features PAL Aerospace: The Snowbirds of Curaçao

With an upgraded fleet of Dash 8s, PAL Aerospace has become a critical partner in counter-narcotics and other missions across the Caribbean.
Avatar for Brent Bergan By Brent Bergan | May 6, 2024

Estimated reading time 1 minute, 21 seconds.

St. John’s, N.L., is geographically the most easterly city in North America, a full 1.5 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, jutting out into the frigid and harsh waters of the North Atlantic. For PAL Aerospace, the location is home base, and key to its success flying maritime operations. The company has provided maritime surveillance capabilities to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans since 1988, and has supported other departments and agencies, including the Canadian Coast Guard and the Department of National Defence, with search and rescue and maritime domain awareness.

From that perch in the Atlantic, PAL Aerospace has grown a global network of De Havilland Canada Dash 8s conducting multi-mission operations for governments, leveraging advanced sensors to provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), maritime security, law enforcement, disaster response, and search and rescue.

Since 2007, PAL has provided a contractor owned, contractor operated service from Curaçao, supporting the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard with two Dash 8-100 maritime surveillance aircraft and experienced crews, on call and ready to respond around the clock. In February, the company delivered the first of two upgraded, missionized Dash 8s to the small island, part of a contract renewal reaffirming its commitment into the next decade to provide maritime patrol. 

Continue reading this feature article in the April/May 2024 issue of Skies magazine.

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