National Aerial Surveillance Program

The National Aerial Surveillance Program watches ships in Canadian waters to help prevent pollution.

Aerial surveillance is the best way to detect oil spills. Surveillance through this program reduces oil pollution at sea because ships are aware they’re being watched. Evidence gathered by our aircraft is also used to issue fines and prosecute polluters under Canadian and international law.

We monitor shipping activities, ice conditions and marine security, as well as pollution. We also provide information to other federal departments and agencies to help them run programs related to:

  • security
  • keeping waterways safe and accessible
  • protecting the environment

Our surveillance fleet

  • A Dash-8 aircraft in Moncton, NB
  • A Dash-8 aircraft in Vancouver, BC
  • A Dash-7 aircraft in Ottawa, ON, which moves to Iqaluit, Nunavut to do northern surveillance during the Arctic shipping season (July to October)
  • Aircraft from Provincial Airlines Limited used in Newfoundland and Labrador