Unauthorized drone reported flying near Penticton airport | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Unauthorized drone reported flying near Penticton airport

Image Credit: PIXABAY

A Cessna pilot reported a drone flying too close to the Penticton airport last week, but police were unable to find the pilot.

On June 26, the Cessna 172S pilot was heading to Castlegar and saw the drone near the Skaha Marina during take off, less than two kilometres from the runway.

Penticton RCMP responded around 1 p.m. to find the drone and its pilot, but they couldn't locate either after a search of the area.

READ MORE: Someone flew a drone over planes near Kelowna airport

"Transport Canada is aware of the incident and has no additional information to provide other than what is available (in the report)," spokesperson Sau Sau Liu said in an emailed response.

Transport Canada reports incidents at regional airports daily, which included a report of a drone flying above aircraft during take off near Kelowna International Airport, last month.

Drones are prohibited within 5.6 kilometres of all Canadian airports without proper licensing and authorization. They are also prohibited from national parks and within 1.9 kilometres of heliports, which includes hospitals with landing pads.

Drone pilots can, however, get authorization to fly in prohibited airspace.

READ MORE: Pilot reports another laser strike during take off at Kelowna airport

A pilot must register themselves and their drones with Nav Canada, which regulates civic airspace. A pilot can then request a time to fly in a specified area, then await approval.

Pilots can face steep fines of up to $1,000 for flying in prohibited airspace, flying without a pilot certificate or an unregistered drone, according to Transport Canada. If a drone puts people and other aircraft in danger, a pilot can face a fine up to $5,000.

If the drone is owned by a corporation and flown for business reasons, those fines can reach $5,000 each and $15,000 for putting aircraft and people at risk, according to Transport Canada.

More information about drone permitting can be found at the Transport Canada webpage here.

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