Construction has begun on a new fixed-wing search and rescue training centre at CFB Comox on Vancouver Island. The facility is being built as part of the integration of the Airbus C-295 into its role as Canada’s primary search and rescue platform. The centre will have classroom and academic facilities along with a simulator training centre for pilots transitioning to the new aircraft.
Airbus won the competition for the new search and rescue platform over entries from Leonardo Aircraft, Embraer and Lockheed Martin. Canada will buy 16 of the aircraft and deploy them at bases in Trenton, Ontario, Winnipeg and Comox, B.C. A groundbreaking was scheduled for Dec. 8 but had to be cancelled, ironically because poor weather prevented Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan from flying to Comox for the ceremony.