MONTREAL - U.S. aircraft manufacturer Dornier Seaplane Company has decided to assemble its new composite amphibious airplane in Ontario or Quebec, creating at least 250 jobs over five years.
The Florida-based company has narrowed the list of possible locations to North Bay or St-Jean-sur-Richelieu after eliminating Trois-Rivieres, Que., Florida and Alabama from contention.
Winter flight operations will be based in Punta Gorda, Fla.
The two Canadian finalists were selected based on the availability of skilled labour, low real estate and infrastructure costs, the strong local aviation supply chain and proximity to nearby lakes for flight testing, the company said in a news release.
Pratt & Whitney will produce the 10-seat luxury Seastar's engines, employing up to 75 employees.
A final decision will be made in 90 days, Dornier stated.
Conrado Dornier, the company's chairman and grandson of founder Claude Dornier, said he was pleased to build on the family's 100-year aircraft legacy in Canada.
"These sites are a natural market fit for our amphibious seaplane," he said.
CEO Joe Walker said in addition to selecting a final assembly site, the company is in detailed discussions with major suppliers. They will be chosen over the coming year with deliveries expected to begin in 24 months.
"We are gratified by the depth and breadth of market interest in the Dornier Seastar," he said.
Dornier said it has received inquiries from more than 132 countries and is working to develop firm orders from in excess of 25 letters of intent for the US$6-million aircraft.
The company claims the Seastar will be the world's first all-composite seaplane.
Since its founding in the early 1900s, Dornier has manufactured more than 10,000 aircraft, including some 1,000 seaplanes.