Airbus Helicopters Canada

Fort Erie Facility Guide

Health & Safety Guide

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  • Your I.D./visitor badge must be clearly visible at all times on Airbus property
  • Please adhere to all safety signs posted throughout the building and follow all guidelines
  • Unless otherwise instructed, visitors must be accompanied at all times by an Airbus employee
  • Please stay within the yellow lined walkways when on the production shop floor. Safety shoes are not required within the yellow lines; however, some areas (where posted) require safety glasses
  • No open-toed shoes, sandals or high heeled shoes allowed on the production floor, even within the yellow lines
  • Once you leave the yellow lined walkway, safety shoes and safety glasses are required
  • Emergency Evacuations: All visitors must meet at zone 0 (white building in the parking lot) and check in with security. Do not leave the property or re-enter the building until instructed to do so by Airbus management or emergency personnel


No Smoking

Airbus is a smoke free workplace. Smoking is not permitted inside the building or around the perimeter of the building. A designated smoking area is available in the parking lot



Welcome to the AHCA Fort Erie Facility

Ahca 0002 092023 0620 ScaledAirbus is the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer, and is the leading supplier of civil helicopters used in North America.

Airbus has been a proud member of Canada’s aerospace industry since 1984. Headquartered in Fort Erie, Ontario with a team of approximately 250 employees, Airbus Helicopters Canada also has sales support across the country and a 24/7 customer service network in place to support the fleet of more than 220+ operators and 760+ helicopters flying throughout Canada.

Our Fort Erie facility is a Centre of Excellence for engineering and composite manufacturing and is the sole source supplier for 8 different platforms, supplying various components and assemblies for helicopters flying all over the world. Airbus Helicopters’ activities in Canada are focused in five primary areas: Aircraft Sales & Deliveries, Composite Manufacturing, Repair & Overhaul, Supplemental Type Certificates / Options Development, and Support & Services.

Across Canada, we provide aircraft for various sectors and roles such as law enforcement, emergency medical services, oil and gas, mining, firefighting, search and rescue, forestry, and environmental surveys, in addition to passenger transport, corporate and private business aviation. Key operators include Canadian Helicopters, Great Slave Helicopters, Mustang Helicopters, RCMP, OPP, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and STARS.

Airbus’ main priority is to ensure the safe operation of its aircraft for the thousands of people who together fly more than three million hours a year globally.

Facility Map

Colour Tour Guide Map

Colour Map Legend

Aircraft Completions

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After they are received from the final assembly line (FAL) in France, Germany or the United States, aircraft are assembled here. Customization takes place, including avionics, interior and customer specific mission options.

Aircraft Paint Booth

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Once the aircraft begins to take shape, it makes its way to our state-of-the-art down draft paint booth. The paint process starts with preparation of the airframe by sanding, masking, etc.

The customer’s preferred paint scheme and design is then applied. Following the paint application, the aircraft is ready for weighing, and after a period of drying and inspections, the helicopter is ready for takeoff.

Aircraft Flight Line

Flightline Ahca 0002 092023 0593When it is time for the aircraft to be moved to the flight line in preparation for final delivery, it is weighed and final tests are completed.

The first in a series of tests is the ground run where the helicopter engines are tested for functionality while on the ground. Once engine operations and aircraft systems pass the test, the aircraft is ready to take flight.

Aircraft Upholstery

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The Upholstery Department is responsible for installing custom seats, carpets

 and fabricated covers for the aircraft interiors. Customers are given the choice of standard STC interiors or a custom interior.

Materials used to upholster the aircraft are tested to ensure they meet fire resistance standards.

Tooling & Flex Area

0708 Ahicanada112021Airbus Helicopters Canada specializes in the manufacturing of composite tooling and support of all metallic tooling efforts.

Master tooling is fabricated here at the facility, manufactured from carbon fibre and glass material tools for layup of composite parts. Additionally, manufacturer’s tools for trimming and assembly are produced here.

These tools are then used to produce parts where the technician applies several layers of pre-preg.

Composite Cutting Room

Cutting Room(1)The Composite Cutting Room contains computerized cutting tables, where composite material is cut and layup kits are prepared.

Trunest & Cutworks software is used to optimize material yield. Raw material is then stored in a 900 sq ft freezer and kept at a constant temperature of -18⁰ to -20⁰ Celsius.


Composite Layup

Layup Ahca 0002 092023 0147This is the first step in the composite manufacturing process, where raw material will begin to shape and form to eventually create the finished component.

