- Concentration of aircraft fuselage section preparation at one location
- Supporting A220 aircraft production ramp up, expected to more than double
MIRABEL, QC, March 29, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – An additional 125,000 ft2 (11,600 m2) area to support the upstream assembly of A220 aircraft subcomponents has been unveiled by Airbus in Mirabel. The additional space, equivalent to more than seven NHL ice hockey rinks, has been designed to support the A220 production ramp up capacity, which is expected to more than double in the next few years. It is Airbus’ first subcomponents pre-assembly zone (“pre-FAL”) outside Europe. With this latest addition, Airbus Canada’s A220 site in Mirabel is now close to 1.4 million ft2 (130,000 m2) and employs over 2,500 people.
“It is a great pleasure to unveil today our new sub-assembly area, which will contribute to more than doubling the A220 aircraft production capacity over the next few years. The expansion of our Mirabel site, with the addition of this new zone, is a clear signal ofAirbus’ confidence in the A220 programme. The pre-FAL is central to ensuring the success of the A220 production ramp-up,” said Benoît Schultz, Chief Executive Officer, Airbus Canada, during the official visit, held in Mirabel with employees, the Quebec Minister of Economy and Innovation, M. Pierre Fitzgibbon, representatives of Investissement Quebec as well as Airbus executives.
“The new Mirabel pre-assembly plant will enable Airbus to reduce its assembly costs and boost the A220 program’s competitiveness. This news confirms the strategic positioning of the aerospace industry in Quebec,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec Minister of Economy and Innovation.
This new sub-assembly area will increase the efficiency of A220 production operations and significantly reduce the time required for the aircraft final assembly. From now on, the preparation of aircraft fuselage sections will be concentrated in one location. After sub-assembly, these components will be sent to one of the two A220 final assembly sites in either Mirabel, Quebec or Mobile, Alabama. This new process will enable the A220 production rate to increase from six aircraft a month to 14 aircraft per month by the middle of the decade.
The new A220 Pre-FAL construction works began about a year ago, and required collaboration with major local suppliers. Around 250 employees from the Mirabel A220 site supported the preparation of the new sub-assembly operations in this area. Over the past few months, these employees have received customized trainings to help them transition from working on a fixed workstation to working on a “pulsed line”.
The Mirabel A220 site is the headquarters of the A220 programme. In addition to this new pre-assembly line and two final assembly lines, Mirabel site also includes engineering, support functions, in-service support as well as development and delivery to customers. A second assembly site is also located in Mobile, Alabama, U.S.A., and is dedicated to the final assembly and delivery of A220 aircraft for the U.S. market.
To date, more than 25 customers have placed firm orders for 740 A220 aircraft out of which around 200 have been delivered to over 15 customers. The Airbus Canada Limited Partnership, which is responsible for the A220 aircraft programme, hastwo shareholders: Airbus, which holds 75% of the shares, and Investissement Québec, which holds 25%.
Airbus in Canada
With a presence in several Canadian provinces, Airbus has approximately 4,000 employees across the country and generates more than 23,000 indirect jobs in the Canadian aerospace sector through various collaborations. Thus, Airbus procures from approximately 665 suppliers in nine Canadian provinces, for an approximate value of CAD$ 1.8 billion. All Airbus divisions are present in Canada: commercial aircraft (A220) in Mirabel, QC, helicopters in Fort Erie, ON, and defence and space in Ottawa, ON. Airbus’ wholly-owned subsidiaries, STELIA Aerospace and NAVBLUE, also have operations in the country.