North Bay, Ont., police say helicopter pilot was flying while impaired

Following an agreement with the federal government, Air Canada has restored services to the Jack Garland Airport in North Bay. (Alana Pickrell/CTV News)

A 56-year-old man from Newfoundland has been charged with impaired driving of a helicopter in North Bay, Ont.

Police said they were called to Jack Garland Airport on Wednesday evening around 7 p.m. after receiving a report of "a helicopter operating in an erratic manner."

"The police investigation alleges the accused, who was the only occupant of the helicopter, made an unscheduled stop at the airport in North Bay," police said in a news release Thursday.

"When police arrived, the helicopter had landed in an unapproved area of the airport. Police interaction with the driver resulted in his arrest for impaired operation. The accused later refused to provide a suitable sample of his breath."

The man is now charged with one count of impaired driving and one count of refusing to provide a breath sample. He remains in custody pending a bail hearing at the North Bay Courthouse.

"North Bay Police advise that any operator of a vehicle, vessel or aircraft that functions by any power other than muscular power is subject to the impaired driving laws in Canada," police said.

"Every report of a person operating any of these modes of transportation is taken seriously by police and it is a crime in progress so people should call 911."