To ensure design specifications are met, highly advanced engineered resin systems and honeycomb core are used.

A laser system orientates ply placement and positioning, ensuring production quality.

Composite Curing

The Composite Curing Department is responsible for curing and strengthening material through various processes.

Composite Curing 2 Autoclave

Manufactured parts are taken to the autoclave where temperature, pressure and a vacuum process are used to transform the raw materials into lightweight and high strength composite components.

A computerized system manages the cure cycle to ensure conformity of process specifications.

Composite Prep & Prime

0893 Ahicanada112021After the curing process, the Composite Prep & Prime department prepares the component for further assembly, trimming and smoothing surfaces to ensure a clean and even finish.

Within the area, an engineered collection system is used to capture and extract dust.

Composite Assembly 2

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Composite Assembly Room 2 is home to the H225/H215 program.

Calibrated bonding jigs, the thermal press and curing ovens support this activity, centralizing the assembly capabilities required for high quality parts to be produced on time and on cost.

This is the area where the final assembly of metallic parts to composite components take place, including quality checks to ensure assembly can be fitted directly to aircraft.


Starflex & Composite Repair

StarflexThe Starflex repair station provides an opportunity to inspect and repair damage sustained to the Starflex while in service.

First, visual and dimensional inspections are completed to determine if the Starflex remains a candidate for repair.

Should the part qualify, the repair begins with bushing removal, followed by non-destructive testing. New bushings are then installed through a complex bonding procedure and finalized with a verification and certification process.

Our composite repair station is dedicated to reworking and strengthening minor defects that may occur due to the complexity of the part design, or tooling.

Composite Assembly Room 1

Composite Assembly Room 1 is home to the H145 program. Here, parts are assembled and quality checked before they are shipped.

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After trimming, the parts move into this room. They are bonded in fixtures or initially equipped with parts and quality tested before heading to Prep and Paint. The parts then move back into the Assembly Room for final assembly, to attach other composite components, latches, etc. At this stage, parts are quality checked again. After approval, they are shipped to respective areas across the globe.

Quality Assurance - Material Inspection

0985 Ahicanada112021The Material Inspection Department is the home to the Faro Arm, used to scan and measure critical dimensions.

The tests performed as part of the material inspection include:

  • Differential scanning calorimetry
  • Peel and drum peel tests
  • Interlaminar shear strength testing

Quality Assurance - Kitting


QA Kitting performs a variety of inspections. Its purpose is to ensure conformity of all components in accordance with design specifications.

In this area key kitting processes are completed, including:

  • Detail and assembly dimensional inspections
  • Kit inspection
  • Inspection of kits going to customers
  • Calibration of tools

Quality Assurance - Non-Destructive Testing

1003 Ahicanada112021The QA – Non Destructive Testing Department supports Composite Manufacturing and Repair & Overhaul activities.

Types of Non-Destructive testing methods include:

  • Ultra sonic inspection
  • Magnetic particle inspection
  • Liquid penetrant inspection
  • Eddy current inspection


Thousands of spare parts, tools and ground support equipment are dispatched from the Fort Erie warehouse. Hundreds of customers looking for specialized parts, efficient delivery and competitive pricing rely on this warehouse and its systems to support their missions.

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Using a worldwide stock management system allows ease in monitoring the materials going in and out of the plant, ensuring required inventory is always on hand.

After materials are ordered, they are quality checked and packaged to be shipped out via the shipping and receiving dock. Thousands of orders are shipped and received through this dock annually to support Airbus customers.

Metallic Manufacturing

The Metallic Manufacturing Department consists of the machine shop and metal fabrication. This department is responsible for manufacturing metallic components and assemblies that fly on aircraft around the world.

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As a specialized activity, this facility produces all metallic parts for North America, including aircraft parts, components, manufacturing kits, assemblies and options, cable cutters, cargo mirror assemblies, blade tie down kits and more.

Fabrication and assembly of metallic machined and formed parts take place in three steps; forming, bonding and assembly.

Repair & Overhaul

The Repair and Overhaul Department provides comprehensive repair and overhaul services for dynamic and hydraulic components, including blades and airframes.

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This facility is Level I-IV certified for repair and overhaul of all dynamic components, mechanical assemblies and hydraulic systems for the H120, H125, H130, BO105 and BK117 product lines.

The Fort Erie facility is the centre of excellence for the North American region for single engine gear box repair.


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