Canada’s Minister of Transport announced that Transport Canada acquired a new addition to its National Aerial Surveillance Program’s aircraft fleet to improve the monitoring of potential oil spills and other marine pollution.
Specifically, in the two years following, the Dash 8 will undergo changes to become a maritime patrol aircraft. The aircraft will be equipped with specialized maritime surveillance systems that are currently used on Transport Canada’s existing fleet.
Canada’s program is about marine surveillance missions and includes detecting oil spills and other marine pollution, and monitoring ship and endangered whale movements.
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In the meantime, Transport Canada is constructing a new National Aerial Surveillance Program Complex in Iqaluit, Nunavut, to support northern operations.
Canada’s aerial surveillance is a crucial tool for monitoring its endangered whale populations, and decrease oil spills. Thus, in July 2019, Canada announced further measures to protect these iconic creatures. These additional measures included slowing down more ships in areas, increasing the zones in which speed restrictions will apply, increasing aerial surveillance, and funding for initiatives to enhance marine mammal response.
Concluding, Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, commented that
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.