Conversion approvals by Transport Canada follow a similar, recently announced approval for the Dash 8-400 aircraft
Conversions will support airlift of freight in response to COVID-19
Nairobi-based 748 Air Services (K) Ltd is the first operator of the Dash 8-100 Simplified Package Freighter
TORONTO, May 12, 2020 /CNW/ – De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (“De Havilland Canada”) announced today that Transport Canada has approved the conversion of Dash 8-100/200 and Dash 8-300 aircraft into Simplified Package Freighters in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 748 Air Services (K) Ltd, a well-known provider of passenger and cargo services to humanitarian, natural resources and government sectors in Africa, has ordered the Service Bulletin and conversion kits for their four Dash 8-100 aircraft and globally, will be the first operator for the Dash 8-100 Simplified Package Freighter. 748 Air Services (K) Ltd has also ordered the Simplified Package Freighter Service Bulletin and conversion kits for their three Dash 8-400 aircraft.
Headquartered at Wilson Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, 748 Air Services (K) Ltd distinguishes itself as an innovative and solution oriented company that effectively responds to demands presented within the industry.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with many challenges including broad government mandates that restrict the movements of both passengers and cargo for an indefinite duration. Movement has been limited to humanitarian cargo only. We have responded with Air Cargo solutions to support the humanitarian, natural resources and government sectors, who will benefit from the conversion of our four Dash 8-100 aircraft and three of our Dash 8-400 (Q400) aircraft into Simplified Package Freighters. We are extremely grateful to De Havilland Canada and Transport Canada for providing these solutions quickly,” said Moses Mwangi, Managing Director, 748 Air Services (K) Ltd.
“We’re delighted to announce 748 Air Services (K) Ltd as the first customer for the Dash 8-100 Simplified Package Freighter and thank them for their order which also includes conversion kits for their three Dash 8-400 aircraft. We commend them as they reconfigure some aircraft in their fleet to continue their excellent work delivering essential passenger and cargo services in the eastern and central regions of Africa,” said Todd Young, Chief Operating Officer, De Havilland Canada. “De Havilland Canada continues to be highly focused on providing solutions to our operators as they seek mechanisms to redeploy their fleets in response to COVID-19. It is gratifying to know that we are succeeding in creating opportunities for our operators in these challenging times.”
Approved by Transport Canada, De Havilland Canada’s Service Bulletins allow Dash 8-100/200, Dash 8-300 and Dash 8-400 aircraft to be quickly converted into Simplified Package Freighters by the removal of seats and seat track covers in the passenger cabins. The converted Dash 8-100/200, Dash 8-300 and Dash 8-400 aircraft provide total potential cargo capacities of up to 6,500 lb, up to 9,625 lb and up to 17,960 lb respectively.
More than a quarter of a century after retiring its last dedicated freighter, Air Canada is back in the business of flying exclusive cargo flights.
Last month, the passenger airline removed seats from four Boeing 777 300ERs, more than doubling the space available for goods on the planes. The aircraft are primarily moving masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment necessary to combat COVID-19 from Shanghai to Canada. The airline also plans to convert four Airbus A330s to serve routes to Europe and South America.
“We weren’t looking to be in the freighter business until this moment,” said Tim Strauss, the airline’s vice-president of cargo. “We’re doing this so we can get more PPE equipment back into Canada faster than could have been done otherwise.”
American Airlines and Finland’s Finnair have also rapidly converted aircraft into freighters, and new announcements arrive weekly. Now everyone from ground crews to airport officials to regulators are scrambling to adapt to these strange hybrid planes.
While not unprecedented, such wholesale repurposing of aircraft occurs only during humanitarian crises, said Jonathan McDonald, an analyst with aviation consultancy IBA. Rare examples included large-scale airlifts after a tropical cyclone destroyed Darwin, Australia, in 1974, and during famines in Ethiopia.
“In history, yes, there have been one-off events. You had the Berlin Airlift, I suppose, but that’s going back 70-plus years.”
Normally, people are a passenger airline’s most valuable cargo. But COVID-19 halted most human traffic and grounded fleets worldwide. Because passenger jets also carry cargo – typically high-value goods that justify increased air shipping costs – the result was a dramatic drop in available capacity for urgent shipments.
