Industry Manufacturers

De Havilland Canada Chooses Alberta for New Site

  • by Helwing Villamizar
  • September 22, 2022
  • 2 minutes read

DALLAS – De Havilland Canada has decided on a location close to Calgary for its new facilities. The Alberta complex will be known as De Havilland Field, will include offices, training facilities, repair centers, manufacturing and assembly halls for aircraft, a museum, and its own runway.

The airframer stated on September 21 that the first structures should be operational in 2025.

De Havilland Canada began looking for a new assembly location in 2018 when it became apparent that Bombardier’s land lease on the significant Downsview (Toronto) site would expire in 2022. Many different De Havilland aircraft models have been produced at the Downsview site, which most recently produced the Dash 8-400.

Following the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020, DHC temporarily halted the production of the Dash 8. Later, it announced that production would be halted indefinitely until the state of the aircraft market was clarified.

The completion of already assembled but unfinished Dash 8 aircraft will resume in July 2021 following a three-month strike, according to an agreement between unions and De Havilland. The OEM has stated it is working on bringing back the Twin Otter and Dash 8-400 into production.

From Downsview to Wheatland County

In an interview with AirInsight at the Dubai Airshow last year, Philippe Poutissou stated that Downsview was no longer producing new aircraft and that the production rigs had been disassembled and preserved for future use. In addition, he stated that different locations were being considered, but no choice had been made.

This summer, Downsview officially shuttered its doors after a tearful farewell ceremony for both current and former employees. About 1.500 people will work at the new location, which will be in Alberta’s Wheatland County, east of Calgary.

The site features buildings for manufacturing assembly, additive, composite, and other parts as well as offices, warehouses, MRO facilities, a paint shop, a pre-delivery flight center, a training academy, and a customer service center in a video that is intended for reference. De Havilland Field will have a separate control tower and runway.

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

Featured image: Dash 8-400 #4001 showing off its brand new @dehavillandAIR paint scheme at the Downsview Airport facility, Toronto, Canada. Photo: De Havilland Canada


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