Porter Airlines building new aircraft maintenance base at YOW to support growing fleet

Porter Press Release | November 1, 2022

Estimated reading time 7 minutes, 10 seconds.

Porter Aviation Holdings Inc., parent company of Porter Airlines, and the Ottawa International Airport Authority (OIAA) are investing over $65 million dollars in YOW’s future.

Porter is in the process of building two aircraft hangars, over approximately 150,000 sq. ft., to maintain its growing fleet, featuring the new Embraer E195-E2 and existing De Havilland Dash 8-400. OIAA is constructing a new taxiway and related infrastructure to support the hangar development, as well as future opportunities in this section of the airport.

The hangars are being built in two phases: phase one is scheduled for completion by the end of 2023, and phase two in the first quarter of 2024. YOW will be a primary maintenance base for the E195-E2, with Porter hiring 200 local team members, including 160 Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs). Other positions include shop technicians, stores clerks and administrative support. These represent highly-skilled roles that will be based in the city. Additionally, 150 construction jobs will be supported during the building process.

Porter is in the process of building two aircraft hangars, over approximately 150,000 sq. ft., to maintain its growing fleet, featuring the new Embraer E195-E2 and existing De Havilland Dash 8-400. Porter Image

“Ottawa has been a critical location for Porter throughout our history and the multi-million dollar facilities we’re building to maintain aircraft here is only the latest example of our desire to meaningfully invest in Canada’s Capital Region,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO, Porter Airlines. “We anticipate our presence in Ottawa will grow in the coming years, supported by the maintenance base and future aircraft deliveries that give us the ability to consider new routes.”

The airline has up to 100 E195-E2s on order, including 50 firm commitments and 50 purchase rights. The current Dash 8-400 fleet includes 29 aircraft.

OIAA is currently constructing Taxiway Romeo in the airport’s north field area. The $15 million taxiway represents the first airside expansion project in the AAIO’s 20-year history. It will accommodate Porter’s hangar development plans, as well as federal government needs, and possibly other commercial aviation-related development.

“YOW was Porter’s first destination when they launched in 2006. We believe it’s very fitting that YOW is an important part of their expansion plans and their future, and look forward to the benefits that come with such an extensive maintenance operation,” said Mark Laroche, OIAA President and CEO. “We are particularly pleased that sustainability factors so prominently in Porter’s plans, which fits perfectly with YOW’s ambitious commitment to net-zero operations (Scope 1 and 2 GHGs) by 2040 or sooner.”

In addition to daily line maintenance performing scheduled tasks on the E195-E2 and Dash 8-400, the Ottawa facility will have the following capabilities:

  • Indoor parking for up to eight aircraft
  • Structures shop for repairs and modifications of metal and composite aircraft parts
  • Component repair shop to repair and overhaul cabin equipment
  • Wheel shop to repair and overhaul main and nose wheels
  • Battery shop to repair and overhaul aircraft main and emergency batteries

Porter’s imminent introduction of the E195-E2 to its fleet provides the ability to operate throughout North America, including to the west coast, southern U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. The aircraft will initially be deployed from Toronto Pearson International Airport, with Ottawa, Halifax and Montreal seeing new service with the E195-E2 over time. The first of up to 100 new aircraft are scheduled to be delivered to Porter by the end of 2022, and initial routes will be announced leading up to the first aircraft deliveries. The hangars are designed by Scott Associates Architects, with PCL Construction acting as Construction Manager, together with Span Construction & Engineering.


The hangars are designed and will be built with sustainability in mind, including the following features:

  • A predominantly electric fleet of vehicles that will be used for towing and servicing aircraft, as well as ground support.
  • Design criteria that exceeds current energy efficiency standards, including for insulation, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting and electrical power systems.
  • The hangars are clad in Insulated Metal Panels (IMPs).
    • Superior to the standard metal siding usually found on aircraft hangars.
    • The anticipated lifespan is greater than 60 years.
    • Constructed with approximately 35% recycled steel and, at end of life, can in turn be recycled.
    • Constructed from materials that have a low embodied carbon footprint – 28% lower than conventional tilt-up assemblies.
  • The structure spans 85.6 m (280 ft.). This substantial clear span has been achieved using prefabricated trusses. The steel tonnage to span ratio is approximately 30% less than conventional rolled steel section beams.
  • Fire protection involves dual systems. In addition to a conventional sprinkler system, the aircraft parking and maintenance areas are equipped with an instantaneous foam deluge system. In the event of a fire, the multi-layers of fire suppression do not rely on a conventional single source of water supply. The city hydrant system is fully supplemented by an onsite underground water storage tank containing approximately 1.2 million litres of water.
  • Stormwater management has become an important factor in both commercial and industrial developments. Instead of rain/stormwater flowing directly to and overstressing existing city mains, two 173,000-litre underground tanks are being installed at the Porter hangars to capture excess.

This press release was prepared and distributed by Porter Airlines

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