Bombardier has shut down their plant in North Bay, Ontario where they have been finishing the work of building CL-415 air tankers after the aircraft have been assembled in Montreal. The CL-415 and its predecessor, the CL-215, are among the very few purpose-built air tankers, designed from the wheels up to very specifically drop water on fires. Most air tankers used today have been converted after being discarded by the military and passenger airlines.
Below is an excerpt from an article in the Bay Today:
…Isabelle Gauthier, the Director of Communications for Bombardier Commercial Aircraft confirmed to BayToday that, “We will not be renewing our lease going forward” at North Bay’s Jack Garland Airport.
The lease ends in April 2016, but Bombardier was required to give at least 90 days notice Gauthier said.
“There are currently no aircraft in production,” explained Gauthier,”It didn’t make any business sense to continue.”
North Bay’s facility was for finishing the aircraft after assembly in Montreal, and three had been completed this year but no more were on the horizon.
“We need sales,” said Gauthier. “We need commitment to continue production.”
She said if sales are made, they may attempt to reopen the North Bay facility but “it’s not like turning on a light switch”.
“Activities are continuing for more sales”, she said, and Bombardier is “keeping the door open” to further involvement in North Bay if there are significant sales of the aircraft in future.
The video below was shot at Santa Fe Dam in January, 2014 where two CL-415s under contract with Los Angeles County were scooping water while working the Colby Fire at Glendora, California, east of Los Angeles.