The transportation safety authority in Canada is investigating after a regional aircraft was forced to take evasive action to avoid a mid-air collision.

A Porter Airlines flight from Ottawa to Toronto nearly hit what is believed to have been a drone on Monday morning.

Two crew members on the Dash 8 turboprop received minor injuries as the aircraft was put into a sudden dive to avoid a collision, the Toronto Star reported.

The injured flight attendants were taken to hospital and have since been released. The 54 passengers on the aircraft were unharmed.

The flight was at an altitude of about 9,000ft over Lake Ontario and making its initial approach for landing at Toronto’s Billy Bishop island airport when the pilots noticed an object in the distance.

As they got closer they realised the object, which they first believed was a balloon, was very close to the flight path and they decided to take evasive action.

Porter is working with transportation safety board investigators, according to a statement.

Transport Canada and the Federal Aviation Authority in the US both have “No Drone Zone” safety campaigns meant to highlight the dangers of flying drones near airports and other areas that could put aviation safety at risk.

The incident came as UK pilots welcomed the announcement of an update to EU civil aviation safety rules to address the emerging risks of drones.

The updated EU regulation will also introduce the EU-level requirements for drones, to ensure safety and privacy.

The draft regulation sets out essential safety requirements for unmanned aircraft design, production, maintenance and operation, parts and control equipment as well as personnel and organisations involved.

Civil drone technology could account for an estimated 10% of the EU aviation market within the next 10 years  – about €15 billion a year – and create some 150,000 jobs by 2050,a ccording to the European Commission.

British Airline Pilots’ Association general secretary Brian Strutton said: “Pilots welcome the proposed updates to EU civil aviation safety rules in response to the increased use of drones in our air space.

“We fully recognise the many benefits drones bring but we need to ensure they are introduced in a safe and sensible manner.

“Balpa has been calling for tougher regulation on drones for some time now so we’re pleased to see some of our calls are being answered.”