Government awards design contract for future fighter infrastructure in Cold Lake

News release

August 27, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

As outlined in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Government of Canada is providing Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel with the facilities and tools to support their operations for the future.

Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, announced a $9.2-million contract award to EllisDon Construction Services Inc., of Edmonton, Alta., for the design of a new fighter jet facility at 4 Wing Cold Lake, one of two main operating bases for Canada’s future fighter aircraft. A second facility and contract award is also planned for 3 Wing Bagotville. Combined, this infrastructure will support the long-term maintenance and operation of 88 new aircraft being procured for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) through the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP).

This contract is an important milestone in preparing Cold Lake for the future fighter, and it takes us one step closer to delivering the infrastructure our aviators need for the future. Both infrastructure projects will also provide significant economic opportunities for the Canadian construction industry, as well as the Cold Lake and Bagotville communities. In total, over 900 jobs are expected to be created during the design and construction of both facilities.

The Cold Lake facility will host two tactical fighter squadrons and will cover approximately
19,300 m2, providing space for daily operations, maintenance, administration, mission planning, and simulator training. It will also house operational and support training squadrons and their training facilities.


“We invest in this modern infrastructure to house our future fighter aircraft because we know it is critical to ensuring the safety and security of Canadians, as well as meeting Canada’s international obligations to NORAD and NATO. A modern fighter jet fleet is essential for the defence of our country and its sovereignty, and these facilities are vital to enabling these operations.”

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“This infrastructure project is a significant investment in the future of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Cold Lake community. Building this facility will help sustain jobs near the base, and will ensure our military is well equipped for the future.”

Anita Vandenbeld, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Quick facts

  • We expect to award the design contract for our future fighter facility in Bagotville in September 2020. Construction is estimated to begin at both bases in summer 2022. 

  • Both design contracts will also include options for the contractors to build the new facilities, and any additional infrastructure once the future fighter is selected, should Canada decide to exercise these follow-on options.

  • By awarding these infrastructure design contracts ahead of choosing a future fighter, we will start on work that is needed, regardless of which of the three potential aircraft is selected. This will ensure both bases are ready for the first aircraft deliveries.

  • These facilities will be designed and constructed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver standards and will use energy efficient options wherever possible. 

Associated links


Floriane Bonneville
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-3100

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-904-3333

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