within the 3.5 miles radius of an airport and 1.1 miles radius for a heliport. 131 of these incidents have been deemed a safety concern for aviation.