On Nov. 27, a plane bound for Tennessee reportedly came within about nine feet of a small drone as the plane left the Region of Waterloo International Airport near Hamilton, Ont.
Police are still investigating and have not discovered the identity of the UAV’s owner. Transport Canada prohibits flying drones within 5.6 miles of any airport.
“There have been drones in the area that we’ve been aware of,” Waterloo airport General Manager Chris Wood said in media reports.
“It’s definitely something the industry is paying very close attention to,” he added. “There are drones out there that are the same size as airplanes, it’s crazy.”
According to the Canadian Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Report System (CADORS), the province has received 15 reports of drones flying near airports so far in 2015.
In August, a quadcopter narrowly missed a seaplane near Vancouver International with only 10 feet to spare, according to a Transport Canada report.
Much like in the U.S., the drone debate in Canada is growing. As reported in August in DRONELIFE:
“On one hand, experts believe that the permissive approach adopted by Canadian regulatory authorities has resulted in Canada being the world leader in drone technology; on the other hand, some experts believe that allowing individuals to use drones freely is bound to put public at risk because these unmanned aircrafts have been observed to cause difficulties for other aircrafts.”
Transport Canada is currently reviewing UAV rules with an eye toward setting new polices next year. In May, the agency issued a “Notice of Proposed Amendment” and plans include to regulate drones weighing less than 55 pounds operated within line of sight. The agency is seeking to design rules that are “risk-based, flexible, and consistent with international partners,” according to the amendment.
Under current Canadian rules, drone users are not required to carry a permit for recreational use for UAVs weighing less than 77 pounds.
Commercial drones are subject to issuance of Special Flight Operations Certificates (SFOCs), which are granted on a case-by-case basis.
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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