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New jobs for Calgary's aviation industry

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited is launching a new firefighting water bomber known as the DHC-515 that will be manufactured in Calgary, so they're hanging out a Help Wanted sign.

Mashal Mohammad is the plant manager for De Havilland's twin otter plane and says people are needed to fill many roles as manufacturing ramps up.

"We need people from aviation expertise like aircraft maintenance engineers, avionics, mechanics and structure specifically," he said. "Then we need everybody else in the background right? (That means) finance, quality, supply chain - you name it, we need people."

The new aircrafts' predecessor has been used around the world to fight forest fires for the last 50 years.  The Canadair CL-215 and CL-415 haven't been produced for years and those in operation are undergoing modifications to add new technology.


Jeff Winger is the director of maintenance at the facility on the southwest corner of the Calgary International Airport where the work is being done. He says these aircraft are work horses in the air when it comes to fighting fires.

"This aircraft was specifically designed for fighting fires,"said Winger. "It has the ability to land on lakes, rivers, oceans, scooping approximately 7000 liters of water in a matter of 12 seconds."


Technicians will touch every single part of the aircraft during the modification.

"Opening up the aircraft structures, strengthening the wings, strengthening the tail," he said. "Just overall reinforcing the structure due to some of the new light aerodynamic characteristics of the modified aircraft."

Karin Binder is the plant manager at De Havilland and is excited about the new manufacturing facility that will start producing aircraft sometime in the next two years.

"We offer a lot of opportunity for anyone looking to get into whether it's HR, whether it's IT," said Binder. "So in every facet of the organization, this growth means that there's a lot of good things coming."

In total the company is looking for upwards of 500 people.

"People that have been in the industry in the past or the new up and coming technicians and professionals that want to get into the industry," she said. "Because let's face it is pretty cool, it makes it all really, really exciting."

De Havilland says customers should start receiving their new DHC-515s by the middle of the decade.

Learn more about De Havilland here: Top Stories

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