On October 12, 2017, a drone collided with a commercial aircraft while it was approaching Jean Lesage International Airport, in Quebec City. This is the first time that a drone has hit a commercial plane in Canada, according to Canada’s Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau. He stated, “I am extremely relieved that the aircraft only sustained minor damage and was able to land safely.” No injuries to the eight passengers on board the airplane were reported. According to Garneau, the accident could have been much worse if the drone had hit the cockpit or engine.
Canada has similar drone guidelines to the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration’s rules, which include not being able to fly near airports, fly beyond the line of sight of the operator, or fly at night. This accident will likely keep drone regulations in the spotlight, especially in Canada, where just last week Drone Delivery Canada announced that it was approved by regulators to test commercial drone delivery in Northern Canada.
The identity of the drone operator has not been disclosed, or if s/he will be punished. If so, the operator could be looking at fines of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment.