A first in Canada: Drone collides with passenger plane above Quebec City airport

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau said he’s “extremely preoccupied” by an incident that saw a small drone collide with a passenger airplane above Jean Lesage airport in Quebec City on Thursday.

“This should not have happened. That drone should not have been there,” he said,

Garneau confirmed that the aircraft, a Skyjet plane, only sustained minor damage and said he was relieved that no one was hurt.

He said that “it could have been much more serious” and that if the drone had collided with the cockpit or the engine, the incident could have been “catastrophic.”

“It’s important to note that aircraft are particularly vulnerable when on final approach coming in — the pilot is concentrating on landing properly,” said Garneau at a press conference in Montreal on Sunday.

An airport spokesman said that the plane originated in Rouyn-Noranda, Que., carried eight passengers and landed safely.

This is the first time in Canada that a drone has collided with a commercial aircraft, Garneau said, and the use of drones at that altitude is in violation of regulations.

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