A Skyjet Aviation flight collided with an unmanned aircraft system while the passenger airplane was on approach to Jean Lesage International Airport in Québec City. Marc Garneau, Canada’s minister of transport, called it a "first" in North America.
“This is the first time a drone has hit a commercial aircraft in Canada," Garneau said. "I am extremely relieved that the aircraft only sustained minor damage and was able to land safely."
News reports said the drone struck a Beechcraft King Air 100’s wing. According to Garneau, Transport Canada is monitoring the situation and is coordinating with other entities, including Skyjet, the airport and NAV CANADA. The ministry is in contact with Quebec's police service, Garneau continued. The Transportation Safety Board has not started an investigation.
"I would like to remind drone operators that endangering the safety of an aircraft is extremely dangerous and a serious offence. Anyone who violates the regulations could be subject to fines of up to $25,000 and/or prison,” said Garneau.
That rule, he continued, applies to all drones used for all purposes. Airports, helipads and seaplane based in Canada are restricted zones for drone operators without permission from Transport Canada.
Garneau said to date there have been 1,596 reported drone incidents, and 131 have been deemed an aviation safety concern.