Wings Magazine

Dornier Seastar splashes down in Quebec

May 17, 2010, Montreal - The Dornier Seaplane Company is pleased to announce it has selected Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a southern suburb of Montreal, as its final assembly site.

May 17, 2010  By Carey Fredericks

May 17, 2010, Montreal – The Dornier Seaplane Company is pleased to
announce it has selected Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a southern suburb of
Montreal, as its final assembly site.



The decision was based on many factors including strong federal, provincial and local government support for aerospace; a skilled aerospace labor pool in the Montreal area; the large local aviation supply chain (including Pratt & Whitney Canada which produces the Seastar engines); a financial community that understands the aerospace industry; the importance of Montreal as a transportation hub; the quality of its educational institutions; and its proximity to Lake Champlain with its uncongested airspace for demonstration and production flight test activities.

Conrado Dornier, Chairman of The Dornier Seaplane Company, said “I am delighted that Quebec will be the new home to continue the 100 year aviation legacy of Dornier. I want to personally thank the governments of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, and Canada for their trust and strong support. We plan to be in Canada a long time as responsible citizens and this site is a natural fit for building the most advanced amphibious seaplane.”


“Québec eagerly welcomes this new major player to Québec’s cluster of aerospace companies. The arrival of Dornier Seaplane brings with it exciting industrial opportunities and the creation of a large number of specialized jobs. This is another example of the Government of Québec pursuing its contribution to the expansion of one of the most innovative and prosperous industrial sectors,” underscores Minister Clément Gignac.

Mr. Gilles Dolbec, Mayor of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, added “We are excited about The Dornier Seaplane Company coming to our town. This manufacturing facility will create hundreds of high tech jobs and we look forward to being associated with this worldwide recognized brand.”

Regarding the company’s near term plans, Dornier Seaplane Company CEO Joe Walker said, “Now that we have achieved this milestone, we are anxious to get started as our customers are excited about taking delivery of their new Seastars. Even in these challenging economic times, we have received more than 25 Letters of Intent which are being matured into firm contracts. This reinforces the pent-up demand for our innovative product.”

“Our next order of business is to begin recruiting immediately for senior production management positions with the intention of eventually hiring a total of 250 final assembly jobs over the next 5 years. In addition, we expect there to be 200 fabrication jobs to support the final assembly plant and 75 jobs at Pratt & Whitney Canada will also be created over the next five years. The total will add up to more than 500 jobs over a 5 year period in Quebec. We also plan to accelerate detailed discussions with our major suppliers. The supplier selection process will be completed over the next 12 months and deliveries will start in 2012.”

With regard to North Bay, Ontario, the other contending manufacturing site, Walker noted, “North Bay is an outstanding location for aviation projects. They were very competitive to Quebec.”

The Seastar is the first new purpose-designed amphibious aircraft developed in the last fifty years. It is an FAA and EASA certified all-composite seaplane powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-135A turboprop engines.


Stories continue below