De Havilland building new campus in Alberta

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by Emily Atkins

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited has announced that the site of its new aircraft manufacturing facility will be in Wheatland County, Alberta, approximately 30 minutes east of Calgary.

This new facility will be called De Havilland Field and will include an aircraft assembly facility, runway, parts manufacturing and distribution centres, and maintenance repair and overhaul centre. It will also incorporate a training centre, office buildings and a De Havilland Canada aircraft museum. The company said it expects the facility will become its new headquarters.

These operations will complement existing parts manufacturing facilities in Victoria, British Columbia, as well as the company’s engineering and customer support centre in Toronto.

De Havilland Field will be the site of final assembly for the DHC-515 Firefighter aircraft which was launched earlier this year, the DHC-6 Twin Otter as well as the Dash 8-400 aircraft. The company is bringing the DHC-6 Twin Otter and Dash 8-400 aircraft back into production.

“De Havilland Field will be the home of assembly and production of reliable and rugged Canadian aircraft that serve missions around the world,” said Brian Chafe, CEO of De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited.

“This is the start of a new chapter for both De Havilland Canada and Canadian aerospace and we are excited about beginning the process with Wheatland County to provide new aviation opportunities for Canada and Alberta.”

De Havilland Field is located close to a young and diverse labour pool, family-friendly cost of living, and a world-class international airport that can support efficient parts distribution to the company’s global customer base. It said that once in full operation, there will be up to 1,500 jobs located at De Havilland Field.

De Havilland is applying for a zoning change for the 1,500-acre site, and will also require approvals by Transport Canada and the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada. Construction is expected to begin shortly after the Area Structure Plan has been amended and the sites have been re-zoned, which could be as early as late 2023. While the first buildings may be operating by 2021, the whole complex is planned to take 10 to 15 years.

De Havilland Canada has delivered over 5,000 aircraft which are in operation around the globe.