RCMP and YLW have a message for amateur drone pilots – stay clear of YLW!
The message comes after a potentially hazardous drone flight last month near Kelowna International Airport, which prompted a police search.
RCMP were made aware of a remotely piloted aircraft system, commonly referred to as a drone, being flown in the vicinity of YLW. Police responded to the area, but were unable to locate the drone or its operator.
The incident has now prompted a warning from YLW and the RCMP around the dangers remotely piloted aircraft systems pose to commercial and non-commercial aircraft.
"Flying a (drone) in the vicinity of an airport not only poses a significant safety risk to the passengers and crew members on board all incoming and outgoing flights, but also to the members of the general public," says Neil Drachenberg, manager of airport safety and security at YLW.
"Kelowna RCMP encourage you to call the police immediately if you notice suspicious activity or witness the dangerous operation of a remotely piloted aircraft towards persons, properties, other aircrafts, or within 5.5 kilometres of any airport," adds Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, spokesperson for Kelowna Regional RCMP.
Police recognize that guidelines and regulations around the use of drones continue to evolve, and they ask operators to respect the safety tips and guidelines as outlined by Transport Canada.