Number of drones flying close to planes a growing concern

The number of drones being spotted in the skies around Canada's airports keeps rising, despite new rules passed by Transport Canada banning the use of drones within nine kilometres of any place where planes land and take off.

According to TVA, one drone flew so close to an Air Canada flight last week that the pilot could actually read the make and model of the drone.

CJAD 800 tech analyst Carmi Levy says it's just a matter of time until one of those drones collides with a plane.

"Just because there hasn't been a major accident, doesn't mean there won't be at some point," he said in an interview with CJAD 800. "The clock is ticking and it is only a matter of time. If we don't do something, something very frightening is going to happen."

Levy says that the rules banning the use of drones near airports don't mean much, as they're almost impossible to enforce unless authorities can arrive on the scene in time to catch the drone operator.

One other option, he says, would be to require manufacturers to include a built-in kill switch for any drone sold in Canada, which would use GPS to identify when it was within 9 kilometres of an airport and shut down automatically.

"There's nothing stopping manufacturers from programming that in," Levy said. "But right now there's no rules compelling manufacturers to do that, so they're just not."