Officials are issuing a warning after two drones were spotted by pilots in “close proximity” to aircraft flying around the Peterborough Airport this week.
Airport manager Lisa Davidson said an orange and black drone with flashing lights was approximately 1,000 feet above the ground both times it was spotted and was operating “dangerously close” to aircraft flying in the circuit.
“This is a concern for the safety of the aircraft and the safety of the pilots,” she said. “If a drone is struck in flight, resulting in a mid-air collision, it could cause the pilot to lose control of the aircraft, or seriously damage the plane causing an emergency situation.”
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Based on federal laws, which come into effect on June 1, drones cannot be within 5.6 kilometres of an airport.
““The safety at the airport is jeopardized every time a person operates a drone disregarding the rules that allow both planes and drones to operate safely,” she said.
In both sightings, Peterborough Police Service investigated to attempt to locate the drone operator(s).
“Flying drones in close proximity to an airport and other aircraft is extremely dangerous, irresponsible and illegal,” stated Insp. John Lyons. “We encourage anyone with information regarding persons engaged in this behaviour to contact police or Crime Stoppers.’
Transport Canada states that drones are aircraft — which makes the person operating the drone a pilot.
Fines for individuals could include:
- Up to $1,000 for flying without a drone pilot certificate
- up to $1,000 for flying unregistered or unmarked drones
- up to $1,000 for flying where you are not allowed
- up to $3,000 for putting aircraft and people at risk
Possible criminal charges could include:
- Mischief – obstruct, interrupts or interferes with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.
- Mischief – endangering life
- Break and enter
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