The events of Oct 12th over Quebec City where the reports of a drone collision with a manned aircraft are now worldwide news. As we wrote on a few days ago there are many items that need to be questioned and considered at this stage given the few details we know.
As of today the TSB (Transportation Safety Board) has opened an investigation into the incident and in time we will hopefully know what actually transpired, and if a drone was or was not involved.
However as the matter stands now the public, and as well the Minister of Transport, has already been judge and jury and “confirmed” the incident as a drone strike, which is obviously pending an investigation given TSB just started the process.
The problem is the damage has already been done to the drone industry as a whole as a result of the unverified comments made by the Minister and in turn regurgitated by the media. If and when an actual investigation finds the true events of what happened most will have moved on and the final report will unlikely carry as much weight in the daily news cycle as the initial dramatic report.
As a members of the UAV industry all we ask for is a fair and factual handling of the matter. If indeed it was a verified drone collision then it needs to be addressed as such and publicized. If it was something else, then the same needs to be disseminated.
Crying wolf, or worse yet in today’s lexicon “drone”, merely acts to raise fear in the public in the new evolving technology. For a federal department that claims to be developing new regulations that account for the growth and “innovation” of drone technology, the comments this week do nothing to further that, and in fact give the appearance of an anti-drone stance within the department.
Expecting fair and balanced reporting from the media on click bait stories that include “drones” is a pipe dream, but expecting the same from the Minister in charge of regulating and growing their usage is clearly another matter and one that should be unbiased and balanced. I fear we are not getting such an approach.
In the end all we can do is wait for the facts and act based on what was determined to improve safety if needed and to erase the black eye otherwise. Acting without these facts is unwise and dangerous and impacts many business trying to develop a foothold in this this new global industry. Think before you speak.