With more reports of reckless drone use around airports and aircraft, the Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) today commended minister of transport Marc Garneau on the immediate introduction of new interim drone rules.
“We strongly support the minister of transport’s leadership to quickly introduce fines and restrictions that reduce the risk to aviation safety from reckless drone operations,” said Captain Matt Hogan, chair of ACPA’s Flight Safety Division. “Requiring all drones to be marked with contact information will give local police forces an important tool to investigate and assess penalties to reckless operators.”
Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are controlled remotely and can range in size from under 2 kg to more than 35 kg. While drones are being used for commercial applications, recreational operators can purchase increasingly sophisticated drones with extended range for personal use. Drones operating near an aircraft or airports pose a risk to passengers, crews and the public — with the greatest concern being during take-off or landing.
“As pilots, we are very concerned about drones being unwittingly or intentionally flown in restricted airspace during critical phases of flight,” noted Captain Hogan. “At best, drones represent an unwelcome distraction to pilots that must be monitored; at worst, even the smallest drone could cause significant damage to an aircraft or engine.”
ACPA submitted comments to Transport Canada in late 2016 as the government moves on updating the regulations governing drone operations in Canada.