Viking Air finalizes deal for water bombers

North Saanich manufacturer obtains full design rights to Super Scooper

B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Viking Air President and CEO David Curtis explore the cockpit of a Bombardier CL-215 amphibious aircraft at the North Saanich manufacturing company’s tarmac at the Victoria airport during a recent tour.

North Saanich-based Viking Air has completed its acquisition of Bombadier’s amphibious aircraft program following an announced takeover earlier this year.

On Monday, Oct. 3, Viking announced it had completed the transfer of the certificate, making the local aircraft manufacturing company the new Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for the fleet of 170 water bombers. The aircraft type, originally built by Quebec-based Bombardier in 1969, is in operation in 11 countries around the world.

“The completion of this acquisition is a significant milestone and now allows us to fully engage with the operator group to understand their requirements,” said Viking’s President and CEO David Curtis in a media release.

The transfer means Viking has obtained full manufacturing design rights and is a manufacturer of replacement parts — and in-service product support — for the aircraft, supporting the continued operation of types CL-215, CL-215T and CL-415. They are typically used in fire fighting capacities.

The CL-415 variant, developed in 1994 is known as the “Super Scooper” and is able to scoop up a load of 6,137 litres in 12 seconds while skimming at high speed across a body of water.

Viking Air launched its Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft in 2007 and has built 125 new aircraft, sold to 29 countries, making the Twin Otter the best-selling next generation 19-seat passenger aircraft available today.

— with files from Viking Air