“In the pre-COVID-19 environment, 70 per cent of our cargo was travelling in the bellies of passenger aircraft,” said Craig Bradbrook, vice-president of aviation services at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which runs Pearson International Airport. “The airlines have scrambled to look at ways in which they can continue to move cargo.”
In a bid to replace some of that lost capacity and a small fraction of the revenue they’ve lost as a result of COVID-19 travel bans, airlines began flying cargo-only flights. At first, some airlines strapped boxes onto seats in passenger compartments. But Air Canada quickly realized this approach risked damaging the pricey video entertainment systems on seat backs. Moving cargo in passenger cabins is also slow and cumbersome.
The airline’s maintenance chief, Richard Steer, suggested removing the seats and stuffing cargo into the cabin. Canada’s aviation regulator, Transport Canada, responded encouragingly to the proposal. Air Canada partnered with Avianor, a firm that specializes in commercial jet cabins, to convert the 777s at Montréal-Mirabel International Airport.
Late last month, Jazz Airlines (which operates as Air Canada Express) announced plans to convert up to 13 of its Dash 8-400 aircraft using a “simplified package freighter” kit provided by the manufacturer, De Havilland Canada. De Havilland is in the process of introducing kits for earlier Dash 8 models.
Todd Young, De Havilland’s chief operating officer, said his company already had a program in the works to convert Dash 8s into dedicated freighters. After COVID-19 struck, the company realized it needed a more immediate solution.
“We wanted to keep our airplanes flying,” he said. “We wanted our customers to have options, to be able to perform a different mission than transporting personnel or passengers from point to point.”
Since announcing the conversion kits with Jazz, five international customers have placed their own orders, Mr. Young said.
Passenger airliners were routinely converted for cargo service before the pandemic; manufacturers such as Boeing, as well as third parties, have been doing brisk business in recent years. But proper conversions are a one-way trip, typically reserved for mid-life jets. Seats, overhead bins and “monuments” such as areas designated for flight attendants and catering are removed. A new, larger door is cut. Floors are reinforced, windows are plugged, and cargo handling systems and fire suppression equipment are installed. Afterward, a converted plane can be expected to haul cargo for 15 years or more.
Such changes permanently alter an aircraft’s balance and weight; it can take years to satisfy regulators that a given conversion process produces jets that are safe to fly.
They’re also costly. Mr. McDonald said the price for a 737-400 can be up to US$3-million. For wide-body aircraft such as 767s, it’s about US$14-million.
These COVID-19 conversions are rapid and inexpensive by comparison. Air Canada’s 777s, for instance, are far too young to be candidates for permanent conversion. “It’s very much a temporary role change for the aircraft,” Mr. McDonald said. “There’s obviously very good intentions, it’s humanitarian, it’s doing your bit to fight this bloody coronavirus, and it provides utilization for aircraft, which would otherwise just be sitting.”
The limited nature of the changes also helps comfort regulators. De Havilland’s conversion kits, for instance, couldn’t be more straightforward. Operators remove the seats and install tie-down fittings to hold 17 nets for securing cargo inside the passenger compartment. Aircraft can be converted overnight, Mr. Young said.
To facilitate regulatory approval, Air Canada sought a much lower maximum cargo weight than a 777 is capable of carrying – no great sacrifice, because PPE doesn’t weigh much. The aircraft’s lock system for seats is compatible with hardware for securing nets, further simplifying matters.
“We made it as simple to approve as you could possibly make it,” said Mr. Strauss, who praised Transport Canada’s rapid accommodation.
Mr. Strauss said Air Canada would like to convert some 787s as well, but those aircraft feature different seat locking mechanisms. “That would have taken a whole different certification process and much, much longer time,” he said. “Who knows if you’d even have it done this year?”
Airlines and regulators aren’t the only party forced to adapt to these unusual hybrid aircraft. Ground handlers must also figure out how to work with them.
“It’s still a passenger aircraft in terms of design,” Mr. Bradbrook said. “The door apertures are for passengers. They were never designed to take bulk cargo. So we’ve had to work with airlines and ground handlers to look at new processes for loading and unloading cargo piece by piece.” GTAA has provided mobile roller beds to handlers, and some airlines are using catering trucks to load cargo onto the main deck.
Gradually, efficiency is improving. Air Canada’s first loading in Shanghai late last month took five hours, but with optimization and experience that was quickly compressed to one hour and 15 minutes – all while maintaining physical distancing.
But temporarily converted planes will never be as efficient or inexpensive to operate as dedicated freighters. They introduce new costs: Crew members are required in cabins on temporarily converted Dash 8s to monitor packages and react in the event of fire, for example. And they’ll never replace passengers, which Mr. Strauss said usually brings in at least five times as much revenue a kilogram as cargo does.
Moreover, routes typically enjoy two-way traffic. Yet during COVID-19, cargo often moves in only one direction, for example from China to Canada.
All that helps explain today’s sky-high air cargo rates. Mr. Bradbrook said he’d heard they’d tripled. “The rates are high,” Mr. Strauss said. “I’ve never seen anything quite like it.”
Asked how many more temporary conversions will take place during COVID-19, Mr. McDonald said he couldn’t hazard a guess.
“In order to make a reliable forecast, sometimes you need past data to gauge trends and habits. This is such a new phenomenon that you can’t gauge to what extent people are going to do this. It’s still very early days.”
The phased return to work follows the temporary suspension of manufacturing operations on March 20 to support international efforts to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.
TORONTO, May 4, 2020 /CNW/ – De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (“De Havilland Canada”) announced today that the company has started a phased return to work of employees and a measured resumption of activities. In the first phase, approximately 100 employees have returned to work and De Havilland Canada is focused on resuming pre-flight activities and delivery of Dash 8-400 aircraft. The phased return to work, which follows the temporary suspension of manufacturing operations on March 20 to support international efforts to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, reflects market demand and is being undertaken in consultation with customers.
“In harmony with ongoing efforts to curtail the effects of COVID-19, De Havilland Canada is glad to start welcoming our employees back to work to resume aircraft pre-flight activities and prepare for upcoming deliveries to our customers,” said Todd Young, Chief Operating Officer, De Havilland Canada. “The health and safety of our employees, customers and suppliers is of the utmost priority and as such, we will continue to work closely with government agencies and the custodian of the Toronto Site, to ensure that protocols and processes are in place for a safe operational environment.”
“The global aviation industry continues to face unprecedented uncertainty as a result COVID-19 and we are all watching for signs of economic recovery. As we move forward, we are adjusting the business to reflect the current market demand, as well as for the foreseeable future, and we will proactively manage costs and streamline our operations in all areas of the business,” added Mr. Young.
During the pause in production and delivery of new Dash 8-400 aircraft, De Havilland Canada continued to provide customer support and technical services to owners and operators of Dash 8 Series aircraft around the world, with most teams working remotely. The teams are responding to numerous requests relating to the reconfiguration of Dash 8 aircraft to support aerial transport services and the delivery of essential cargo during the pandemic. As announced by De Havilland Canada on April 23, Transport’s Canada’s approval of a new Simplified Package Freighter configuration that can quickly transform the Dash 8-400 aircraft passenger cabin to carry light freight provides a sound solution for operators to redeploy aircraft. De Havilland Canada has prepared a Service Bulletin that provides instructions on implementing the reconfiguration.
The company also recently announced that the De Havilland Component Solutions (DCS) program is available to provide component management support to Dash 8-400 aircraft operators, and on April 28, the company delivered the first Dash 8-400 aircraft since the suspension of manufacturing operations.
De Havilland’s Dash 8 24/7 Customer Response Centre is operating at full capacity:
Re-configuration of aircraft approved by Transport Canada to support airlift of freight during COVID-19 pandemic
TORONTO, April 23, 2020 /CNW/ – De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (“De Havilland Canada”) and Jazz Aviation LP (“Jazz”) announced today that Jazz will be the first operator for the recently approved Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter. Under the agreement, Jazz has ordered the Service Bulletin and conversion kits for up to 13 Dash 8-400 aircraft. De Havilland Canada will be the exclusive supplier of all future Dash 8-400 aircraft Simplified Package Freighter modifications for Jazz’s fleet.
