The first of two new aircraft from the Netherlands Coastguard arrived today. The De Havilland Canada Dash-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) will soon succeed the Dornier-288. The aircraft landed in the Netherlands from Canada on September 10. The Dash-8s will be tasked with maritime patrol missions and to be based at Schiphol Airport. The first aircraft arrived about six months later than expected, partly caused by the COVID crisis. The second airframe is expected to be operational in October this year. Until then, a Beechkraft King Air aircraft will serve as a backup aircraft. Airplanes from the Netherlands Coastguard regularly participate in The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) operation.
The Netherlands Coastguard is leasing the DHC-8 maritime patrol aircraft over a 10-year period from ISR Support Europe, a consortium that supplies the pilots and maintenance personnel. ISR Support is a joint venture of Dutch company JetSupport and Canadian Provincial Aerospace Limited (PAL Aerospace). The company will also provide the pilots for these planes, of which one is also available for Frontex missions. The air observers, so-called aerial officers, come from Rijkswaterstaat (Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management), customs, and the Marechaussee (the national gendarmerie).
The De Havilland Canada DHC-8, commonly known as the Dash 8, is a series of turboprop-powered regional airliners, introduced by de Havilland Canada (DHC) in 1984. DHC was later bought by Boeing in 1988, then by Bombardier in 1992; then by Longview Aviation Capital in 2019, reviving the De Havilland Canada brand. Powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW100s, it was developed from the Dash 7 with improved cruise performance and lower operational costs, but without STOL performance. Three sizes were offered: initially the 37–40 seat -100 until 2005 and the more powerful -200 from 1995, the stretched 50–56 seats -300 from 1989, both until 2009, and the 68–90 seats -400 from 1999, still in production.
De Havilland Canada and Canadian aircraft modification company PAL Aerospace intend to offer a special-mission variant of the Dash 8-400 turboprop. The “Dash 8 P-4 MPA” would be a maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) and have capability to perform intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) tasks. PAL develops special-mission aircraft, trains special-mission pilots and processes ISR data. The baseline version of the Pratt & Whitney PW150-powered Dash 8-400 has 1,100nm (2,040km) range, maximum cruise speed of 360kt (667km/h) and can carry up to 90 passengers. PAL also operates aircraft. Its fleet includes two Dash 8-300s and seven Beechcraft King Air 200s.