Drone hits passenger plane for first time in North America

Jean Lesage Airport

Skyjet is a Quebec-based charter airline operating King Air and Beechcraft 1900D turboprops.

Dubai's airport previous year said it was carrying out trials of a "drone hunter" - a remote-controlled aircraft to detect drones that are in danger of straying into the airport's space - after unauthorized drone activity forced the airport, the third busiest in the world, to shut down several times. "That drone should not have been there".

Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau confirmed Thursday's crash near the Jean Lesage International Airport in Quebec City in a statement on Sunday, saying he was "extremely relieved" that the Skyjet plane on its final descent only sustained minor damage.

According to Garneau, this is the first time a drone has hit a commercial airplane in Canada. The ministry is in contact with Quebec's police service, Garneau continued. Although the jet suffered some damage from the collision, no injuries were reported in the incident.

The minister noted that while "the vast majority" of drone operators fly responsibly, anyone tempted to fly their machine near an airport is "endangering the safety of an aircraft, [which is an] extremely risky and serious offense".

The incident happened at an altitude of approximately 450 meters and three kilometers (1.8 miles) from the airport.

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A small passenger plane has been struck by a drone in Canada for the first time.

The Transportation Safety Board has not started an investigation.

Anyone caught flying a drone too close to no-fly zones (such as airports) without permission can be fined up to $25,000 and even serve a prison sentence; this applies to the flying of drones of any size and for any objective.

Around the world, there is growing concern about potential collisions between drones and larger aircraft, including passenger jets.

In the first three months of 2017, aircraft in the U.S. reported more than 400 sightings of drones, according to the Federal Aviation Administration's most-recent drone "sightings" report.

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