Kenny announces new aircraft manufacturing plant east of Calgary

A new aircraft manufacturing plant will be built east of Calgary, according to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

While on a business trip promoting Alberta to those in Toronto on Wednesday morning, Kenny made the announcement, calling it “historic” for the province’s economy.

The plant, owned by De Havilland, is said to employ approximately 1,500 people.

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“Just another major sign of economic growth, jobs and diversification that’s going to be producing three different lines of aircraft in Alberta,” Kenney said.

“We hope to move to the fourth line eventually after the establishment of this major plant.”

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The company says the facility, called De Havilland Field, will be located in Wheatland County between the communities of Chestermere and Strathmore.

De Havilland says it has acquired about 600 hectares of land in the area.

It says construction could begin as early as next year, with its first buildings operational by 2025 – although full construction of the project could take years.

De Havilland Field will be the final assembly site for the DHC-515 Firefighter, the DHC Twin Otter and Dash 8-400.

Sherry Bridson, co-owner of the company, said the full project will take a long time to complete and will depend on the business’ growth trajectory.

“De Havilland Field, like Rome – I have to warn you – isn’t going to be built in a day. We expect the full construction to take between 10 and 15 years. Are we planning to take it slowly and seriously? We’ll make sure it works.”

Rob MacDonald, co-owner of the company, said de Havilland does not need government subsidies and aims to be self-sufficient.

We need people to buy our planes. “We don’t really need or want government support,” he told a news conference.

The prime minister also hinted at “more big news” to come in the aviation sector in the coming weeks.

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said a new aircraft factory will be built near Calgary on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.

Tom Reynolds, Global News

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said a new aircraft factory will be built near Calgary on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.

Tom Reynolds, Global News

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said a new aircraft factory will be built near Calgary on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.

Tom Reynolds, Global News

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said a new aircraft factory will be built near Calgary on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.

Tom Reynolds, Global News

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said a new aircraft factory will be built near Calgary on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.

Tom Reynolds, Global News

Files from the Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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