On Thursday, October 12, a drone bumped into a Skyjet airplane during its descent on the Jean Lesage International Airport in Quebec City. Transport Canada – the regulatory authority – reported the incident as the first of its kind.
Marc Garneau – the Transport Minister of Canada 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.”
The announcement was made on October 15, after determining the damage to the aircraft. FlightAware – the flight tracking website – stated that there were only minor damages sustained by the Beechcraft King Air 100.
As per media reports, Skyjet’s twin turboprop carrier was transporting eight passengers travelling from Quebec’s Rouyn-Noranda Airport.
Skyjet is a Quebec City Airport-based charter airplane service that operates a fleet of 12 Beechcraft 1900 D aircrafts along with the relatively smaller King Air 100 and 200s.
There were no news on the make and model of the alleged drone.
The Transport Minister while addressing the press, reiterated on the need for drone operators to steer clear from the airports and adhere to the air transport safety regulations announced back in March, 2017.
“I would like to remind drone operators that endangering the safety of an aircraft is extremely dangerous and a serious offense,” he said.
According to the interim rule imposed by Transport Canada, flying of drones for the purpose of recreation is proscribed within the 3.5 miles radius of an airport and 1.1 miles radius for a heliport.
People who violate the rule are subject to imprisonment and/or fines amounting up to CAD 25,000.
According to Transport Canada, there have been a total of 1,596 drone accidents reported this year. 131 of these incidents have been deemed a safety concern for aviation.