FORT ERIE, ONTARIO. When Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said we’re competing on a world stage, co-operation between business and all levels of government is needed to ensure Ontario businesses from Fort Erie to Fort Severn remain competitive on a global level, it was a pat on the back for Airbus Helicopters in Fort Erie, which has added not only a production line but also forty jobs after winning a global mandate for manufacturing engine cowlings for the EC225.
For a company which employs more than 1,700 highly skilled aerospace professionals in facilities from British Columbia to Newfoundland and in Ontario, Airbus Canada (formerly Eurocopter Canada) has not only carved a niche for itself outside its home continent Europe but also turned the largest employer in Fort Erie and an employer of choice in the Niagara region. “More than 50 per cent of the new civil helicopters delivered in Canada over the last 10 years come from our facility. It demonstrates the success of our product range, the largest in the world, and how we have been able to customise it to the specifics of the Canadian market”, noted Romain Trapp, President and CEO of Airbus Helicopters Canada.
Airbus Helicopters Canada is a Transport Canada Design Approval Organisation, as well as an Airbus Helicopters Authorised Design Organisation. It is a centre of excellence for the Airbus Helicopters Group for light single and light twin helicopters’ modifications. For a company which put its foot in Canadian aerospace arena thirty years ago in 1984, it has come a long way since its humble beginning. “Our engineering experts design optional equipment installations and modifications for helicopters, including customised avionics installations for VIP operators, utility, law enforcement and military (conventional cockpit, glass displays, police configurations), specialised mission equipment installations such as FLIR systems and searchlight installations and airframe modifications,” he added.
Airbus Helicopters Canada is approved to overhaul AS350, AS355, EC120, EC130, BO105 and BK117 components, resulting in faster turnaround times and lower costs. The company repairs and overhauls thousands of different components, including dynamic components, airframe, equipment, as well as main and tail rotor blades. Airbus Helicopters Canada is the logistics hub for Airbus Helicopters in Canada, with a dedicated spare parts warehouse.
In-house manufactured composite options such as cargo pods, door and window modifications, steps, mirrors, settling protectors and cable cutter systems, electrical modifications, utility options such as long-line release provisions, re-fueling power supply, cabin power supply provisions, battery relocations, dual battery installations, fuel System modifications such as airframe fuel filter installations and complete avionics packages, are very much in demand, as per Romain. “Airbus Helicopters Canada works closely with our customers through the development process to ensure that our products are both practical and cost-effective. Our capabilities include the structural and mechanical design/drawings using CATIA V4 and V5, electrical/avionics integration design and drawings and CATIA V5, stress analysis using Hyperworks, NASTRAN, electrical load, failure modes, and performance analysis, vibration testing with data acquisition, manufacturing process definitions and support for composite production and technical publication writing for maintenance and operation plus continued airworthiness,” he said.
“With this multi-million investment – Airbus Helicopters is demonstrating its confidence in and commitment to Ontario and Canada. We are dedicated to looking out for the best interests of our customers, whether that be maximising flight revenues, ensuring public safety or saving lives, and our customer support team is at their service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to keep you flying.” said Trapp.
The author was on an Ontario Government invitation to visit the Aerospace companies
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