DRONES – HAZARD TO AIR SAFETY
In October this year, there was a collision in flight between an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) also referred to as Drone and a Beechcraft King Air 100 passenger aircraft operated by SkyJet Airlines. This was the first incident of this kind in Canada and mercifully, the airliner got away with only minor damage and was able to land safely. However, the implications of this episode are indeed serious.
The rapid proliferation of Drones operated by private individuals as also government and non-government agencies around the world, has led to an increase in the number of incidents of near miss of even impact between the remote-controlled devices and passenger aircraft. Earlier this year, Canada announced safety measures making it illegal to fly recreational drones within 5.5 km of an airport and restricting the height of operation by a Drone to 300 feet above ground level. Transgression of these rules would invite severe punishment including imprisonment and heavy monetary fine.