Drone collides with passenger jet in Canada

A drone that will detect problems with power lines flies over equipment at a Ameren Electric Company facility in Belleville, Illinois on September 8. In Canada, a drone collided with a passenger jet last week. Although no injuries were reported, officials raised concern about the growing number of drones in the air and potential collisions with passenger aircraft. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Oct. 15 (UPI) — Canadian officials announced Sunday that a personal drone collided with a passenger jet last week, marking the first time that has happened in the nation’s history.

“This should not have happened,” said Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau, according to the CBC. “That drone should not have been there.”

In a statement, Garneau said the drone struck a Skyjet flight inbound to Jean Lesage International Airport in Québec City on Oct. 12. Although the jet suffered some damage from the collision, no injuries were reported in the incident.

“This is the first time a drone has hit a commercial aircraft in Canada and I am extremely relieved that the aircraft only sustained minor damage and was able to land safely,” Garneau said.

The transport minister said Quebec police are deciding whether to investigate the case.

“I would like to remind drone operators that endangering the safety of an aircraft is extremely dangerous and a serious offense,” Garneau said. “Anyone who violates the regulations could be subject to fines of up to $25,000 and/or prison.”

The drone that struck the passenger jet last week was found to have been flying at a height of 450 meters, which is about 150 above the legal limit for drones. It was also within 5.5 kilometers of an airport, which is illegal in Canada.

So far this year, there have been 1,596 drone incidents reported to Transport Canada, including 131 due to aviation safety concerns.

Around the world, there is growing concern about potential collisions between drones and larger aircraft, including passenger jets.

In Britain last year, an investigation was launched after a British Airways pilot reported a drone nearly collided with his plane as it was making a landing into London’s Heathrow Airport.

And in the United States last year, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a report that concluded near-misses between drones and passenger jets are on the rise.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here