Drone spotted by Journey Air pilot in Windsor airspace

Transport Canada doesn't have enough evidence to identify the pilot of the drone and is unable to investigate further.

Anyone with information is encouraged to report to Transport Canada or local law enforcement

A pilot reported seeing a drone during departure from Windsor International Airport, when the aircraft was at 304.5 metres (1,000 feet). (Ashley Burke/CBC)

The pilot of a Journey Air airplane has reported a close encounter with a drone just after taking off from Windsor International Airport.

According to report filed with Transport Canada, the pilot reported passing a drone at around 304.8 metres (1,000 feet) on May 11. It came so close to the aircraft the pilot was able to describe it as being "one foot" (30 cm) in diameter.

The plane didn't collide with the drone and the flight wasn't interrupted by the encounter.

According to Transport Canada, the drone was flying in a controlled airspace without authorization, but the authority can't investigate because there wasn't enough evidence "to identify the drone operator," and is asking people with information to contact them or law enforcement.

New rules coming in

Currently, operators in Canada are to ensure drones are flown at least 5.6 kilometres away from any airport, seaplane base or area where aircraft take off and land, and also outside of a controlled or restricted airspace.

New drone rules will come into effect on June 1, 2019, which says operators need to fly drones "far away from other aircraft."

Current rules will still apply even once the new ones come into effect.

In the pilot's report, the event is categorized as "controlled airspace - unauthorized entry."

According to Transport Canada, there have been five reported conflicts between crewed aircraft and drones in Ontario in 2019 so far. Last year there were a total of 38 in the province, and 100 in total across Canada.

Transport Canada has issued fines four times so far this year in Ontario.

The Government of Canada has a website for people file a report if they believe someone is flying a drone in an irresponsible manner without a permit.

Journey Air is a pilot training institute operating at Windsor Airport. According to the Transport Canada report the type of aircraft was a Diamond DA 20-C1 which is a two-seater, single-engine, light aircraft. It's not clear if there was a passenger on board.

With files from Angelica Haggert