Porter Aviation Holdings, parent company of Porter Airlines, and the Ottawa International Airport Authority (OIAA) are investing over $65 million dollars in the airport’s future.
Porter is in the process of building two aircraft hangars, over approximately 150,000 sq. ft., to maintain its growing fleet, featuring the new Embraer E195-E2 and existing De Havilland Dash 8-400. OIAA is constructing a new taxiway and related infrastructure to support the hangar development, as well as future opportunities in this section of the airport.
The hangars are being built in two phases: phase one is scheduled for completion by the end of 2023, and phase two in the first quarter of 2024. YOW will be a primary maintenance base for the E195-E2, with Porter hiring 200 local team members, including 160 Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs). Other positions include shop technicians, stores clerks and administrative support. These represent highly-skilled roles that will be based in the city. Additionally, 150 construction jobs will be supported during the building process.
“Ottawa has been a critical location for Porter throughout our history and the multi-million dollar facilities we’re building to maintain aircraft here is only the latest example of our desire to meaningfully invest in Canada’s Capital Region,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO, Porter Airlines. “We anticipate our presence in Ottawa will grow in the coming years, supported by the maintenance base and future aircraft deliveries that give us the ability to consider new routes.”
The airline has up to 100 E195-E2s on order, including 50 firm commitments and 50 purchase rights. The current Dash 8-400 fleet includes 29 aircraft.
OIAA is currently constructing Taxiway Romeo in the airport’s north field area. The $15 million taxiway represents the first airside expansion project in the AAIO’s 20-year history. It will accommodate Porter’s hangar development plans, as well as federal government needs, and possibly other commercial aviation-related development.
”YOW was Porter’s first destination when they launched in 2006. We believe it’s very fitting that YOW is an important part of their expansion plans and their future, and look forward to the benefits that come with such an extensive maintenance operation,” said Mark Laroche, OIAA President and CEO. “We are particularly pleased that sustainability factors so prominently in Porter’s plans, which fits perfectly with YOW’s ambitious commitment to net-zero operations (Scope 1 and 2 GHGs) by 2040 or sooner.”
In addition to daily line maintenance performing scheduled tasks on the E195-E2 and Dash 8-400, the Ottawa facility will have the following capabilities:
- Indoor parking for up to eight aircraft
- Structures shop for repairs and modifications of metal and composite aircraft parts
- Component repair shop to repair and overhaul cabin equipment
- Wheel shop to repair and overhaul main and nose wheels
- Battery shop to repair and overhaul aircraft main and emergency batteries
Porter said its imminent introduction of the E195-E2 to its fleet provides the ability to operate throughout North America, including to the west coast, southern U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. The aircraft will initially be deployed from Toronto Pearson International Airport, with Ottawa, Halifax and Montreal seeing new service with the E195-E2 over time. The first of up to 100 new aircraft are scheduled to be delivered to Porter by the end of 2022, and initial routes will be announced leading up to the first aircraft deliveries.
The hangars are designed by Scott Associates Architects, with PCL Construction acting as Construction Manager, together with Span Construction & Engineering.