Trenton Hangars: Innovation for a new fleet of aircraft

Department of National Defence, DCC

Year Completed



Department of National Defence, DCC


Trenton, ON


700,000+ SF


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Designing a Canadian first

In 2011, the Department of National Defence (DND) required world-class maintenance facilities to accommodate their new strategic transport aircraft. The series of military aircraft can fly long distances and land in remote airfields, making them premier transporters for military, humanitarian, and peacekeeping missions.

The hangars are the first of their kind in Canada, and Defence Construction Canada ― the Crown corporation client-partner of DND ― engaged a diverse team of experts to bring this typology to the Canadian Forces. Leveraging our experience gained from the delivery of 15 other hangar projects, we were asked to design and build three hangars on the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton grounds, in partnership with SNC Lavalin and Jacobs Engineering.


Our partnership with DCC has enabled us to help keep their fleet going over the past decade, and we are proud to continue to serve our country.”

Alan Nakaska

Senior Principal



Accommodating a 50-metre wingspan

Each facility brought a unique set of design standards and requirements that centred around the aircraft it was intended to house. Hangar 1 provides support and maintenance for various wing aircrafts, including the CC150 and the CC-177 Globemaster III strategic airlifter. Hangar 2 is designed specifically for the CC-130J Hercules aircraft, while Hangar 6 accommodates the CC150, CC177 fixed-wing, and the CC-117 aircraft.

In addition to the respective aircraft, each hangar housed a series of support workshops, administration areas, a training facility, and warehouses for airplane parts. The challenge for the project team was navigating the diverse spatial needs of each stakeholder while designing an efficient and safe environment for servicing the aircraft.



Using cross-continent collaboration

We executed a timely work process and met strict-client goals by coordinating with expert consultants across North America via digital communication and an integrated BIM platform.

The design for each facility evolved through client/user workshops and gaming sessions, which included input from aircraft manufacturers and sub-contractors. The process of feedback and research gathering informed our designs, which were rigorously tested through construction.



Addressing requirements with innovation

Several technical innovations highlight the operational effectiveness of the hangars and detail the complexity of the designs. The Hangar 1 facility has two 60-by-19 metre vertical lifts, fabric doors that were chosen for fast deployment, light transmittance, and durability to enclose the large openings. All hangars are equipped with an advanced overhead foam deluge fire-suppression system, required when enclosing aircraft of this scale. Lastly, the provision of custom-fabricated, telescoping platforms and overhead cranes provide technicians with access to the entire airframe for corrosion and control work.

Each innovation addressed key-design considerations and contributed to a facility with state-of-the-art systems that coincided with the Canada First Defence Strategy implemented by the Armed Forces.



Providing the facilities to help meet crucial missions

The 700,000+ square footage of combined servicing and maintenance space has provided 8 Wing Trenton with the infrastructure to keep supplies and soldiers moving around the world. Our designs met strict requirements, while also being informed by sustainability and technician well-being ― a feat that was recognized with Hangar 1 receiving a LEED Gold Certification.

We are proud to be a part of the team that ushered in a new era for CFB Trenton by providing a home for DND’s new fleet of world-class aircraft.

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