Edmonton Police have a secret plane and they’re getting another

The Edmonton Police Service has a secret plane they’ve never told the public about and they are planning to purchase another one. The Edmonton Police and the Edmonton Police Commission have never disclosed what these planes do, how much they cost, or why they needed two of them nor did they respond to our questions about these planes.  

On November 8, 2021 in an exchange at the Community and Public Services Committee between councilor Michael Janz and Brian Kisilevich of the Edmonton Police Service, Kisilevich says that not only does the Edmonton Police Service have a plane but “we are just in the process of acquiring another plane.”

According to John Leicht, a longtime member of the Namao Flying Club the Edmonton Police’s secret plane is a Cessna with the callsign C-GMXM painted on it. It flies out of Hangar B at Villeneuve Airport. The Namao Flying Club is located in Hangar A. The plane is not marked or painted with anything that makes it obviously the property of the Edmonton Police. According to these registration documents the plane is a Cessna 182 and the owner's address is listed as the Edmonton Police Service. 

The Edmonton Police Cessna 182 at the Villeneuve Airport. Picture taken by John Leicht in 2016. 

Air 1 and Air 2, the two helicopters that the Edmonton Police Service operates, are located in a different hangar at the same airport. 

Leicht would frequently interact with the crew of these planes as pilots have to maintain their status by taking checked flights, which were done in concert with the Namao Flying Club. The crew would frequently boast about the plane but “when pressed about what it actually does they would get strangely silent,” said Leicht. 

The RCMP own several Cessnas which are “mostly used for surveillance purposes.” The Regina Police Service is asking the city to purchase a plane in its 2022 budget and the Saskatoon Police have been flying a Cessna 182 since 2005. The Regina Police Service is asking for roughly $667,000 from the city and the province to cover the cost of both the new plane and the surveillance equipment.

According to Leicht he asked the police commission about the plane in 2012 and while they initially denied its existence at first they ended up admitting that it runs about 100 hours a year.

This culture of secrecy is the norm for the Edmonton Police when it comes to decisions around expensive, controversial equipment. City council and the public were unaware that the Edmonton Police were purchasing a new armoured vehicle until the Progress Report confirmed the purchase of the $500,000 armored vehicle, which showed up near the peak of the George Floyd protests in 2020.

The Edmonton Police Service and the Edmonton Police Commission did not respond to questions about the planes.

Editor's note: The plane was originally identified as a Cessna 210 but registration documents not available at publishing revealed it to be a Cessna 182. We regret the error.