Longview Aviation Asset Management (LAAM) of Calgary, Alberta, in cooperation with Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia, has launched the Viking CL-415EAF (Enhanced Aerial Firefighter) Conversion Programme.
The collaboration between the two sister-companies on the CL-415EAF Enhanced Aerial Firefighter Conversion Programme will provide an economic boost throughout Western Canada derived from job creation, aerospace manufacturing innovation, supply chain development, academic partnerships, and global export opportunities.
To initiate the programme, LAAM will be hiring up to 150 technical and support staff members at its Calgary facilities, where eleven specially selected CL-215 aerial firefighting aircraft owned by LAAM will undergo the modification process utilizing Viking-supplied conversion kits.
To support development of the conversion kits, Viking has hired 50 employees to date and has launched a recruitment campaign to hire an additional 50 staff at its Victoria, BC location. Viking will also be reinstating its very effective 'Viking Academy' paid-training programme to provide successful applicants with the targeted technical training required for these positions. Both LAAM and Viking are working with local post-secondary institutions to develop innovative technologies and provide training assistance in support of this programme.
The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) has been engaged for personnel training in Alberta, and Viking is actively developing partnerships with companies participating in the British Columbia Technology Super Cluster initiative.
The Viking CL-415EAF Conversion Programme forms part of a staged approach to utilize the advancements made with the LAAM converted aircraft as the basis for the proposed Viking CL-515 new-production amphibious aerial firefighting aircraft.
To facilitate the launch of the proposed CL-515 amphibious aircraft manufacturing programme, Viking has applied to the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) from the federal Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) for funding support.
The SIF funding would be invested between British Columbia and Alberta’s aerospace manufacturing, supply chain, academic, and skills training sectors, and provide programme benefits to both provinces in Western Canada.