It sounds like something you might only see in the movies, but sometimes reality is stranger than fiction.
Around two weeks ago, staff at the centre had to intercept a drone that was being used to drop drugs into the jail.
“Virtually any one of the little ones that we carry here could probably handle that task, depending on how much weight I guess,” said Wade Nyirfa the owner of Redline Hobby in Regina, a hobby shop that sells drones and other radio-controlled vehicles.
Nyirfa added the general entry-level drones have a range of about 200 – 300 feet.
The drones can cost anywhere from $100 for a small drone to tens of thousands of dollars for ones to be used for commercial purposes. He also said the small ones can reach up to 150 feet in the air.
He went on to say most people use drones for video purposes but has heard of people using them to carry items.
“I’ve had people tell me that they’ve carrier, a full can of beer with one so whatever that would weigh.”
New regulations coming for drones
Transport Canada admits their regulations need to be looked at when it comes to drones.
It’s the government’s responsibility to put in place and oversee regulations that govern the safe operations of the legitimate use of aircrafts and unmanned aircrafts, including drones.
Director General of civil aviation, Aaron McCrorie said “the regulations are outdated and they haven’t kept up with the technology and the popularity of drones.”
He said if you’re flying a drone as a business, you need to get a Special Flight Operating Certificate that outlines the conditions, how and when you can operate.
If you’re flying as a hobbyist, the only regulations are that you fly safely and don’t fly into clouds.
The new regulations would govern all drones, regardless of why they are being used, and put in stricter requirements when using a larger drone in a high risk area such as an airport. He said rural areas would have less strict restrictions.
He added police would have the ability to enforce the regulations as well.
McCrorie pointed out that the regulations could take effect at the end of the year or early in 2018.
SGEU happy with staff response
The Saskatchewan Government Employees Union is praising the staff at Regina Correctional Centre for intercepting a drone.
Attempting to get contraband into correctional facilities is nothing new and is an issue workers have had to deal with on a regular basis.
“I’m very happy with having qualified and capable corrections workers overseeing these centres and catching drones in this incident,” said Bob Bymoen, president of the SGEU.
He added that having such vigilant guards are keeping people safe and the people in these centres safe.
“Some days we don’t feel like they get enough credit and recognition and cases like this show they aren’t just a liability, they are there for a reason.”
A police investigation into the drone incident is now underway.
— With files from Sarah Mills