Kelowna International Airport has been abuzz with more than just airplanes recently. Three sightings of drones were reported within the airport’s airspace in just a month. Drones aren’t new to causing disruptions, but when they fly near an airport, the stakes get higher.

“We have a drone exclusion zone which is about 5.6 km around the airport,” says Shayne Dyrdal, acting CEO for the airport. “If there is a sighting of a drone within that area, we initiate our safety responses.”

This exclusion zone is vital for ensuring the safety of planes taking off and landing. The zone covers a large area, from Duck Lake to Sexsmith Road and from Glenmore Road to past Old Vernon Road.

Dyrdal confirmed drone sightings on July 27 and Aug. 3. However, he wasn’t informed about another drone spotted on Aug. 16. This drone was hovering at a concerning 4,200 feet, much higher than the airport’s elevation of 1,421 feet.

With such incidents in mind, the airport’s strategy