“We are delighted to be the first operator for the Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter and congratulate De Havilland Canada and Transport Canada on offering this sound solution,” said Randolph deGooyer, President, Jazz Aviation LP. “This innovative opportunity will allow us to redeploy aircraft while contributing to the collective fight against COVID-19 by supporting our customer – Air Canada – and the delivery of essential cargo.”
“The reconfiguration of Dash 8-400 aircraft into Simplified Package Freighters can be quickly achieved by the removal of seats and seat track covers in the passenger cabin. The reconfiguration, which includes the use of up to 17 nets will provide a potential total payload of up to 17,960 lb. and a total cargo volume of up to 1,150 cubic feet per aircraft,” said Todd Young, Chief Operating Officer, De Havilland Canada. “We will work with Jazz to quickly put their Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighters into service and look forward to supplying this solution to other Dash 8-400 aircraft operators around the world to assist in the re-deployment of their fleets to meet the growing demand for airlift of essential supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
TORONTO, CALGARY and VICTORIA, March 20, 2020 /CNW/ – Longview Aviation Capital Corp., parent company of De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited and Viking Air Limited, today announced the immediate suspension of manufacturing operations for new production Dash 8-400 aircraft at De Havilland’s Downsview facility in Toronto, and new production Series 400 Twin Otter aircraft at Viking’s facilities in Victoria, BC and Calgary, Alberta.
Production on these aircraft will be paused until further notice. Approximately 800 employees or 65% of De Havilland’s current workforce, and 180 employees or 40% of Viking current workforce will be affected.
The global aviation industry is facing unprecedented uncertainty as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Longview and its subsidiaries have been in close communication with customers and suppliers over the last several weeks. On the basis of these discussions, and against the backdrop of significantly reduced airline activity, Longview determined that it is necessary to pause all new aircraft production activity at this time.
The suspension applies only to new aircraft production. Both De Havilland and Viking will continue to provide full product support and technical services to all in-service De Havilland and Viking aircraft. All other Longview business activities will continue as usual, including:
Customer support operations, including parts, and in-service aircraft support
CL-415EAF “Enhanced Aerial Firefighter” conversions through Longview Aviation Services
Aircraft leasing activity through Longview Aviation Asset Management
“This is a period of considerable challenge for our industry and for our customers, and we must adapt to this new – hopefully temporary – reality,” said David Curtis, Executive Chairman, Longview Aviation Capital Corp. “In this context, we will focus our efforts on supporting our customers’ existing in-service fleets and delivering the other services our companies provide to the global aviation industry. We will remain in close contact with our customers and continue to monitor the evolving situation. We will make further adjustments to our operations as required.”
Longview hopes to restart aircraft manufacturing operations as conditions improve – based upon ongoing local, national and international events and developments.
In the meantime, the company will remain in frequent contact with customers – and will closely monitor and assess market conditions.
Both De Havilland and Viking have established business continuity plans to ensure the companies are set up to serve customers, and have reorganized working arrangements to prevent the spread of any illness while still allowing vital customer service and product support work to continue.
De Havilland’s Dash 8 24/7 Customer Response Centre is operating at full capacity:
Operations at other Longview companies are continuing under enhanced health and safety protocols.
“The health and safety of our employees and our community is our highest priority,” said Mr. Curtis. “We will continue to carefully follow the directives from public health authorities and take the steps we can to support the overall objective of preventing the spread of the virus.”
Longview Aviation Capital Corp. (LAC) was established in 2016 to manage a portfolio of long-term investments in the Canadian aerospace industry. At present, LAC includes and/or is associated with the assets of De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd., Viking Air Ltd., Pacific Sky Aviation Ltd, Longview Aviation Asset Management Inc. and Longview Aviation Services. Longview holds the Type Certificates and entire product line of the original deHavilland aircraft company including the Twin Otter program and the DHC-1 through DHC-8 series, as well as the former Canadair CL-215, CL-215T, and CL-415 waterbomber aircraft. Through Pacific Sky, Longview also operates the world’s only certified Category “D” Full-Flight Simulator for the Series 400 Twin Otter, complete with seaplane simulation capabilities. Longview operates manufacturing and service support in locations across Canada including Victoria, Calgary and Toronto.
