Statement by the Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force on the Multi-Engine Utility Flight contract


February 29, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is undergoing one of its most significant modernization efforts since the end of the Second World War. In just over one year, the Government of Canada has announced the procurement of 88 F-35 fighter jets, up to 16 P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft, 11 MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, and 9 CC-330 Husky Multi-Role Tanker and Transport aircraft. These are historic additions to the RCAF fleet that will significantly enhance Canada’s military capabilities.

As we proceed with this historic recapitalization of the RCAF, we must focus our investments towards cutting-edge technologies so that we can face the challenges of the future. As part of our efforts to focus investments, to prioritize Canadian Armed Forces reconstitution efforts, and to support the ongoing federal efforts to reduce the federal deficit, the Royal Canadian Air Force will not exercise its two, one-year options for renewal under the Multi-Engine Utility Flight (MEUF) contract with Air Tindi currently operating out of 8 Wing Trenton. By not exercising the RCAF’s two, one-year lease options, DND/CAF will save approximately $3.6 million per option year (approximately $7.2 million in total).

The MEUF leases two King Air BE350 aircraft. The MEUF does not offer a direct operational output like other higher-priority, combat capable platforms, and the decision to not exercise contract option years of the MEUF will have no impact on operational roles within the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The two MEUF aircraft provide continuation training to newly winged multi engine pilots and provide the CAF with personnel transport and limited utility capabilities. Going forward, RCAF pilots will be able to maintain and enhance their proficiency using cutting-edge training technologies, including by flying more modern aircraft.

Starting March 31, 2024, the functions provided by the MEUF will be absorbed by the RCAF’s expanding fleet of other aircraft models such as the CC-130J Hercules, CC-150 Polaris, CC-330 Husky and CC-144 Challenger.

The RCAF will continue to optimize its readiness to provide timely assistance to Canadians, our allies, and partners.

Lieutenant-General Eric Kenny CMM, MSC, MSM, CD
Commander Royal Canadian Air Force

Quick Facts

  • Of the 150 force employment missions that the MEUF aircraft typically carry out in a year, more than one-third of them are to transport personnel such as senior military officers. By moving these tasks to other RCAF aircraft or commercial flights, National Defence is reprioritizing its spending towards key priorities that deliver value for Canadians.
  • The Government of Canada is making historic investments to modernize the Royal Canadian Air Force’s fleet of aircraft. Since 2022 alone, the Government of Canada has finalized the procurement or upgrade of approximately 140 new aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force, including:
    • 88 new F-35 fighter jets,
    • 9 CC-330 Husky strategic tanker transport aircraft,
    • up to 16 new P-8A Poseidon multi-mission aircraft,
    • 16 new or upgraded Cormorant helicopters (as the project will upgrade our fleet to provide Canada with the most advanced version of the helicopter);
    • and 11 remotely piloted aircraft.


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

Page details

Date modified: