Airbus to open a flight test center in Mirabel

The multinational Airbus, which continues to build on the remains of Bombardier Aerospace in Mirabel, confirms that it wants to continue its growth in the country, in particular with the opening of a new flight test center for A220 aircraft.

At a Metropolitan Montreal Chamber of Commerce dinner on Thursday, Airbus Canada CEO Benoît Schultz suggested the decision was further proof of the Toulouse-Languedoc plane maker’s commitment to Quebec.

However, it is impossible to know the importance of the planned investments, the surface of the building assumed to accommodate this center, or even get the slightest indication of the number of new jobs that could be created in Mirabel.

Benoît Schultz, CEO of Airbus Canada, on the floor of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM) on Thursday.

Courtesy Airbus Canada

All these questions diary they received a clear refusal from CEO Schultz, who has been in the position for two years. At most, Airbus was content to say that “test aircraft will be used as well as test benches” and will require “highly skilled” employees to support the improvements made to the aircraft.

More than 60 deliveries by 2023

“If we are talking about pilots, flight engineers, ground engineers to process data, these are very strong skills. I think that says something about the strengthening of Mirabel’s skills for the A220,” added the adviser french delegate

Airbus also indicated earlier this year that it wanted to establish a new delivery center dedicated to airline customers. Its opening is planned for this year, but again, the company has remained silent on the magnitude of the planned investments.

The future Airbus flight test center in Mirabel, as presented Thursday in Montreal by the local representative of the European multinational.

What the future new Airbus delivery center in Mirabel should look like.

Credit: Airbus

During the first 10 months of the year, Airbus has already delivered 51 single-aisle aircraft from its A220 range, manufactured at Mirabel. By the end of the year, he believes he will be able to deliver more than 60, which would already represent an increase compared to the 53 delivered in 2022.

By 2026, Airbus intends to increase its A220 assembly rate to 14 per month, including four at its Mobile, Alabama factory. Then we would be talking about 168 annual deliveries, almost three times their current level. So far, 523 orders are pending delivery.