Officials at Windsor’s airport are expressing great concern over a single-engine plane’s near-miss with a drone as the plane was taking off, and are urging anyone with information on the drone to call police.
The encounter happened while the plane, a local flying club’s single-engine Diamond DA 20-C1 (C-GGMV), belonging to Journey Air, was taking off from the airport on Saturday, May 11.
The pilot reported that during takeoff from the runway he passed in close proximity to a drone. The drone was described as being roughly one foot in diameter and white. It was 1,000 feet above the ground, according to the pilot.
There was no impact and no injuries.
The pilot reported the incident to Transport Canada.
Steve Tuffin, the airport’s director of operations, noted Thursday this was the first known incident at the airport involving a drone.
“We actually have already had a couple meetings on how to deal with this in the future,” said .
“These things are being flown unlawfully if they are over the airport. Our air traffic controller was very proactive and called police immediately.”
"We would encourage the public to respect our air space
Eric Collard, a spokesman for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said that, because there was no contact with the drone, it is “not a reportable occurrence at this time.”
He described federal rules and investigations regarding drones as still being a “fairly new subject.”
“For most (reports of drones), we don’t have any involvement,” Collard said.
But legislation in Canada already in place prohibits use of drones within 5.6 kilometres of any airport, and includes potential penalties for putting any aircraft at risk.