Twice last week at the Peterborough Airport, drones were spotted by pilots in close proximity to aircraft while they were flying around the airport, according to Peterborough Police.
“This is a concern for the safety of the aircraft and the safety of the pilots,” says Lisa Davidson, Peterborough Airport Manager. “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.”
“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,” adds Davidson. “Drones are not allowed to be operated within 5.6 km of an airport.”
The drone was spotted at approximately 1000′ above the ground both times it was spotted and was operating dangerously close to aircraft flying in the circuit.
“In one instance the drone was noted to be black and orange in colour with flashing lights, which shows how close the drone was to the pilot in that case,” says Davidson. In both instances, Peterborough Police were called and responded to the airport to assist with trying to find the location of the drone operator.
“Flying drones in close proximity to an airport and other aircraft is extremely dangerous, irresponsible and illegal,” says Inspector John Lyons, Operations Division, Peterborough Police Service.
“We encourage anyone with information regarding persons engaged in this behaviour to contact police or Crime Stoppers,” adds Lyons.
Transport Canada states that drones are aircraft—which makes the person operating the drone a pilot. When flying the drone, you’re sharing the skies with other drones and aircraft. Before flying, the public needs to understand the rules. For more information on drone safety, click here.