P&WC Builds Engine Plant At Mirabel

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Pratt and Whitney Canada has announced it will build a 300,000-square-foot engine assembly plant and flight test center at Montreal's Mirabel Airport as part of more than $575 million in investment in facilities in Quebec over the next five years. The Mirabel Aerospace Center will house the production facilities for P&WC's new PW800 series geared turbine engines, which have been picked by Cessna for the Columbus 850 intercontinental business jet. A key factor in P&WC's decision was Bombardier's choice of Mirabel for assembly of its new CSeries airliners, which will have a PW1524G engine on each wing. That's part of the reason P&WC's parent company, Pratt and Whitney, is moving its worldwide flight testing operation to Mirabel.

Pratt and Whitney has two Boeing 747SP aircraft that it uses for in-flight testing of new engines, including turboprops. The building will have hangar space for both aircraft. The company said another factor in the decision was the Quebec government's pledge to spend $141.9 million on improvements at Mirabel, which was built as a new international airport for Montreal in the 1970s. It never caught on with airlines and passengers and is now used almost exclusively for cargo. It's also Bombardier's main Canadian manufacturing base.