Just in time for the post-pandemic wanderlust that will likely strike, the prime minister’s international ride is ready to take him wherever the spirit moves. After more than a year of repairs, the CC-150 Polaris normally used to take the prime minister or governor general on international trips is back at CFB Trenton and back in the flight rotation. “The Royal Canadian Air Force’s CC-150 Polaris “01” is back home at 8 Wing Trenton, Ont. after a period of repairs and scheduled maintenance. After receiving some paint touch-ups at the Wing, the aircraft has resumed regular operations,” said RCAF spokeswoman Jessica Lamirande. “The CC-150 Polaris is a key part of the RCAF’s fleets, and the return of CC-15001 is a welcome one. The Polaris is the RCAF designation for the Airbus A310-304, which has been adapted for military use for transport of VIPs, personnel, supplies, and equipment, as well as for medical evacuation.”
The aircraft somehow jumped its chocks—with the parking brake set— and rolled the length of a hangar at Trenton before being stopped by a wall. It clipped a tow cart with an engine on the way. It suffered extensive (and expensive) damage to the nose, wing, engine and “frame.” The government has not released the cost of the repairs. The plane will be in use for years to come as the government enters another protracted procurement process to replace the Polaris fleet and other executive aircraft. When it’s not flying dignitaries and the press, it’s used as a support and cargo hauler for various RCAF missions.