Porter Airlines and Ottawa (YOW) announce grand opening of aircraft maintenance base

by Anshul
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a group of white airplanes on a runway

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Porter Airlines and Ottawa International Airport have announced the grand opening of Porter’s new aircraft maintenance hangars. This development includes two aircraft hangars with a combined size of approximately 150,000 square feet, supporting the maintenance of Porter’s Embraer E195-E2 fleet and De Havilland Dash 8-400s. Porter operates 33 E195-E2s and 29 Dash 8-400s, with up to 100 E195-E2s on order.

According to the announcement, the project represents a $125 million investment in the future of YOW, including the construction of a new taxiway and related infrastructure. This new facility will serve as a primary maintenance base for Porter and is estimated to create 200 full-time, permanent jobs in Ottawa. The workforce will comprise 160 Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs), shop technicians, store clerks, and administrative support.

Porter is also partnering with Algonquin College to establish a strategic collaboration to enhance work-integrated learning opportunities and support program development and training in aviation. Notable programs at Algonquin College include Aircraft Maintenance Technician and Aviation Management, which align with the aviation industry’s needs. This partnership aims to provide students with practical experience and career opportunities within the city.

Ottawa is Porter’s fastest-growing market outside of Toronto, contributing significantly to the airline’s Eastern Canada network and expanding into Western markets. In the summer of 2024, Porter will offer more daily flights from YOW than any other carrier, with 16 non-stop routes and an expected two million passengers travelling through YOW. By the end of the year, Porter anticipates employing over 400 team members in Ottawa, covering roles in customer service, piloting, flight attending, and maintenance.

a map of the united states

Porter Airlines route map from YOW (credit: FlightConnections)

YOW’s investment of $15 million in constructing Taxiway Romeo marks the first airside expansion project in its 20-year history. This new infrastructure will support Porter’s hangar development and accommodate future federal government and commercial aviation-related projects.

The new hangars, designed by Scott Associates Architects and managed by PCL Construction in collaboration with Span Construction & Engineering, incorporate several sustainable features. These include an electric fleet for towing and servicing aircraft, energy-efficient design criteria, and using Insulated Metal Panels (IMPs) for cladding. The IMPs offer superior insulation and durability, with a lifespan exceeding 60 years and construction from approximately 35% recycled steel. Additionally, the hangars feature dual fire protection systems, substantial water storage for fire suppression, and underground tanks for stormwater management.

Porter Airlines and Ottawa International Airport is a love story in the making. This investment and development at YOW will significantly enhance aviation infrastructure, employment opportunities, and educational collaboration, positioning Ottawa as a vital hub in Porter’s network. Porter Airlines E195-E2 is an excellent way to travel in Canada and North America, with complimentary WiFi, snacks and drinks, and no middle seats.

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