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Update: Apparently, you can't land your chopper anywhere

Transport Canada, in light of last week's story about an impromptu helicopter landing in a badminton centre parking lot, has now clarified that such a manoeuvre is not permitted
This helicopter made an unscheduled stop at Ace Badminton's parking lot in north Richmond on Thursday, May 18.

A helicopter pilot is running the risk of losing their license – after a series of unscheduled landings in a badminton centre parking lot in Richmond.

Richmond resident Dave Thomson spotted the helicopter landing last Thursday morning in the parking lot of Ace Badminton on Van Horne Way, next to Bridgeport Canada Line station.

Thomson said the passenger told him that it was not an emergency landing, while the manager at the badminton centre told the News they had no idea who the chopper belonged to and were calling the police.

After reading the story at, another resident told the News he, too, had witnessed the aircraft landing there several times and understood the passenger to be the owner of some nearby vacant land.

An initial statement from Transport Canada to the News gave the impression that, as long as the pilot had permission from the property owner, the aircraft could land in such a spot.

Landowner's permission is not enough

However, subsequent information from the federal authority clarified that “permission from the land owner is not sufficient to land a helicopter on any private property.”

The Transport Canada statement added that, in addition to permission from the owner, helicopter pilots must comply with certain sections of the Canadian Aviation Regulation, which include minimum altitudes and distances.

“All pilots, regardless of the type of aircraft they operate, must fully adhere to the Canadian Aviation Regulations. The regulations state that helicopters landing in built-up areas must normally land at an airport, heliport or a military aerodrome that meets the appropriate aviation standards. The Richmond badminton centre parking lot does not meet the appropriate aviation standards for helicopters to land in non-emergency situations.”

Transport Canada asking for witnesses

The authority said it will be “reviewing the circumstances of this occurrence” and is “inviting witnesses to share any relevant information they would have with our Enforcement group, at”

Should that group establish there was a contravention of the Canadian Aviation Regulations, enforcement action would be taken, which could include a fine or, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction, the pilot’s license may be suspended.