Public safety agencies requesting emergency air and/or water support should call (248) 655-7766, then press 0.
When available, Great Lakes Air Operations provides emergency air and water support services to public safety agencies (federal, state, county, and local) throughout Michigan for a variety of scenarios.  The Owner, Jim Santilli, has more than 19 years of experience working in partnership with public safety agencies.  He also currently serves as a drone pilot for one of Michigan's largest county law enforcement agencies.

The following are some emergency public safety situations Great Lakes Air Operations can assist with:

  • Barricaded Gunman
  • Disaster Assessment
  • Energy Infrastructure
  • Hostage
  • Missing Person
  • Search and Rescue (Inland and Water)
  • Special Response Team Operations
  • Transportation Infrastructure

Great Lakes Air Operations operates two aircraft and one watercraft, each of which have different capabilities.  One aircraft is equipped with thermal imaging.

A number of other features are available to ensure scene and event commanders have the resources they need.

Operating in compliance with Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) regulations, Great Lakes Air Operations is committed to providing a safe and reliable experience.  All pilots hold an Airman Certificate with a sUAS rating from the FAA, and the company possesses aircraft and liability insurance. 

On August 16, 2019, Great Lakes Air Operations received a Certificate of Waiver from the FAA for 14 CFR § 107.29 - Daylight Operation.  Therefore, Great Lakes Air Operations is authorized to conduct night small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) operations.

For more information, please contact:

Jim Santilli
Great Lakes Air Operations
(248) 655-7766