Surveillance Operations

The Spanish Maritime Safety Agency (SASEMAR) controls the aerial surveillance missions. SASEMAR owns 3 aircrafts CASA CN235-300 fully equipped, one of which patrols the Mediterranean Sea, and the other two the Atlantic Ocean, covering the Spanish North Coast and the Canary Islands respectively.

Approximately 1.200 hours of SASEMAR’s aircrafts are dedicated to pollution surveillance, and around 50% is performed by night.

The aircrafts are fitted with specific antipollution sensors: SLAR, IR/UV, MWR, LFS, and with other equipment: FLIR/CALI, video recorder, digital photo camera, AIS and data link, managed by two operators placed in two mission consoles. The operators evaluate the data from the sensors. The information is finally analyzed in the Mission Support Centre and a technical report is written.

The aircraft based in Valencia patrols the Spanish Mediterranean Coast.

The helicopters can support the marine pollution aerial surveillance, even taking samples from the sea. The Spanish Maritime Safety Agency operates eleven helicopters bases with nine medium size helicopters and two heavy helicopters equipped with FLIR, video recorder and digital photo camera. Four of the helicopter bases cover the Mediterranean Coast and one covers the Strait of Gibraltar.

SASEMAR plans the surveillance areas in the Mediterranean Sea, taking into account the major shipping routes in the area, the Tarifa Traffic Separation Scheme, the satellite images coverage and pollution information reported.