General Aviation

drnWell, it happened again. According to the Calgary Sun, 22 September 2015 – “Drone flies too close to Calgary airport, sparks police investigation“. This not long after a Facebook post from our friends at Georgian Bay Airways stating that a drone was flying too close to their seaplane base – also reported to the police.

Here we go again:

Posted by on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

So, what is to be done? Is there a scenario whereby we can “all just get along”. Probably not, at least not within the current regs.

People will always do dumb stuff. There are two ways to help in preventing people from doing dumb stuff. You can punish them when they do, or, you can license them to do properly it in the first place. One is reactionary, one proactive.

Of course, being licensed to do something does not guarantee the dumbness ends but it does do two things. It creates a reason not to do silly things by revocation of said license and it guarantees a minimum level of knowledge for the licensee – ensuring any excuse does not include ignorance.

As GA pilots, we covet our license and do nothing to threaten it. Perhaps drone operators (we’ll never call them “pilots” by the way), would be the same. Perhaps we could educate people do “fly right” and revoke their authority to do so if they break the rules. Is this a new theory worthy of Nobel? Not really – it’s exactly what we do with boats, cars, planes, SCUBA and many other things.

There’s another way too. The drone manufacturers can easily add GPS to their machines (if they don’t have it already). That done, simple software with airfields and airports with some 5th-grade math can prevent these pests from entering “our airspace” to begin with. Put it on the drone or the console – whatever – the thing shouldn’t work where it can do harm.

Let’s not wait for our brothers and sisters in GA to get harmed. Let’s not react to this when it’s too late. TC has some resources but we need tougher rules. We vote licensing – what do you think?


UPDATE: 9.30.2015

Cadors Number: 2015P1915 (Cadors is the Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System) 9.29.2015 reported a Fleet 80 at 1,000 ft. reported a drone 50ft. above them at  Boundary Bay, BC (CZBB).


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