Provided by De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited/CNW
TORONTO, Feb. 25, 2020 /CNW/ – De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (“De Havilland Canada”) announced today that Nordic Aviation Capital will be the launch customer for the Classic Overhead Bin Extension Solution for the Dash 8-400 aircraft. Under this agreement, De Havilland Canada will be the exclusive supplier of all future Dash 8-400 aircraft classic bin extension modifications for Nordic Aviation Capital’s fleet. The cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solution provides additional stowage volume in the Dash 8 aircraft’s cabin and is the perfect solution to meet growing customer requirements for more baggage space.
De Havilland Canada specifically designed the Classic Overhead Bin Extension to accommodate standard roll-aboard bags, thereby reducing the need for gate check service, and greatly improving airline efficiency and passenger comfort. Following each modification, the bins will feature more baggage volume, a larger door opening, a new door with NextGen latches, and will offer a consistent look-and-feel with newer Dash 8-400 aircraft interiors. Each bin also retains the robust design features that have been proven over millions of flights and will now accommodate two standard 22″ Travelpro bags per bin section.
“Over the last few years we have seen an increase in customer carry-on bags as well as an expansion in bag sizes. Having a new configuration that is able to meet these needs is very exciting for us and our customers,” said Tom Turley, Chief Operating Officer, Nordic Aviation Capital. “The Classic Overhead Bin Extension will allow those boarding and departing the aircraft to store and access their belongings with ease, improving overall gate-time and efficiency for passengers and airlines.”
“We are proud to announce Nordic Aviation Capital as the launch customer for the Classic Overhead Bin Extension for the Dash 8-400 aircraft,” said Todd Young, Chief Operating Officer, De Havilland Canada. “We are excited to have an environmentally friendly solution that manages the need for increased capacity in overhead bins. The extension will provide passengers a more enjoyable travel experience, and airlines a consistent interior layout.”
The Classic Overhead Bin Extension solution is currently being developed with De Havilland Canada’s supplier Safran Interiors.
Provided by De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited/CNW
TORONTO, Feb. 11, 2020 /CNW/ – De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (“De Havilland Canada”) announced today that it has signed service agreements with Maldivian that will significantly enhance the airline’s operational performance. The agreements will provide A and C Check Maintenance Interval Extensions, as well as Enhanced Structural Inspection Requirements (ESIR) for the airline’s fleet of 10 Dash 8-200 and Dash 8-300 aircraft. Maldivian, owned and operated by Island Aviation Services Limited, is the National Airline of the Maldives, one of the most geographically dispersed countries in the world.
“We are very excited to work with De Havilland Canada on our A and C Check Maintenance Intervals Extensions and ESIR service agreements,” said Mohamed Rizvi, Managing Director, Maldivian. “We are always looking for modern techniques to increase our operational efficiencies, aircraft utilisation and improve customer experience. Knowing we have the support and experience of De Havilland Canada provides us with additional time to focus on other business activities.”
“A and C Check Maintenance Interval Extensions offer airlines longer time periods between maintenance checks, resulting in reduced maintenance downtime and increased aircraft availability,” said Todd Young, Chief Operating Officer, De Havilland Canada. “Maldivian currently operates with an A Check maintenance interval of 500 flight hours and a C Check maintenance interval of 5,000 flight hours. The extension to be provided by De Havilland Canada will increase the A Check intervals up to 800 flight hours and the C Check intervals up to 8,000 flight hours and multiples – increasing revenue-generating opportunities over the lifespan of the airline’s Dash 8-200 and Dash 8-300 aircraft.
“The ESIR support that we will provide targets aircraft flying over 40,000 cycles, significantly extending the repeat intervals of mandatory structural inspections. In doing so, Maldivian will benefit from fewer inspections, lower material costs and increased flying time. We are delighted that Maldivian selected De Havilland Canada to provide these service solutions and we look forward to offering ongoing support to enhance their operations,” added Mr. Young.
VICTORIA, Feb. 7, 2020 /CNW/ – In light of the increased alert level announced today by the Singapore Government and Ministry of Health due to incidents of Coronavirus in Singapore, Longview Aviation Capital (“Longview Aviation”) has elected to cancel the participation of its subsidiary companies, De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (“De Havilland Canada”) and Viking Air Ltd. (“Viking”) in the 2020 Singapore Airshow scheduled to be held from February 11th to 16th, 2020.
