PAL Aerospace gets slice of search and rescue contract
A Newfoundland and Labrador company will benefit from a federal contract to replace the country's aging fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft.
PAL Aerospace, headquartered in St. John's, has partnered with Airbus Defence and Space to provide maintenance and repair on a fleet of 16 new C295W aircraft for the Canadian military.
"This is a fantastic opportunity," said Derek Scott, vice president of program development for PAL Aerospace.
"Once the aircraft are delivered, it's primarily PAL personnel that will be keeping these aircraft serviceable and available for Canadians in need."
The value of the contract awarded Thursday is $2.4 billion with a second phase worth another $2.3 billion.
PAL adding 150 new jobs
While Scott would not put a dollar amount on PAL's share of the pie, he did say the company is already recruiting for 150 new jobs.
The jobs will be located across the country from St. John's to Comox, British Columbia, he said.
"This is not a major leap for PAL" in terms of the kind of work it will do, Scott stressed.
The company has provided support for search and rescue for 30 years, not just in Canada but in the Caribbean, South America and the Middle East.
"The significant difference here is the amount of time that this contract is going to span [25 to 26 years]."
Scott said there are also potential opportunities that could come from partnering with Airbus, a European defence giant.
"It's an exciting day," he said.
The Newfoundland and Labrador government issued a statement Thursday congratulating PAL Aerospace on its new contract, saying it speaks to the company's experience and expertise.