Feds add plane to marine surveillance program; will monitor oil spills, whales
A De Havilland Dash 8 will undergo modifications to become a maritime patrol aircraft
OTTAWA — Minister of Transport Marc Garneau announced Jan. 30 that Transport Canada has acquired a new addition to its National Aerial Surveillance Program’s aircraft fleet.
A De Havilland Dash 8 aircraft was acquired and will undergo modifications to become a maritime patrol aircraft, equipped with specialized maritime surveillance systems.
Transport Canada says the program’s marine surveillance missions include detecting oil spills and other marine pollution, and monitoring ship and endangered whale movements.
Transport Canada also notes its surveillance aircraft are equipped with cameras that can covertly monitor vessels from five miles away and at 20,000 feet altitude, along with technology that can live stream video from the aircraft to personnel on the ground, in offices and to people’s phones.
The government is also building a new National Aerial Surveillance Program Complex in Iqaluit, Nunavut, to support northern operations.
Garneau said in a statement, “Our government is committed to safe navigation and protection of the marine environment. Expanding our surveillance aircraft fleet allows us to improve local marine reporting and reduce the frequency of oil spills in Canada. This supports our commitment to protecting the endangered marine mammal population.”