Airbus Military and Discovery Air Sign MoU on Canadian FWSAR Program

10 10 2012

News release from Airbus Military:

YELLOWKNIFE, NW, Oct. 10, 2012 /CNW/ – In the presence of the Honourable Mr. Bob McLeod, Premier of the Northwest Territories,  the CEO of Discovery Air, Mr.  Brian Semkowski, and the SVP Commercial of Airbus Military, Mr. Antonio Rodriguez-Barberan, announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly offer a solution for the Canadian Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) Program.  Under the terms of the MoU, Discovery Air, as the Airbus Military (AM) primary Canadian partner, will provide the in-service support for the program.

Brian Semkowski stated: “We are delighted to be able to offer this solution in conjunction with Airbus Military to the Canadian Forces. We are very excited about the C295 aircraft; a proven and reliable SAR platform that has been sold all over the world with over 110,000 flying hours to its credit. With proven, state of the art search capabilities, it offers a low-risk, low-cost solution, high in Canadian content.”  He added: “We believe that Discovery Air is ideally placed to provide the 20 year support package that will be required for this program.”

Antonio Barberan said: “We are extremely pleased with this agreement. Discovery Air is the perfect partner for Airbus Military and the ideal Canadian solution for the FWSAR program. The C295 is a proven platform as a world leader in terms of maritime patrol, search and rescue and related missions for twin engine military aircraft.

“The C295 FWSAR is a robust, reliable aircraft that does not have the risk associated with unproven technologies and Airbus Military, being part of Airbus, is backed by the solid fundamentals and reputation of Airbus. Furthermore, it has the lowest life-cycle costs in its class, and compared to competitors could save Canada up to $1 billion in fuel costs alone over the life of the airframe.”

The C295 aircraft is a proven and reliable SAR platform of which 114 examples have been sold in 17 countries. With proven, state of the art search capabilities, it offers a low-risk, low-cost solution, high in Canadian content.  In addition to Discovery Air, established partners include Pratt & Whitney Canada, CAE, L-3 Wescam and Vector Aerospace.  Airbus Military is the world market leader in military SAR, maritime patrol and related missions.

The aircraft’s search system has been fully integrated from the very beginning offering unparalleled levels of integration between the crew and the aircraft.  Canada’s Request for Proposals for the FWSAR has not been released; however, it is expected that the C295 will be compliant in all areas.

Brian Semkowski also stated: “We believe the RCAF can improve the level of service to Canadians by reducing response times in a region of Canada that is increasing in terms of activity and importance.  By basing aircraft in the North, and designating them as dedicated SAR assets, we believe Canada will be in an excellent position to respond to incidents in the North.”

A little about Discovery Air:

  • Discovery Air is a Tier One sponsor of the Discovery Air Hawk One Project – Celebrating 100 years of powered flight in Canada. To learn more, please visit

  • Headquartered in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Great Slave Helicopters and its group of companies is one of the largest helicopter operators in Canada.

  • Air Tindi operates a diversified fleet of fixed-wing aircraft and offers air ambulance, tourism, cargo transport, charter flying and scheduled service across Canada’s north.

  • Discovery Air Inc.’s Class A common voting shares and unsecured debentures trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbols DA.A and DA.DB.A, respectively).

  • Discovery Air Technical Services (DATS) is a Transport Canada Approved Maintenance Organization (AMO 23-10)  with a wide range of capabilities. We are authorized to perform maintenance and modifications on all U.S. registered aircraft as listed in the U.S./Canada bilateral agreement (Ref. CFR 43.17) and under EASA 145 (European Aviation Safety Agency).




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