Photo by Thomas Ehrhardt from Pixabay

Photo by Thomas Ehrhardt from Pixabay

Drones not allowed at Abbotsford Airshow, police warn

Authorization to use drones in controlled airspace is rarely granted

The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) and organizers of the Abbotsford International Airshow are reminding citizens to keep their drones away from the airport this weekend.

Sgt. Judy Bird said the airshow will be using drone detection equipment this year, and on-site APD officers will be notified if a drone is detected.

“Police will take immediate steps to locate the operator of the equipment,” Bird said in a press release.

Bird said that over the past year, drones have been spotted at several airshows across Canada, causing a significant safety risk to attendees, pilots and aircraft.

An in-flight collision between a drone and another aircraft can have catastrophic results, she said.

Drone pilot Const. Rob Hryhorczuk of the APD said Transport Canada classified drones as aircraft and the person operating the drone as a remote pilot.

Authorization to operate a drone in controlled airspace is rarely granted. The operator must have a Transport Canada pilot certificate in advanced operations, as well as a written RPAS (remotely piloted air system) flight authorization from NAV Canada.

“We expect everyone who operates a drone to consider the safety of others and act responsibly,” Hryhorczuk said.

“Flying a drone in close proximity to an airport and other aircraft is extremely dangerous, and illegal.”

Airshow spokesperson Jadene Mah said organizers want spectators to enjoy the event “without having to worry about the consequences of a drone-related accident.”

Click here for more information on drone safety.

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