There was never any risk or danger when HAWCS helicopters reportedly flew too close to other aircraft several times in the past four years, according to Calgary police.

Police spokesperson Kevin Brookwell defended the actions of the police aircraft yesterday after CBC news reported Transport Canada files state the helicopter has flown too close to other aircraft at least 11 times in the past four years.

“I want to emphasize there were no ‘near misses’ and there was never any danger at any time. We don’t do anything without air traffic controller’s knowledge or permission,” Brookwell said.

Brookwell said at no point did one aircraft not know the whereabouts of another nearby aircraft while in flight, adding that they are given directions by air traffic controllers when patrolling the air.

“We were never fined or reprimanded and up until now we never knew there were any concerns. If we were asked to sit down and come up with better communication, we would comply.”

Transport Canada didn’t return calls for comment, but Westjet spokesperson Richard Bartrem corroborated Brookwell’s comments.

“There was never any danger and there were certainly no ‘near-miss’ incidents. It just shows that the traffic collision avoidance system works. It did what it is supposed to do,” Bartram said, adding anything within one nautical mile would have resulted in a report.

Latest From ...