De Havilland will announce a manufacturing complex and 1,500 jobs east of Calgary. The project will be known as De Havilland Field, and it will feature a runway in addition to aircraft assembly facilities, centers for the manufacturing and distribution of parts, and maintenance and repair operations.
In recognition of the company’s deep roots in Canada’s aviation sector, it also intends to construct a general office there, which will serve as the location of its head office, as well as an educational facility for the purpose of training staff members and a De Havilland fleet museum.
“We will have anywhere from 12 to 15 different facilities, depending on the time that it gets in (by) — but you’re talking production, distribution centers, and engineering offices,” she said. According to comments made by the CEO of the company, Brian Chafe, in an interview, “it’s the whole cache that you will have for a production environment.”
I would suggest that 1,500 jobs will be the starting point for what we are discussing. The speed with which we are able to acquire the necessary resources will, in some respects, determine the extent of our future expansion.
Near the Calgary airport, this company, which has been in business in the city under the name Viking Air in the past, currently rehabilitates and upgrades older models of the well-known “Super Scooper” firefighting aircraft (the Canadair CL-215 and CL-415). It employs approximately one thousand people across its six buildings.
After European Union countries signed letters of intent to purchase 22 new aircraft, it granted the go-ahead in April to kick-start a new amphibious firefighting manufacturing program, creating the DHC-515 Firefighter. This was done in response to the fact that the program would be used to combat fires.
According to Chafe, the investments and build-out of De Havilland Field will take happen over the course of the next ten to fifteen years as the company expands its numerous manufacturing lines. He did not reveal the anticipated expenditures on capital, but he did say that they would “easily” be in the hundreds of millions of dollars range.
After the site has been rezoned by the county, which might take place as late as 2023, De Havilland anticipates beginning construction on the new building.
According to the business, the complex’s initial buildings may begin operations as early as 2025. At two o’clock, there will be a news conference on the announcement that will be held.
At present, the corporation is considering three distinct aircraft lines for production at De Havilland Field. The DHC-515 is already making progress, and the business anticipates that it will be able to begin cutting metal on the firefighting planes at its existing facility in Calgary within the next six months.
The construction of the DHC-6 Twin Otter plane and the Dash 8-400 passenger aircraft, both of which were manufactured by De Havilland, was halted in the year 2020 when the pandemic first appeared.
Chafe stated that efforts are being made by the corporation to resume production of the other two aircraft models. The classic utility aircraft, the Twin Otter, is currently being evaluated, and “a decision is near,” meaning that it will most likely be made within the next three to six months.
A review of the Dash 8, which is a turboprop aircraft that can carry up to 90 passengers at a time, will take around one year to finish once it is finished.
“I can tell you that our goal and the mandate that was given to me was to get back into production for all three of those platforms and maybe some derivates of some other ones,” he continued. “I can also guarantee you that we will succeed in doing so.”
“Each and every one of them is a direct result of clients visiting our location.”
The government of the province has stated that it would not offer the corporation any financial incentives to construct the new complex.