High Above: Private Investigators and Aerial Surveillance in Canada

In Canada, many groups, both public and private, use aerial surveillance. Beyond the purview of private investigators, both public and private entities in Canada harness drone technology for a myriad of purposes. There are many officials apprehensions regarding the privacy implications entwined with drone technology. Drones find applications in private investigations, scientific research, tracking, and surveillance, raising questions about the balance between innovation and privacy in this evolving landscape.

Governmental Investment and Initiatives for Aerial Surveillance in Canada

On the governmental front, the Canadian authorities have made substantial investments in aerial surveillance. The National Aerial Surveillance Program, a pivotal initiative, received a boost in 2015. Then the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat sanctioned funding for a technical assessment aimed at acquiring drones. This infusion of technology was geared towards enhancing the program’s capabilities to detect oil spills, survey ice formations, and monitor shipping activities in the expansive Canadian Arctic Ocean.

Maritime Surveillance and Environmental Oversight

In a bid to fortify maritime surveillance, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has enlisted the expertise of PAL Aerospace. This partnership heralded the delivery of a new fleet of four aerial surveillance aircraft, among which are two long-range maritime patrol aircraft. These aircraft are very instrumental in monitoring shipping activities.  It also is in combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated practices in Canada’s waters.

Private Eyes in the Sky:

Private investigators, equipped with a tech-savvy arsenal, navigate the skies with purpose. Utilizing quadcopters, such as the DJI Phantom series, renowned for high-quality cameras and stabilized gimbals, investigators discreetly capture clear aerial footage. The DJI Mavic series, lauded for its portability and advanced features, offers compact solutions with impressive camera capabilities.

Autel Robotics, with a focus on extended flight times, caters to surveillance scenarios where endurance is paramount. The Yuneec Typhoon H Pro, a hexacopter marvel, features a 360-degree rotating camera and retractable landing gear, providing a panoramic view for detailed aerial shots. The Autel Robotics Dragonfish, designed for industrial applications, boasts a rugged build, prolonged flight time, and advanced camera capabilities, making it an ideal tool for surveillance endeavours.

Quadcopters in Action

Private investigators deploy quadcopters to satisfy different types of clients’ requirements:

Gathering Aerial Footage: High-resolution cameras discreetly monitor activities in specific areas.

Tracking Subjects: GPS-equipped drones provide real-time location information for tracking subjects over larger distances.

Monitoring Large Areas: Quadcopters efficiently surveil expansive areas, from construction sites to event venues.


The skies above Canada bear witness to a tapestry of surveillance efforts, both public and private.


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