Economy

Drone hits passenger plane in Canada

Drone hits passenger plane in Canada

A drone, for the first time in Canada, has collided with an inbound passenger aircraft to Jean Lesage International Airport in Quebec city, according to Transport ministry.

"It was our concern for incidents like this that prompted me to take action and issue [measures] restricting where recreational drones could be flown", Garneau said in a statement issued Sunday.

"Transport Canada is monitoring the situation and is in contact with its transportation partners including Skyjet, the Jean Lesage International Airport and NAV Canada".

Though investigators have released few details, the incident could be among the first confirmed instances of a passenger aircraft actually striking a drone in flight.

News reports said the drone struck a Beechcraft King Air 100's wing. No arrests have yet been made. "I would like to remind drone operators that endangering the safety of an aircraft is extremely risky and a serious offense".

Garneau said at the time that the potential for a catastrophic accident involving an airplane is "the kind of nightmare scenario that keeps me up at night".

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As is stands, anyone found to have endangered the safety of an aircraft could face a $25,000 fine or prison time.

Canadian media suggests the plane was struck last Thursday about 3,000 metres from the runway while at an altitude of 450 metres.

In Canada, officials say that of the roughly 1,600 drone incidents reported to authorities so far this year, 131 posed a threat to aviation safety.

In the first three months of 2017, aircraft in the USA reported more than 400 sightings of drones, according to the Federal Aviation Administration's most-recent drone "sightings" report. "This applies to drones of any size, used for any goal".

The challenge of dealing with rogue drones has spawned a new industry geared toward developing technology that takes control of the drone from the operator to remove it from the sky, while the Pentagon recently approved a policy allowing the US military to shoot down rogue drones flying close to its military installations across the country.