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This small red plane was making circles around downtown Vancouver (VIDEO)

But why?
Photo: @HoremansDavid / Twitter

Vancouverites took to social media to post images and videos of a red plane that was circling over Downtown Vancouver this week. 

At 9:30 a.m. on June 1, David Horemans shared a video of a small plane flying in downtown Vancouver and asked, "Anyone know what the deal is with the orange aircraft doing circles around downtown Vancouver?" 

Katy Mackenzie also shared a couple of images of the plane, asking if, "Anyone know why this plane is flying in circles over downtown Vancouver??"

Annie Joannette, Senior Communications Advisor, Media Relations, Transport Canada, writes to Vancouver Is Awesome in an email that the plane is a red Dash 8 aircraft. The National Aerial Surveillance Program’s Dash 8 aircraft was doing a routine maritime pollution detection patrol over Vancouver Harbour.

"Transport Canada monitors ships in Canadian waters through its National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP), which tracks ship activity, detects oil spills and monitors endangered whales species on the East and West coasts," she wrote.

Joanette adds that Transport Canada uses a red Dash 8 aircraft, based at the Vancouver International Airport, to conduct maritime surveillance patrols along the coast of British Columbia.

"On May 30, 2020, the Dash 8 aircraft flew over Vancouver Harbour as part of a routine maritime pollution detection patrol," she said. "The aircraft sometimes conducts surveillance at lower altitudes to survey the site and to gather further information, which is then provided to appropriate authorities for further follow-up."


Transport Canada currently has three aircraft strategically located across Canada in Vancouver, Moncton and Ottawa, as part of its National Aerial Surveillance Program. During the summer shipping season, the one in Ottawa relocates to the Arctic.