AIRBUS: 800% Bigger Installations at Mirabel Airport in Quebec - Taking Options For More Land
Hey Airbus.... Boeing is "out" still in Canada, but for how long? You're better be moving fast and bold
Airbus – Mirabel – L3 – Bombardier and the CF-18 Replacement
In my previous update I mentioned that Airbus would currently be negotiating with ADM (ADM is the administrator of the Mirabel airport in Quebec, Canada) for more space, planning on some expansion at Mirabel airport.
As I indicated, some of that space would be related to streamlining the A220 assembly process. I wrote Airbus also intended to take an additional "OPTION" for more land at the airport to potentially install the factory of another aircraft such as the A350 XWB. The A350 XWB is currently assembled at one single location, in Toulouse, France. More on this below.
While digging deeper into this, I found out much more! It would appear that what Airbus is presently planning at Mirabel airport is much larger than what I was told at first.
For instance, I am told that the space Airbus is eying for at Mirabel is not a mere 300% of the size of their existing facility , but much more like 800%
The current A220 installations (formerly Bombardier CSeries and CRJ) occupy just about 5.9 million square feet (550 000 meters square). And 1.5 million square feet of this surface are used by the factory. (See the image below, blue delimited section).
East portion of the Mirabel Airport YMX/CYMX Showing One of Its Two 12000 Feet Runway
Partial view of Mirabel airport, Quebec, Canada
If that were the case, 8 times the current space occupied by Airbus at Mirabel airport would mean:
5.9 million sq. feet * 8 = 47.2 million sq. feet (almost 4.4 million meters square)
This is huge. I am also told that Airbus is insisting that this space be contiguous.
On the image above, --delimited by the blue marking--, we can see the space presently occupied by Airbus at Mirabel for the A220 operation. Looking west, at the space currently available at the airport, we can't seem to find much of what Airbus would be looking for. But, if you just turn around and look east, you'll attend a totally different ball game altogether! Heading east along runway 06/24, with my supply of red ink, I tried to show that it would be feasible to have 8 times the current space, and all contiguous, as Airbus is asking to option out from ADM at Mirabel airport.
WHY? Why is Airbus looking for 8 times its current space at Mirabel airport - That is The Question!
Few possibilities do exist. In fact I see only 2 for that amount of space, or, if you wish, they can be considered as part of a single issue.
- 1- Building the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft in Canada to supply the Canadian government as per the offer made by Airbus.
- 2- Building a new A350 XWB aircraft assembly line.
1- Eurofighter Typhoon Assembled In Canada - Ottawa looking for up to 150 Fighter Jets
As part of the offer made to the Canadian government for the replacement of its CF-18 fighter jet, Airbus is proposing to have the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft assembled in Canada as confirmed to me the head of media relations at Airbus Defence and Space, Martin Agüera concerning what Simon Jacques said. Simon Jacques is the president of Airbus Defence and Space Canada.
That is certainly a MAJOR PLUS for Airbus in its package. The F-35 is not made in Canada nor is the Boeing Super Hornet. Same goes for SAAB and its Grippen, the only other contender that showed up with an offer to the government of Canada. Some of the parts are made in Canada for the F-35 and the Super Hornet, as well, but this amounts to precious little or sweet nothing, when you take a hard look at the economic impact of assembling the whole aircraft in Canada. It would also mean having some local suppliers.
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a multirole twin-engine fighter jet that has received continuous upgrades since its introduction in 2003. The company producing the aircraft, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH (Eurofighter Fighter aircraft GmbH in English), is a consortium of major aerospace companies from the four Eurofighter partner nations:
- 46% - Airbus Defence and Space (Germany and Spain)
- 33% - BAE Systems Military Air & Information (UK)
- 21% - Leonardo (Italy)
More on the Eurofighter Typhoon here.
Airbus has no choice but to start planning ahead and taking option on the land where it would execute this large contract in case they do win with Canada.
An airport with dual 12 000 feet runways dedicated to an industrial use?
That's Mirabel airport, YMX in Quebec, Canada. Close to Montréal (15 Nautical Miles from the City of Montreal, i.e. 28 km or 17 miles) with plenty of qualified resources in the aerospace sector and where Airbus would be adding to its existing and future A220 infrastructure by spending as a first quick fix US$30 millions.
Airbus would need a hefty amount of real estate to execute this military contract and its subsequent maintenance for 20 years (as part of the offer). Would L3-MAS also be involved in the maintenance part of the scenario?
Located at Mirabel airport, L3-MAS is the company responsible for doing the present maintenance of the current aging fleet of the Canadian CF-18 (and US Navy F-18).
L3-MAS does not seem to be in bad terms with Airbus for sure and potentially adds more "Canadian Content" to the Airbus offer, when you come to think of it. L3-MAS is also involved in the maintenance of the Canadian CH-148 Cyclone and CH-147F Chinook helicopters, and the CC-150 Polaris (Airbus 310) aircraft, all out of their installation at Mirabel airport.
Putting all this together would have a colossal impact on the aerospace industry in Canada!
2- Also enormous in consequences would be the creation of a new A350 assembly line at Mirabel airport!
The Airbus A350 XWB is currently being put together at a single location in Toulouse, France. That facility is huge. At its peak, Toulouse should be producing 10 aircraft by month and be employing 1000 people. See image above.
How could Ottawa say no to the Airbus Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet offer if not only the Typhoon assembly would be made in Canada but if Airbus would also be offering to build their next A350XWD assembly line in Canada?
If I were in charge for Ottawa, I would be saying "WHERE DO I SIGN?".
Having both, the Typhoon assembled in Canada and a new A350 assembly plant in Mirabel?
The implication for the Canadian aerospace economy would be humongous! The business opportunities it would represent for the Canadian aerospace sector, the supply chain of those projects would be phenomenal. I have one in mind… Bombardier Aerostructures & Engineering Service (BAES).
Remember what I wrote about part of the Alain Bellemare, CEO Bombardier, strategic plan:
Over a year ago I wrote "Airbus and Bombardier, the Trigger for Canada" and before that, "Boeing Lost Another Military Contract with Canada, and There's More". Visionary? Informed? Both? You decide.
Airbus, this is a lifetime chance for you… Boeing is "out" still, but for how long? You're better be moving fast and bold in Canada!
Stay tuned for more…
Sylvain Faust, for Fliegerfaust
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