$500-million jet-building plant to begin operations by late summer at Pearson Airport in Mississauga

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Published March 29, 2023 at 5:22 pm

Bombardier plant in Mississauga.

A $500-million state-of-the-art business jet-manufacturing plant being built by Bombardier at Pearson Airport in Mississauga is on schedule to begin operations late this summer, the global aviation company’s president and CEO said last week. 

The 770,000-sq.-ft. Global Manufacturing Centre, the largest standalone structure to be built at Pearson in the last 20 years, according to airport officials, will replace the current final assembly plant located in Downsview. 

That facility was built in the 1960s and today houses some 2,000 workers. All of those employees will be brought along to the new Pearson plant, which company officials said earlier will significantly reduce Montreal-based Bombardier’s industrial and environmental footprint in the area.  

A number of new workers will also be hired once the plant is up and running in Mississauga.

Bombardier president and CEO Éric Martel said in a recent interview with Kitchener-based Skies Magazine, an aerospace and aircraft news publication, that the company is on track to start the transition of operations from Downsview to the new Pearson plant in late summer 2023.

He added the transition will be a gradual process in order to keep production lines moving seamlessly.

Environmentally-responsible features of the new manufacturing centre will reduce energy consumption by nearly 60 per cent and lower greenhouse gas emissions by more than half, according to Bombardier.

“We are extremely proud of the people who have been producing our best-in-class business jets for decades here in Ontario, and with the rising demand for large-cabin long-range aircraft, we are looking forward to providing our teams with a new, state-of-the-art work environment,” Martel said earlier, adding the huge new plant also signals Bombardier’s long-term commitment to building jets in Mississauga. 

Bombardier makes both Challenger and Global aircraft, renowned for their “cutting-edge innovation, cabin design, performance and reliability,” company officials say, adding Bombardier has a worldwide fleet of some 5,000 aircraft in service.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said earlier that the new plant will strengthen the city’s “world-class aviation sector by continuing its relationship with Mississauga-based companies that provide leading-edge capabilities to support Bombardier’s family of Global business jets.” 

Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) officials say Bombardier’s “focus on innovation and connection” is a perfect fit for Pearson Airport as it builds back “a better, more resilient, more innovative aviation and aerospace sector right here in Mississauga.” 

The Global Manufacturing Centre is expected to help rebuild the Airport Employment Zone, which pre-COVID was home to the second-largest concentration of jobs in Canada, according to the GTAA, which runs Pearson.

When the plant opens, it will be home to the most advanced aircraft manufacturing processes in the world, says Bombardier, which with more than 68,000 employees is a global leader in the transportation industry.

The firm, with facilities in 28 countries, also builds trains.  

“…the cutting-edge facility will optimize final assembly operations for all Global business jets, including the industry flagship Global 7500 business jet,” Bombardier, which has signed a long-term lease agreement with the GTAA to remain at the location, said earlier. “The (plant) will also reinforce Canada’s leading position in the business aviation market.” 

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