Earlier today, Minister Lawrence Wong, Co-Chair of the Multi-Ministry Taskforce on Novel Coronavirus in Singapore, issued a statement advising that the government of Singapore has increased the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level from Yellow to Orange, and recommended that all large-scale events be canceled or deferred.
Based on this recommendation, and out of an abundance of caution for the well-being of our employees, De Havilland Canada and Viking will not be in attendance at the 2020 Singapore Airshow as previously planned. In addition, De Havilland Canada media briefings scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 11 and 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 12th are cancelled.
Longview Aviation apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause our customers, suppliers, and stakeholders, and welcome an opportunity to reschedule meetings as appropriate.
Provided by De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited/CNW
TORONTO, Feb. 4, 2020 /CNW/ – De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (De Havilland Canada) is ready to reaffirm its commitment to customers in the Asia-Pacific region during the upcoming Singapore Airshow. A Dash 8-400 aircraft, which is one of two recently delivered to leasing company TrueNoord, will be a feature of the airshow’s static display. The aircraft is configured with 86 seats and will be operated by PAL Express, an airline under the banner of Philippine Airlines, the flag carrier of the Philippines.
The exhibited aircraft, along with a demonstration of Expliseat’s ultra-light TiSeat E2 in De Havilland Canada’s Chalet, will re-inforce the availability of “extra capacity” options for the Dash 8-400 aircraft that are suitable for the Asia-Pacific region. Depending on aircraft configuration, the TiSeat E2 reduces in-flight weight by 300 to 1,000 lbs. and offers up to 1 per cent in fuel savings, while preserving passenger comfort.
“We are excited to be participating in our first Singapore Airshow as De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited, and to be showcasing a Dash 8-400 aircraft owned by TrueNoord and operated by PAL Express,” said Todd Young, Chief Operating Officer, De Havilland Canada. “Our teams will be available to demonstrate how the Dash 8-400 aircraft’s unmatched performance and operational flexibility offer our customers the versatility of turboprop economics with jet-like performance.”
The Dash 8-400 aircraft can be adapted to meet many business models. With industry-leading passenger amenities, operating costs and environmental footprint, the Dash 8-400 aircraft is the pinnacle of the modern turboprop. The aircraft’s low fuel consumption and low maintenance costs, in combination with its productivity and performance attributes, make it an ideal aircraft for a wide diversity of airlines around the globe.
De Havilland Canada will be located in Chalet CD19 during the Airshow which runs from February 11-16, 2020.
Canada’s oceans are a source of inspiration and pride for all Canadians, and contribute to the growth of our economy. As overseas trade and the movement of goods grow, there is a need for greater emphasis on marine safety and environmental protection. Now more than ever, the Government of Canada recognizes that enhanced prevention measures are needed to respond to marine pollution incidents faster and more effectively, and to better protect marine ecosystems and habitats.
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau announced that Transport Canada has acquired a new addition to its National Aerial Surveillance Program’s aircraft fleet.
Through the Government of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan and the Whales Initiative, a De Havilland Dash 8 aircraft was acquired to increase the capacity of the National Aerial Surveillance Program. This Program’s marine surveillance missions include detecting oil spills and other marine pollution, and monitoring ship and endangered whale movements.
Over the next two years, the Dash 8 will undergo modifications 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.
Transport Canada is also building a new National Aerial Surveillance Program Complex in Iqaluit, Nunavut, to support northern operations.
Aerial surveillance is a vital tool to monitor Canada’s endangered, iconic whale populations, and decrease oil spills. It is used 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.
“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.”
Minister of Transport The Honourable Marc Garneau
“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.”
The Honourable Anita Anand Minister of Public Services and Procurement
Transport Canada’s surveillance aircraft are equipped with cameras that can covertly monitor vessels from five miles away and at 20,000 feet altitude.
National Aerial Surveillance Program aircraft are equipped with technology that can live stream video from the aircraft to personnel on the ground, in offices and to people’s phones.
The De Havilland Dash 8 aircraft was purchased pre-owned and had the lowest number of hours compared to any other Dash-8-100 aircraft on the market.
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.