Drone causes stir at Regina airport

A Regina company that uses a drone got into some hot water with aviation officials recently.

Java Post Productions filming with drone near water treatment plant

Officials at the Regina International Aiport wanted a drone to land last week, but it wasn't able to phone the operator. (Neil Cochrane/CBC)

A Regina company that uses a drone got into some hot water with aviation officials recently.

Java Post, which does aerial photography and post production work, caused a problem last week at the Regina International Airport.

A report Monday from Transport Canada says the company had its unmanned air vehicle, or drone, working about 60 metres off the ground, near the threshold of the airport's main runway.

The drone was required to be on the ground by a specific time so that an incoming Enbridge pipeline patrol aircraft — a Cessna 208B — could land.

But the control tower was not able to reach the drone operator by phone — something that is required by the company's operating certificate, Transport Canada says.

The Enbridge plane arrived and landed safely, but the drone didn't land until about 20 minutes later.

Drones flights have come under increased scrutiny after a number of close calls with aircraft in Canada and elsewhere around the world.

There's no word on what kind of penalty, if any, the company will be facing due to the infraction.


  • An earlier version of this story stated the airplane was trying to land at the time. In fact, the plane was doing a low-level pipeline survey near the airport, not attempting to land.
    Jun 15, 2016 3:42 PM CT

With files from Ted Deller