September 21, 2017 4:14 pm
Updated: September 21, 2017 5:10 pm

Airshow warns Londoners to keep drones grounded near airport

FILE - This Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, file photo shows a drone at a testing site in Lincoln, Neb. An experimental study in Sweden suggests drones equipped with heart defibrillators could help with response times for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Drones arrived at the scene of cardiac arrests almost 17 minutes faster on average than ambulances in a study in rural Sweden.

AP Photo/Nati Harnik

There will be enough activity in the air this weekend that your drones have no place there.

That’s the message organizers of Airshow London want instilled in Londoners, as the aerial spectacle kicks off Friday.

The festival issued a statement Thursday afternoon reminding people that Transport Canada has expanded its no drone zone around the London Airport to a radius of 16 km, up from the typical 5.5 km boundary.

READ MORE: Feds get four drone complaints a week from pilots, airports across Canada

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This means drone users as far away as Westmount, Thamesford and Kintore are out of luck.

The restrictions are necessary to keep the airspace clear for the performing aircraft, Airshow London Air Operations Director Gerry Vanderhoek said.

“Drones can be unpredictable and very dangerous if flown too close to commercial or military aircraft,” he added. “Transport Canada has identified a safe distance and we are asking and reminding drone owners and operators to be aware and comply.”

READ MORE: Feds unveil new fines, tighter rules for drones flown too close to airports

The executive director of the airshow, Dave De Kelver, said he doesn’t want this policy to discourage photography: he just wants to make sure people are shooting from ground level.

According to Transport Canada, drone users who violate the zone could risk a jail time or a fine as high as $25,000, in particular, if aircraft or public safety is threatened.

The expanded no drone zone is in effect until Monday.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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