De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd has announced their plans to construct the De Havilland Field, a new manufacturing plant for aircraft, which will be in Wheatland County in Alberta, Canada. At this site, the final assembly for the DHC-515 Firefighter aircraft, DHC Twin Otter and the Dash 8-400 aircraft will take place.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called it a ‘game-changing investment’ for manufacturing in the province and a major sign of the economic growth, job opportunities and diversification happening there. In Toronto Wednesday, he said: “This is just another step forward in the huge growth in our aviation sector with more big news to follow in that sector in just the weeks ahead.”
Tanya Fir, the province’s Minister for Jobs, Economy and Innovation, called the announcement a ‘huge win’ and in a statement, she said: “We wanted to find ways to leverage Alberta’s strengths, like our available land close to logistical hubs and our young, skilled and motivated workforce, to find a path back to our position as Canada’s economic engine.”
To build this plant, the company has acquired approximately 600 hectares of land and are planning to begin construction by as early as next year. They expect their first buildings to be operational by 2025, but the full buildout could take years.
Company co-owner Sherry Brydson said: “De Havilland Field, like Rome – I have to warn you – won’t be built in a day. We anticipate the full buildout will take somewhere between 10 and 15 years. We’re planning to take it slowly and seriously and we’re going to make sure it works.”
Company co-owner Rob McDonald explained that De Havilland doesn’t need government handouts and aims to be self-sufficient: “We need people to buy our planes. We don’t really need or want support from the government.”