Above image: A CF-188 Hornet from 401 Tactical Fighter Squadron takes-off during Exercise MAPLE FLAG 51 on June 19, 2018 at 4 Wing, Cold Lake, Alberta. Photo: Cpl Manuela Berger, 4 Wing Imaging.
Minister of National Defence Harjit S. Sajjan announced a $9.2-million contract award to EllisDon Construction Services Inc., of Edmonton, Alta., this week for the design of a new fighter jet facility at 4 Wing Cold Lake.
“We invest in this modern infrastructure to house our future fighter aircraft because we know it is critical to ensuring the safety and security of Canadians, as well as meeting Canada’s international obligations to NORAD and NATO. A modern fighter jet fleet is essential for the defence of our country and its sovereignty, and these facilities are vital to enabling these operations,” said the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence.
The wing is one of two main operating bases for Canada’s future fighter aircraft.
A second facility and contract award is also planned for 3 Wing Bagotville. Combined, this infrastructure will support the long-term maintenance and operation of 88 new aircraft being procured for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) through the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP).
The design contract for the future fighter facility in Bagotville is expected to be awarded in September 2020. Construction is estimated to begin at both bases in summer 2022.
The press release noted the contract is an important milestone in preparing Cold Lake for the future fighter, and it moves one step closer to delivering the infrastructure aviators need for the future noted the press release.
Both projects will also provide significant economic opportunities for the Canadian construction industry, as well as the Cold Lake and Bagotville communities. Over 900 jobs are expected to be created during the design and construction of both facilities.
Anita Vandenbeld, parliamentary secretary to the minister of national defence, says, “Building this facility will help sustain jobs near the base and will ensure our military is well equipped for the future.”
The Cold Lake facility will host two tactical fighter squadrons and will cover approximately 19,300 m2, providing space for daily operations, maintenance, administration, missions planning, and simulator training.
It will also house operational and support training squadrons and their training facilities.
The press release noted both facilities will be designed and constructed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver standards and will use energy-efficient options wherever possible.