De Havilland to manufacture line of firefighting planes in Calgary
The program is expected to bring 500 jobs to the city
De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited says it is reviving a water bomber aircraft manufacturing program that will bring 500 jobs to Calgary.
The company says it has launched the De Havilland DHC-515 Firefighter program to build on the history of the Canadair CL-215 and CL-415 aircraft. Both aircraft types have been used to fight forest fires in Europe and North America for over 50 years, but are no longer in production.
The company already has signed letters of intent from European customers to purchase the first 22 aircraft, and expects to make its first deliveries by the middle of the decade.
De Havilland Canada acquired the Canadair CL program in 2016 and has been contemplating returning the water bombers to production since 2019.
It says final assembly of the aircraft will take place in Calgary, where support for CL-215s and CL-415s already in service takes place.
The company says it expects the DHC-515 to be an important tool for countries around the globe as climate change increases the intensity and frequency of forest fires.