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The Final Bombardier Aircraft Leaves Downsview Airport

Joanna Bailey and Justin Foster from Simple Flying – Reports

Bombardier had operated in Downsview since 1992.


  • The final Bombardier aircraft has left Downsview Airport, marking a near completion of operations shifting to Toronto Pearson International.
  • Downsview, with its history dating back to the late 1920s, will be transformed into residential and commercial spaces.
  • Toronto Pearson’s new production site showcases advanced technology for assembling the Global family of aircraft.

On Saturday, March 23, the final Bombardier aircraft departed its once-crowded manufacturing site at Downsview Airport (YZD). The airport, which is located in Toronto, Ontario, was utilized by Bombardier for aircraft assembly and flight testing and has done so since it acquired De Havilland Canada in 1992. In recent years, Bombardier has used the site to produce its Global family of aircraft.

Final Aircraft
The final Bombardier-manufactured plane to depart Downsview was a Global 7500, serial number 70193. The aircraft, registered C-GYIN, performed ground tests before departing Downsview at approximately 16:41 local time, per Frederick K. Larkin. The aircraft then flew to Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) to complete the remainder of its assembly.

Bombardier’s History at Downsview Airport
The final aircraft produced at Downsview means that Bombardier’s shift of its operations to Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is nearly complete. The entirety of the manufacturer’s Global family of aircraft will be produced at its new facility near the airport.

Bombardier first began operating at Downsview Airport after the acquisition of De Havilland Canada in 1992. De Havilland initially started its production of aircraft at Downsview in the late 1920s, where the company produced the Moth series of aircraft. Over the years, De Havilland also produced the Beaver, the Twin Otter, and eventually the Dash 8.

Once Bombardier acquired De Havilland Canada, the company continued utilizing its Downsview manufacturing facility to produce Dash 8-400s and began manufacturing its Global family of aircraft at the facility. Eventually, Bombardier sold the Dash-8 program to Longview Aviation Capital in 2019. Longview Aviation Capital attempted to continue producing the Dash-8, but the program was later canceled in 2022, and production was halted, per FlightGlobal.

Meanwhile, Bombardier continued producing its Global business jets, but officially sold its production facility in 2018 for nearly $635 million. The company leased the facility in the meantime and eventually shifted all production to its Toronto Pearson facility. The Downsview area will soon be turned into a residential and commercial development.

Speaking to Simple Flying, Director of Communications at Bombardier, Mark Masluch, commented on the move, saying, “It was definitely emotional for a lot of folks. Our average tenure is the highest in Toronto; some employees have been there for 20 or 30 years. But we’re excited to be in our new facility too.”

As for what Downsview will become, much like the surrounding area, it will be built on, with plans including a film production studio, an employment hub, and residential mid-rise buildings for around 5,000 residents. Part of the reason for the move was the relentless march of development in the surrounding area, making it harder and harder for Bombardier to function efficiently. Masluch noted,

“The redevelopment is going to be quite nice, because there’s gonna be lots of green space retained; parks, fields and such. Of course there will be condos too, but it’s the right thing for that space.”

New Production Site at Toronto Pearson
Now, the Global’s production line will continue at Toronto Pearson. The new production facility will now include nearly the entirety of the Global line’s assembly, including the fuselage, attaching the wings that are shipped from Texas, and even conducting flight tests. The nearly finished aircraft will then be flown empty to Montreal to finish the completion process. The Montreal facility will add the interiors and ready the plane for its eventual delivery.

The move from Downsview to Toronto has been in the works for over a year. A Bombardier spokesperson highlighted the logistical challenge of moving production without disrupting the schedule, noting the advantages of the ‘stage-by-stage’ completion of the aircraft in making this happen. The move was done in phases, moving station by station as the final aircraft moved through the production line and pre-producing components so tooling could be moved early. No production was halted during the move to the new facility.

Bombardier’s new facility at Toronto Pearson is a $500 million investment, which Bombardier is proud to have financed entirely by itself. The factory itself sits on more than 770,000 square feet, and the company describes it as the most advanced private jet manufacturing facility in the world. The facility will be equipped with modern production methods and tooling, including an automated positioning system that uses laser-guided measuring to accurately join together major aircraft structures, such as the wing and fuselage. Production has already begun at the new plant, which is located in Mississauga, close to Pearson Airport.

All three Global aircraft, the Global 5500, Global 6500, and Global 7500, will be assembled at Toronto Pearson. The first Global 6500 and Global 7500 have already been completed at the new Toronto facility, and the Global 8000 will also be assembled here. The official opening is still a few weeks away, and we can look forward to an exciting ceremony to officially open the new home of Global production.


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