The federal government is enacting stricter measures and fines for anyone who flies a drone too close to an airport or plane.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau said Thursday he’s taking action before a drone hits an airplane and causes a catastrophic event.
“That’s the kind of nightmare scenario that keeps me awake at night as your transport minister,” said Garneau.
Drones will no longer be able to fly higher than 90 metres, within 75 metres of any buildings, vehicles or people, or within nine kilometres of any airport. Those who violate the new measures face fines of up to $3000.
Recreational operators will also be required to mark drones with their contact information.
The Air Line Pilots Association supports the measures, but believes Transport Canada should make it law that drones should be registered at the point of sale.
“Up to now we have had the do’s and don’ts for recreational drone use, but they were only guidelines and there were no penalties for ignoring them,” said Garneau.
The Calgary Airport Authority is welcoming the new rules.
“The safety of everyone at our airports is of primary importance to The Calgary Airport Authority and today’s announcement, in advance of the permanent regulations to follow, is a significant step toward reducing risks from drone activity,” said Bernie Humphries, Vice-President, Operations for The Calgary Airport Authority.
The number of incidents in which recreational drones have come too close to planes has more than tripled since 2014.
With files from The Canadian Press