Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

March 14, 2016 15:43 ET

Canadian Coast Guard Accepts New Light-Lift Helicopter in Shearwater, Nova Scotia

Delivery of 15 new light-lift helicopters for Canadian Coast Guard is on budget and ahead of schedule

DARTMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - March 14, 2016) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

The Honourable Hunter Tootoo, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Judy M. Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and Jody Thomas, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard, accepted today the last new light-lift helicopter into the Canadian Coast Guard fleet.

After being awarded a contract in May 2014, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd, based in Mirabel, Quebec, completed the delivery of fifteen light-lift helicopters to the Canadian Coast Guard in less than two years. This impressive milestone was achieved ahead of schedule and on budget.

Twelve of the new helicopters are already in service across the country, including Shearwater, Nova Scotia, carrying out Canadian Coast Guard missions. A second machine will be delivered to Shearwater later this month. The remaining three aircraft are supporting pilot training but they too will be deployed to their operational bases shortly.

The new, state of the art helicopters are faster, can fly farther and carry greater payload than the aircraft they are replacing. In addition, they provide a range of safety enhancements over the existing aircraft.

The Canadian Coast Guard's helicopter fleet supports several programs that contribute to the safety, national security and sovereignty of Canada. Helicopter missions include everything from flying to remote sites in Canada to supporting construction and maintenance of CCG communication sites, oil pollution response, ice monitoring and support to DFO Science programs.

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada has also awarded a contract to Bell Helicopter for seven medium-lift helicopters, with delivery starting in 2017.

  • The overwhelming majority of flying hours logged by Coast Guard helicopters (65% of the total) is devoted to ensuring the safety of marine traffic, followed by icebreaking operations (15%) and its other responsibilities to other Coast Guard programs and other government departments (20%).

  • Economic benefits of this procurement are being leveraged through the Industrial and Regional Benefits Policy. The policy ensures that companies that win Government of Canada defence and security contracts conduct high quality and advanced technology business activities in Canada, equal to contract value.


"These made-in-Canada light-lift helicopters are faster, safer, more reliable and more efficient than the models they are replacing. By renewing the fleet of helicopters, our Government is providing the women and men of the Coast Guard with the modern equipment they need to better serve Canadians."

The Honourable Hunter Tootoo, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

"This project is a good example of how Government procurement can move quickly to meet pressing needs. With more coastline than any country in the world, Canada requires a well-equipped Coast Guard and these helicopters will ensure that missions can be completed wherever and whenever demands arise. Investments like this also keep skilled Canadians employed and help communities prosper."

The Honourable Judy M. Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurement

"Helicopter support is a crucial component for delivering Canadian Coast Guard services and maintaining public safety. These helicopters, and the brave women and men who operate and maintain them, will further enhance the safe navigation of vessels and mariners in Canadian waters."

Ms. Jody Thomas, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard

"These new helicopters are a sign to mariners of the strong commitment made by Canada in ensuring their safety."

Darren Fisher, MP Dartmouth-Cole Harbour

Associated Links

- News Release: Government of Canada Awards Contract for New Helicopters

- News Release: Canadian Coast Guard Helicopter Fleet Renewal: Release of the Request for Proposals to Procure Medium-Lift Helicopters

For more information about the Canadian Coast Guard, visit

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Contact Information

  • Frank Stanek
    Media Relations
    Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

    Mike Murphy
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister
    Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard