Bombardier says it will build a final assembly line for its Global business jet program at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
The aviation and rail transport company said on Thursday (Canada time) it had signed a long-term lease agreement with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority for a global manufacturing centre at Pearson. First production activities were set to commence in 2023.
As a result, the final assembly line for Bombardier business jets such as the Global family of aircraft will shift about 20km southwest from the existing facility at Downsview.
Bombardier chief executive Alain Bellemare described the change of location as a strategic move and a strong commitment to the Ontario region’s aerospace industry.
“It will allow us to offer world-class career opportunities and continue fueling the economic development of the region for years to come,” Bellemare said in a statement.
Greater Toronto Airports Authority chief executive Howard Eng said: “We are pleased that Bombardier has chosen to continue to invest in Southern Ontario by locating its new Manufacturing Centre for the Global business jets at Toronto Pearson. Toronto Pearson and the many aviation assets in the region continue to serve as an economic magnet, expanding the valuable aerospace sector in our region and the Province.”
Unifor national president Jerry Dias said it welcomed the announcement and the “preservation of good-quality aerospace jobs”. The trade union represents some Bombardier workers in production, office, and technical divisions, as well as numerous other direct and indirect jobs.
“Relocating the operation within 20 kilometres of the current Downsview facility, means Unifor members will continue to assemble world class business jets for Bombardier. This is a testament to their hard work and expertise,” Dias said in a statement.
While final assembly for the Global business jets was shifting to Toronto Pearson, Bombardier said it would support the Downsview Aerospace Innovation and Research Consortium’s plan to establish an aerospace hub for academic research and training activities.
This included C$2.5 million in capital funding for the refurbishment of the historic Moth Building, which was the site where Mosquito fighter bombers and Tiger Moth trainers were made, Bombardier said.
Recently, the company has wound down its commercial aircraft production through the sale of the Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) program to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, as well as the sale of the Q400 turboprop program to Longview Aviation Capital.
Further, it unveiled a corporate restructuring in May that placed all its aviation operations into a single reporting segment called Bombardier Aviation.
And following the withdrawal from commercial aircraft production, Bombardier Aviation was centred on business jets and its aerostructures facilities in Mexico, Montreal and Texas.
Meanwhile, its Belfast and Morocco aerostructures operations, as well as a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in Dallas, Texas, were recently sold to Spirit AeroSystems.
VIDEO: A look at the Global 7500 business jet from the Bombardier YouTube channel.