New funding for airborne surveillance of shipping

by MM&D Online staff

VANCOUVER, BC—The federal government has announced new funding to increase the number of flights to monitor and detect pollution from ships in Canada’s waters.

The National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) is one of the main pillars of the federal Pollution Prevention Program and is the government’s primary tool for detecting  pollution coming from ships.

The Government of Canada is now approximately doubling funding for the program, to $47.6M over the next five years, to allow for more flight hours to detect pollution. Hours will increase from 2,080 to 3,750.

The surveillance fleet consists of three modernized aircraft strategically placed across the country. The information generated by Environment Canada’s Integrated Satellite Tracking of Pollution program serves as an early warning indication for areas of potential pollution to assist the NASP crew in performing surveillance activities on Canada’s coastal waters.

Evidence gathered, along with information from satellite monitoring reports, is forwarded to the appropriate government departments and international partners to investigate and enforce domestic and international laws and conventions.

This announcement is one of a number of measures that are part of the World-Class Tanker Safety System, announced in March 2013. Transport Canada will also strengthen the current requirements for pollution prevention and response at oil handling facilities, through amendments to the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.