Drone hits commercial aircraft approaching Jean Lesage Airport in Canada

18 October 2017 (Last Updated October 31st, 2017 08:57)

An aircraft operated by SkyJet Airlines has been hit by a drone as it approached Jean Lesage International Airport in Quebec City, Canada.

An aircraft operated by SkyJet Airlines has been hit by a drone as it approached Jean Lesage International Airport in Quebec City, Canada.

An airport spokesman said that the aircraft, with eight passengers and two crew members aboard, was flying to the Canadian airport from the city of Rouyn-Noranda.

The collision between the aircraft and the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) took place approximately 3km from the Jean Lesage airport, reported National Post.

This is claimed to be the first reported incident of a drone striking against a commercial aircraft in the country.

Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau said: “This is the first time a drone has hit a commercial aircraft in Canada and I am extremely relieved that the aircraft only sustained minor damage and was able to land safely.

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

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

“My department is in contact with the Service de police de la Ville de Québec and we will cooperate with the Transportation Safety Board should they decide to investigate.”

Under the series of interim safety rules issued by Transport Canada, drone operators are prohibited from flying their UAVs within 5.5km from an airport and 1.8km from a heliport without special permission.

Garneau further added: “I would like to remind drone operators that endangering the safety of an aircraft is extremely dangerous and a serious offence.

“Anyone who violates the regulations could be subject to fines of up to $25,000 and / or prison. This applies to drones of any size, used for any purpose.

“All airports, helipads and seaplane bases are ‘No Drone Zones’ if you do not have permission from Transport Canada.”

This year, a total of 1,596 drone incidents have been reported to the country’s transport department to date.