Transport Canada issues fines after grounding plane with Russian nationals

YELLOWKNIFE — Transport Canada says a plane carrying two Russian nationals that grounded in Yellowknife last week violated airspace restrictions.

It says the two pilots of the plane and the Russian who chartered the plane were each fined $3,000, while the Geneva-based aircraft operator was fined $15. 000 dollars.

Transport Canada said the plane was not owned or operated by Russians, but still violated Canadian aviation regulations.

Transport Canada immediately launched an investigation to determine if there had been a violation of airspace restrictions.

“As a result of this investigation, it was determined that the aircraft, although not owned or registered by Russians, had in fact operated contrary to the airspace restrictions announced on February 27, 2022,” Transport Canada said in a statement. .

Canada closed its airspace to aircraft owned or operated by Russia that day due to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

Transport Canada said the plane was cleared to leave Yellowknife, but without any passengers.

“The department will not hesitate to take further enforcement action if additional incidents of non-compliance with regulations and restrictions are discovered,” the statement said.

The plane was en route to the High Arctic when it was grounded on March 1.

Those on board planned to do an overland expedition to Nunavut in all-terrain vehicles.

The two Russians have not been identified, but the territory’s Transportation Minister Diane Archie told the Legislature they were part of a project called TransGlobal Car Expedition.

The Northwest Territories government also said it did not know who was on the plane until it was grounded.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on March 7, 2022.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of Facebook and the Canadian Press News Fellowship