Illegal drone spotted near Vancouver International Airport

Police in Richmond are investigating reports of another drone flying dangerously close to Vancouver International Airport on Sunday afternoon.
The DJI Phantom, which is made in China and sold 'ready-to-fly' as a kit for about $700, one of a growing number of recreational drones that are being sold to the public.

Police in Richmond are investigating reports of another drone flying dangerously close to Vancouver International Airport on Sunday afternoon.

Richmond RCMP responded to a report of the unmanned aerial device near the north runway. Officers were nearby and arrived quickly but couldn't find either the drone or its operator.

Cpl. Dennis Hwang  said they're working with YVR on the investigation.

"Whenever we receive these complaints we take them extremely seriously, especially  near the airport. And so we've been working with our partners at YVR as well as Transport Canada every time we get these incidents," said Hwang.

The airport later confirmed the drone did not interfere with any flights, but the incident is just the latest involving drones being flown in illegally in B.C.

Last month, the province pledged to crack down on illegal operators with stricter penalties after drones interfered with wildfire fighting efforts.

Several drones have also been spotted near the airport in recent years, including one this past summer that nearly collided with a seaplane.

According to Transport Canada, anyone flying a drone must stay more than nine kilometres away from airports. Drone users who violate this rule can face fines of up to $25,000 or prison time.

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