31 janvier 2020 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval

Transport Canada adds Dash 8 to surveillance program fleet

Canada's National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) is getting a boost through a new addition to its aircraft fleet.

On Jan. 30, Minister of Transport Marc Garneau announced that Transport Canada has acquired a lower-time de Havilland Canada Dash 8-100. This aircraft will undergo modifications over the next two years to equip it for maritime patrol operations. Currently, NASP aircraft carry cameras that can covertly monitor vessels from five miles away and at 20,000 feet altitude. They are also equipped with technology that can live stream video from the aircraft to personnel on the ground, in offices and to people's phones.

Through the Government of Canada's Oceans Protection Plan and the Whales Initiative, NASP aircraft detect oil spills and other marine pollution, monitor ships and track endangered whale movements. Aerial surveillance is a vital tool to monitor the designated shipping zones for endangered North Atlantic right whales, located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and in Arctic operations such as verifying vessel pollution detected by satellites.

“Transport Canada's National Aerial Surveillance Program is an essential piece of our government's efforts to keep Canada's coasts and inland waters safe and clean. I am pleased to support this work through the procurement of a new Dash 8 aircraft to enhance surveillance capacity under the program, leading to a cleaner environment and a safer shipping industry,” said Anita Anand,
Minister of Public Services and Procurement.

Transport Canada is also building a new NASP complex in Iqaluit, Nunavut, to support northern operations.

In 2018-2019, the National Aerial Surveillance Program set a record for the number of hours flown, with a total of 4,152 hours of surveillance over 27,520 vessels for an average of 6.63 vessel over- flights per hour.


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    8 juillet 2019 | Local, Aérospatial

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    Chris Thatcher When your squadron lineage includes bomber, strike, fighter, operational training, and combat support roles, and your predecessors have flown everything from the Handley Page Halifax bomber to the Avro Lancaster, Canadair F-86 Sabre, Lockheed CF-104 Starfighter, Canadair CC-144 Challenger, and CT-133 Silver Star, it's perhaps fitting that you get reborn as an operational test and evaluation squadron. At a ceremony at 8 Wing Trenton, Ont., on May 31, the Royal Canadian Air Force reformed the 434 “Bluenose” Squadron as 434 Operational Test & Evaluation (OT&E) Squadron, under command of the RCAF Aerospace Warfare Centre (RAWC). The squadron last served as a combat support squadron in the 1990s, based at 14 Wing Greenwood, N.S. 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