RCAF increasing security for some operational flights

October 3, 2022 - Royal Canadian Air Force

The Royal Canadian Air Force is taking steps to enhance the security of its air operations.

In recent years, publicly-available platforms have become increasingly proficient at tracking private, commercial and military aircraft while in flight. While this is not a concern for many Canadian military flights, such as training flights or search and rescue missions, there are occasions where tracking of military aircraft or associated flight data could pose concerns for operational security and safety.

Accordingly, the Royal Canadian Air Force is implementing measures to enhance the operational security on some operational flights, including limiting publicly-available flight data. The types of flying operations covered by these measures could span much of what the Royal Canadian Air Force does, and would be driven by the context of the operation and by indicators derived from threat assessments. The measures applied to increase operational security will be used sparingly, and as always the RCAF will continue to work closely with our partners in NAV Canada and Transport Canada to assure safety of flight and navigation at all times.

“As an institution of the Government of Canada serving all Canadians, the Royal Canadian Air Force will continue to be as publicly transparent as possible, but there are situations where having all operational flight information easily accessible to anyone around the world poses a risk to mission success and security,” said Colonel Jody Hanson, Director of the Combined Aerospace Operations Centre. “As a result, we are working with partners like Transport Canada, NAV Canada and the US Federal Aviation Administration to implement some measures to ensure our aircraft can operate discreetly, when required for reasons of operational security.”

Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft will remain in communication with appropriate air traffic control (civilian and/or military) and abide by local, national and International Civil Aviation Organization procedures to ensure safety. These limited and measured steps taken by Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft to maintain operational security are being done in close coordination with Transport Canada, NAV Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other partners.

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