Dornier Seaplane Picks Montreal for Seastar Production
Dornier Seaplane yesterday selected the Montreal suburb of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu as the final assembly site for the company’s all-composite, Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-135-powered Seastar amphibious turboprop twin. The Seastar has already received FAA and EASA type certification. The company said it chose the site location because of strong federal, provincial and local government support for aerospace; a skilled aerospace labor pool in the area; local aviation supply chain, including P&WC; and its proximity to Lake Champlain with its uncongested airspace for demonstration and production flight-test activities, among other reasons. According to Dornier Seaplane CEO Joe Walker, “Now that we have achieved this milestone, we are anxious to get started. Even in these challenging economic times, we have received letters of intent for more than 25 [Seastars], which are being matured into firm contracts. This reinforces the pent-up demand for our [airplane].” The next step, he said, is for the company immediately to begin recruiting for senior production management positions. Dornier Seaplane also expects to hire 250 people for final assembly jobs over the next five years, in addition to 200 fabrication jobs to support the final assembly plant. The company plans to complete the supplier selection process over the next 12 months and start Seastar deliveries in 2012.