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UPDATE: Keep drones and aircraft out of flood zones, says Abbotsford Police Department

No aircraft or drones allowed below 1000 ft between Chilliwack and Abbotsford airports
An aerial image shows the flooded Sumas Prairie. The Abbotsford Police Department is reminding drone operators to stay out of the affected flood areas. (City of Abbotsford)

A disaster zone is no place for drones to be flying.

That’s the reminder that went out from Abbotsford Police Department Friday morning, as efforts to save animals and property continues in the Sumas area.

“We are stressing to the public again that drones are not allowed in the Sumas Prairie area,” police said on their social media. “There is a lot of air traffic in the area to continually conduct aerial assessments and to assist the farmers. Drones impact aircraft from performing their duties and put them at significant risk.”

Drone operators have been flying over many of the areas that are experiencing landslides and flooding, offering the public a unique view of the damage from above. However, first responders, media and private companies have been flying over taking images as well.

The police department also shared some recent aerials of the Sumas area for those wanting to have a look.

Shortly after they sent out the no drone message, an unauthorized helicopter landed on a dike in the area.

“We need to work together to help our farmers and homeowners,” the police department said. “For example, a helicopter just landed on the dike to view the destruction. This type of activity is dangerous and impacting the flood repairs actively underway.”

They added that Transport Canada has issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM), with an order restricting all aircraft and drones from flying lower than 1000ft between the Abbotsford Airport and the Chilliwack Airport.


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Jessica Peters

About the Author: Jessica Peters

I began my career in 1999, covering communities across the Fraser Valley ever since.
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