Porter celebrates opening of new YOW maintenance base

Porter Aviation Holdings Inc. (PAHI), parent company of Porter Airlines, and the Ottawa International Airport Authority (OIAA) are celebrating the grand opening of Porter’s YOW aircraft hangars and maintenance base.

The two aircraft hangars are approximately 150,000 sq. ft. in combined size, supporting the maintenance of Porter’s growing Embraer E195-E2 fleet and existing De Havilland Dash 8-400s. The airline has up to 100 E195-E2s on order, with 33 currently in service. The Dash 8-400 fleet totals 29 aircraft.

OIAA has constructed a new taxiway and related infrastructure to support the hangar development. The growth at the airport represents a combined $125 million investment in YOW’s future.

Primary maintenance base

YOW will be a primary maintenance base for Porter, with 200 local team members being hired to support its operation. This includes 160 Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs), plus shop technicians, stores clerks and administrative support.

These represent highly-skilled roles that will be based in the city. To support this endeavor, Porter and Algonquin College are establishing a long-term strategic partnership to enhance work-integrated learning opportunities across all areas of the business, and to support program development and training, with specific activities taking place at the Ottawa hangars.

Notable programs at Algonquin College include Aircraft Maintenance Technician and Aviation Management. These initiatives are designed to align with the growing needs of the aviation industry and demonstrate the shared commitment to the future of aviation professionals.

A fast-growing market

Ottawa is Porter’s fastest-growing market outside of Toronto, feeding into the airline’s strong Eastern Canada network and its growing western markets.

This summer, Porter will offer more daily flights from YOW than any other carrier, with 16 non-stop routes and approximately two million passengers travelling through YOW in 2024. By the end of this year, Porter expects to employ more than 400 team members in Ottawa, representing customer service, pilots, flight attendants and maintenance.

OIAA invested $15 million constructing Taxiway Romeo in the airport’s north field area. This represents the first airside expansion project in the OIAA’s 20-year history. It accommodates Porter’s hangar development, as well as future federal government needs, and other commercial aviation-related development.