Edmonton Police Service Announces First UAV-Related Charge

The Edmonton, Alberta, Police Service (EPS) has charged a man in relation to what it calls the “unsafe and dangerous operation” of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

According to a Dec. 7 press release from the police, on Wednesday, Sept. 7, a constable trained as a UAV operator for the EPS observed an UAV operating in a dangerous manner in downtown Edmonton in the area of 105 Ave. and 104 St.

The UAV was reportedly being operated over buildings, roadways and the MacEwan LRT Station and around Rogers Place, says the EPS.

In addition, the police say the UAV was operating too close to the Royal Alexandra Heliport, which is used for transporting patients for medical emergencies.

An investigation by members of the EPS, in consultation with Transport Canada and the Crown Prosecutors, led to EPS’ laying charges on Monday, Dec. 5.

Bennett Alexander Hojka, 23, was charged with operating a model aircraft without a permit on parkland under a municipal bylaw. He was also charged with flying a model aircraft in a manner that is or is likely to be hazardous to aviation safety under the Canadian Aviation Regulations, says EPS.

“With the holiday season here, many electronic enthusiasts may purchase or receive a UAV as a gift,” says Constable Binoy Prabhu with the downtown division. “Please remember there are regulations for its use and that users should be familiar with and follow the Transport Canada guidelines.”

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