A local MP is promoting a new online reporting tool the federal government hopes will improve drone safety.
The announcement was made Wednesday morning by London West MP Kate Young at the Fanshawe College Aviation Centre at the London International Airport.
“People have to realize that while drones can be fun they can be very dangerous. We want to make sure Canadians realize they’re not actually toys and shouldn’t be used as a toy. That this is serious, and we want to make sure people know the safety rules and regulations surrounding drones,” Young explains.
“If they are mishandling the use of the drone they could be faced with a hefty fine – $25,000 – and there is a jail term associated with this. This is not something to slough off, if a drone of a large size were to get in the way of a plane, it could be catastrophic.”
Young says the new online tool makes it easy for Canadians to learn more about drone safety and to immediately report suspected misuse of drones.
“You see a drone that you think, ‘well, it’s flying over my house, it might be invading my privacy’ or ‘it’s flying near a highway close to cars and it might be distracting to drivers’ – those are things that we need to hear about. Now you’ll be able to go online and in real time report an incident and Transport Canada will investigate.”
Anthony Lopez is a 2nd Year student in Fanshawe’s Avionics Maintenance Program and thinks this is a great step towards educating the public.
“There’s still a lot of people that operate drones and they don’t know what they’re doing. They go in air space and other stuff like that, they don’t follow the regulations so there’s so many hazards,” says Lopez.
“I wasn’t aware of the hefty fine and jail time but I think it’s validated because it’s pretty dangerous, it can cause death… if big accidents occur.”
With files from Natalie Lovie.