WHAT IS DISCOVERY AIR INC AND DISCOVERY AIR DEFENCE?
Discovery Air Inc. operates approximately 150 aircraft and over 800 team members. The main company consists of several branches, delivering airborne training to international militaries; medevac equipped aircraft services; airborne fire services; helicopter operations; fixed-wing air charter services; expediting and logistics support; and a range of maintenance, repair, overhaul, modification, engineering and certification services.
As defence budgets were shrinking in the post-Cold War era, the provision of certain aviation training functions through civilian contract increased. This became even more relevant when budget cuts started increasing during the economic crisis. Canada was one of the first countries in the NATO to recognize that civilian contractors could provide air-to- air adversaries for front-line training at a much lower cost than using in-service equipment. Not only are flight hours cheaper on aircraft such as the Alpha Jet and Skyhawk, but their use imposes no front-line fleet-life issues.
DA Defence flies alongside the military during exercises such as Canada’s Maple Flag, and has flown embedded with the US Air Force’s 64th Aggressor Squadron that provides ‘Red Air’ adversary aircraft for air combat training. DA Defence has made a conscious effort to mirror the best practices adopted by the US Air Force’s flagship aggressor unit. The company has built a name for itself, and it recently hit the 55,000 hours of accident-free air combat training mark.