Use of drones in Sudbury presents unique safety challenges for Ornge crews
May 6, 2019
6 May, 2019
Ornge, Ontario’s provider of air ambulance and related services, would like to remind drone enthusiasts and commercial operators in Greater Sudbury and the surrounding area of the importance of complying with Transport Canada drone regulations.
Drones can put air ambulance personnel and aircraft at risk if they are flown in an unsafe manner. They are difficult to spot from a distance and only become visible when within short range of an Ornge aircraft, particularly helicopters. As a result, unsafe drone use may impact Ornge’s ability to safely perform patient transports.
Current Transport Canada regulations require drones to “operate at least 1.9 kilometres (1 nautical mile) away from heliports or aerodromes used by helicopters only.” Health Sciences North (HSN) has a Transport Canada-certified rooftop heliport. All or parts of the following areas are located within the restricted radius of airspace around HSN:
- Bell Park
- James Jerome Sports Complex
- Idylwylde Golf & Country Club
- Lily Creek Boardwalk
- Nepahwin Lake
- Science North
- Lake Laurentian Conservation Area
- Laurentian University
In the past, Ornge pilots have spotted drone activity in some of these areas. In addition, Vale Superstack, which is near a common Ornge flight path to the Greater Sudbury Airport, is another area where drone use is discouraged.
“Unsafe drone use may have a negative impact on Ornge operations,” says Ian McLean, Chief Operating Officer – Aviation. “Our mission requires us to fly the most direct route to patients and the definitive care that they need. If our crew need to alter their flight paths to avoid contact with drones, that poses a serious safety concern to the aircraft, crew and patient.”
Drone users are reminded to review and abide by all current
Transport Canada regulations to ensure the safety of aircraft and crew. Users are also encouraged to review the new regulations
being implemented by Transport Canada, scheduled to take effect on June 1, 2019.
Citizens who witness unsafe drone use in Greater Sudbury are encouraged to contact Transport Canada and the Sudbury Police Service.
Ornge, a not-for-profit organization, co-ordinates all aspects of Ontario’s air ambulance system, the critical care land transport program, paediatric transport program and the authorisation of air and land ambulance transfers between hospitals.
For more information, please contact:
Ornge Media Relations
Image created by photoroyalty and sourced on Freepik.