Montreal

How giant blimps could help solve Canada's Indigenous housing crisis

A Montreal company says it can help solve the housing crisis in Canada's north by using its fleet of giant blimps to ship pre-fabricated houses to remote communities that can't be accessed by plane or truck.

Airships could transport pre-fabricated houses to remote northern communities, Montreal company says

LTA says it's giant blimps could deliver pre-fabricated houses to remote northern communities currently inaccesible by plane or truck. (LTA Aerostructures)

A Montreal company says it can help solve the housing crisis in Canada's north by using its fleet of giant blimps to ship pre-fabricated houses to remote communities that can't be accessed by plane or truck.

LTA Aerostructures is planning to open a $60 million factory in Mirabel in 2018 to build 200 blimps.

Our airships have the ability to lift an entire prefabricated house, and it can be flown non-stop to almost any location in the Arctic.- Micheal   Dyment , president of LTA Aerostructures

"They're quite beautiful and attractive machines, but extremely tough and versatile, designed to operate 12 months out of the year in extreme Arctic weather conditions," LTA's president Micheal Dyment told a senate committee in Ottawa Tuesday.

Dyment said the company's large size blimps will 152 metres long, the size of one and half football fields. 

They'd be capable of transporting up to 70 metric tonnes.

"Our airships have the ability to lift an entire prefabricated house, and it can be flown non-stop to almost any location in the arctic," Dyment said.

Cheaper, faster

LTA Aerostructure's largest blimps would be 152 metres long and capable of carrying 70 metric tonnes of cargo. (LTA Aerostructures)
Dyment said right now it can take five years for the process of shipping materials to the north and building a house.

He said LTA's blimps could transport a pre-made house and plunk it down anywhere in the north in less than a day.

The blimps were initially intended to serve oil and gas companies exploring in remote areas. But he said its clear they could be extremely effective in addressing the housing shortage.

Dyment said he's already met with First Nations leaders and federal bureaucrats to discuss the idea.

He's hoping the Trudeau government might invest in the project as part of it's multi-billion dollar plan to improve conditions in First Nations communities.