darwink

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News Release:
De Havilland Canada Announces Site of New Alberta Aircraft Manufacturing Facility

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited has announced that the site of its new aircraft manufacturing facility will be in Wheatland County, Alberta, approximately 30 minutes east of Calgary.

This new facility will be called De Havilland Field and will consist of a new, state-of-the-art aircraft assembly facility, runway, parts manufacturing and distribution centres and maintenance repair and overhaul centre. In addition, educational space for training the workforce of the future is planned as well as general office buildings and a De Havilland Canada aircraft museum.

These operations will complement our current parts manufacturing facilities in Victoria, British Columbia as well as our new engineering and customer support centre of excellence in Toronto, Ontario.

De Havilland Field will be the site of final assembly for the DHC-515 Firefighter aircraft, which was launched earlier this year, the DHC-6 Twin Otter as well as the Dash 8-400 aircraft. We are currently working towards bringing the DHC-6 Twin Otter and Dash 8-400 aircraft back into production.

The location of De Havilland Field is ideal, having access to a large, young and diverse labour pool in Alberta, family-friendly cost of living, and a world-class international airport that can support efficient parts distribution to our global customer base. We anticipate that once in full operation, there will be up to 1500 jobs located at De Havilland Field.

The development of De Havilland Field is subject to an amendment to the Wheatland County Area Structure Plan as well as re-zoning by the County. De Havilland expects to submit these applications shortly and is committed to working with Wheatland County and Wheatland County residents as we move through the Area Structure Plan and re-zoning processes. In addition, there are approval processes required by Transport Canada and the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.


Site: The proposed site for De Havilland Field is between Range Roads 264 and 265 and south of the Trans-Canada Highway in Wheatland County, Alberta. The sites acquired are approximately 1,500 acres in size.

Approximate site:
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Schedule:
We hope to start construction shortly after the Area Structure Plan has been amended and the sites have been re-zoned which could be as early as late 2023.

The full build-out of De Havilland Field will take many years and will be dependent, in part, on the growth trajectory of the company. Under a conservative scenario, we would anticipate an approximate ten-to-fifteen year construction schedule for the entire campus. However, in the short term, we would expect that the first buildings could be operational by 2025.

Concept:
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Program elements:
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MichaelS

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Is the scheer scale of this project the reason they couldn't place it within the Airport industrial lands at YYC? Or, even at Springbank? Just seems surprising that the best route is to construct entirely new runways and air traffic control towers, when they exist in the region already. Or, are those airports too busy already to accommodate something of this scale?
 

darwink

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Could this area have been enough?
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Perhaps. 575 acres. But taxes would have been a lot higher. And Wheatland will forgive the half of the lower taxes for 3 years on the individual elements as they are built out. And they can amortize the land over 100 years instead of leasing the land. Can even arrange to lease the land from the owner of the company, which could be incredibly tax advantageous.

Having their own site, with room for a very long runway, if they built the runway to a high enough standard they could even try to undercut and attract cargo operators or ULCC.

I'm sure they explored going in at YYC. But I'm also sure as they've been burned by federal government owned airports before, that if they're going for the very long haul, that they'd prefer something they control, far from houses.
 

goodcitywhenfinished

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Is the scheer scale of this project the reason they couldn't place it within the Airport industrial lands at YYC? Or, even at Springbank? Just seems surprising that the best route is to construct entirely new runways and air traffic control towers, when they exist in the region already. Or, are those airports too busy already to accommodate something of this scale?
I guarantee you 100% that had this been proposed in Springbank, local residents would be taking this to court. The prospect of higher legal fees and years of delays probably scared them off from Springbank.
 

YYCguy

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I’m sure YYC is much too congested, too expensive in terms of land, and too close to urban residential neighbourhoods to accommodate the requirements of De Havilland.

The Wheatland location, being fairly equidistant to Chestermere and Strathmore will be good for the economic growth for those communities!
 

UrbanWarrior

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If anyone cares to go into detail about it, what will be extraordinary about this approval process in particular? Of course the aerospace industry isn't something we have a lot of around here… but just curious. Are they planning to need runways and airspace control, that sorta thing (for when the manufactured products need to be delivered [flown] to their buyers)? I suppose that part could be handled at YYC though…?

Edit: never mind, just remembered the renders. Definitely a runway and air traffic control. That'll definitely be a big part of what makes this approval process different (and presumably far longer) than normal.
 

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