PAL Aerospace gets share of major federal SAR fixed-wing contract

TC Media telegram@thetelegram.com
Published on December 8, 2016

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan (third from left), Public Procurement Minister Judy Foote and Neil Ellis (second from right), MP for Bay of Quinte, pose Thursday at CFB Trenton in Trenton, Ont. The federal government says Canada will spend $2.3 billion to replace the military’s aging search-and-rescue planes with 16 new aircraft from European aerospace giant Airbus. Airbus’s partner, PAL Aerospace of St. John’s, will handle maintenance on the new aircraft.

©CP photo

PAL Aerospace and a partner company have been awarded a federal government contract to replace fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft.

PAL Aerospace, headquartered at St. John’s International Airport, and its partner, Airbus Defence and Space, will provide a fleet of new Airbus C295W aircraft and “up to 20 years of in-service support,” PAL Aerospace said in a news release Thursday.

The Airbus C295W will replace the CC-115 Buffalo and the CC-130 Hercules aircraft.

“PAL Aerospace will be responsible for the in-service support which covers all aspects of the maintenance work not undertaken by the Royal Canadian Air Force technicians,” the company stated.

The C295 can be used for search and rescue, maritime patrol, air-to-air refuelling, firefighting and troop transport, and 165 of the aircraft have been sold worldwide, PAL Aerospace said.

Airbus provides the aircraft — with the first one due for delivery 36 months after the awarding of the contract.

PAL Aerospace will handle repairs, multi-level maintenance work, any required future modifications and depot-level maintenance.

While PAL Aerospace is headquartered in St. John’s, this contract will involve work at its facilities across the country, from St. John’s to Comox, B.C., a company official said.

PAL Aerospace had already added about 100 new workers over the past year. With this contract, the company will add a further 150 workers.