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Why was a helicopter flying over Vancouver?

Talon Helicopters was conducting a flight for a film on Wednesday night.

A helicopter circling over downtown Vancouver created concern from people in the area after a notice about a low-flying helicopter was not issued. 

In an email with Glacier Media, a spokesperson for the City of Vancouver said the helicopter on April 24 “was not related to the filming we posted about that place earlier this week."

The city issued notices for April 22 and 23 alerting the public of a "low-flying" helicopter filming from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The helicopter was captured filming over the downtown core around 8:30 p.m. and doing loops over Stanley Park.

Many people on social media questioned if the helicopter was involved in search and rescue or connected to the utility FortisBC. In recent days, the company alerted people they would be filming in the Okanagan and Squamish, but a notice was not issued for Vancouver.

A spokesperson with FortisBC confirmed they were not flying.

"We can confirm we aren’t beginning aerial inspections of our gas transmission lines until Monday,” says a spokesperson. 

Peter Murray, president of Talon Helicopters, confirmed the aircraft was part of their fleet. Murray said the helicopter was conducting a flight for a commercial film, but due to non-disclosure agreements, could not say what film it was. 

Murray added his team has been busy filming this spring. 

He does not anticipate the chopper to be filming on Thursday night. 

A spokesperson says Transport Canada reviews all applications for low flight authorizations to make sure flights are conducted safely for those in the air and on the ground.

"In this specific case, a low flight authorization was issued to Talon Helicopter Inc. for the purpose of operating a helicopter at altitudes below 1000’ within a built-up area,” says the spokesperson.

"The authorization included safety conditions such as: weather conditions flight crew qualifications, aircraft specifications, minimum altitudes, and area of operation.”

Flight permits are issued and approved by the municipality where the filming is taking place, which was the City of Vancouver in this case.

"Air Operators are required to notify local municipalities of helicopter operations prior to the flights occurring,” says the spokesperson.