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Police probe drone flying ‘dangerously close’ to aircraft at Peterborough Airport

Peterborough police are investigating reports of a drone flying in airspace at the Peterborough Airport. Dayne Winter / Global News

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.

READ MORE: Tickets on sale for Peterborough Air Show featuring aerial demonstrations

“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.”

WATCH: Feds introduce new rules for operating drones

Click to play video: 'Feds introduce new rules for operating drones' Feds introduce new rules for operating drones
Feds introduce new rules for operating drones – Jan 9, 2019

Based on federal laws, which come into effect on June 1, drones cannot be within 5.6 kilometres of an airport.

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““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

WATCH: Transport Minister explains new drone height and distance requirements

Click to play video: 'Transport Minister explains new drone height and distance requirements' Transport Minister explains new drone height and distance requirements
Transport Minister explains new drone height and distance requirements – Jan 9, 2019

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