Field Aerospace to be prime contactor

Field Aerospace, is pleased to announce it has been awarded, as Prime Contractor, a contract by United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) to supply an aircraft for use by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). The De Havilland DHC-8 aircraft will replace the four-engine DHC-7 aircraft in service with BAS since 1994 which was also modified by Field Aerospace, and includes a 3-year maintenance and support program. The contract was signed on 17 March 2022 by Professor Dame Jane Francis, Director of British Antarctic Survey, Nigel Bird, Director of Major Programmes at UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Brian Love, Chief Commercial Officer, Field Aerospace.

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited and Collins Aerospace have been chosen as major sub-contractors. The base aircraft will be delivered by De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited, who will also provide training and support. The Collins Aerospace freighter conversion cargo bay door will be installed allowing the aircraft maximum versatility.

British Antarctic Survey (BAS), delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Its skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, UK., Antarctica and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that uses the Polar Regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet. Through its extensive logistic capability and know-how BAS facilitates access for the British and international science community to the UK polar research operation. Numerous national and international collaborations, combined with an excellent infrastructure help sustain a world-leading position for the UK in Antarctic affairs.

The DHC-8 will be used to ferry passengers and cargo to and from the Rothera Research Station, Antarctica in support of polar science and operations.

“We are both excited and proud to work with BAS again.” said Brian Love, Chief Commercial Officer, Field Aerospace. “Our experience and commitment to innovative solutions make Field Aerospace perfectly suited to aid British Antarctic Survey with this modernisation programme.”

DHC-8 300 series aircraft, renowned for its ruggedness and reliability, will be modified to allow for a wide range of missions while ensuring the safety of passengers and crew in one of the most challenging environments in the world. A reconfigurable interior suited for carrying passengers and cargo with an alternate medical transport configuration, long range fuel tanks, and the Collins Aerospace cargo freighter door round out the significant modifications aft of the flight deck. In the Flight Deck BAS will serve as Field Aerospace’s 12th Dash 8 Modernization Program customer. Their flight deck will a complete upgrade including Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) and an Inertial Reference Unit (IRU).

“De Havilland Canada is very pleased that British Antarctic Survey has chosen the Dash 8-300 aircraft as the replacement for its long-serving Dash 7 aircraft,” said Philippe Poutissou, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, De Havilland Canada. “The Dash 8-300 aircraft’s operational flexibility, excellent performance and durability make it the ideal choice for BAS as they undertake their polar research and operations to help society adapt to a changing world. We are also happy to be working with Field Aerospace and Collins Aerospace on this important program.”

About Field Aerospace

Field Aerospace is a leading aerospace business operating in the Canada as Field Aviation at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Mississauga, Canada. The 40,000 sq. ft. hangar facility in Mississauga houses more than 150 employees from the greater Toronto area. For 75 years, Field has been making ordinary aircraft extraordinary for commercial and military customers all over the world. Field is recognized as an industry leader in the design, integration, manufacture, installation, flight test, and certification of interior and exterior aircraft modifications and avionics upgrade programs. An award-winning avionics equipment dealer and authorized service center, Field offers aviation-related contractor logistics support and program management office support to aircraft operators including Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) modifications for special mission and maritime applications; and aerospace parts manufacturing and subassembly services. Field Aerospace employs more than 500 people and has 4 locations in US and Canada.

About British Antarctic Survey (BAS)

British Antarctic Survey is a world-leading centre for polar science and polar operations, addressing issues of global importance and helping society adapt to a changing world.

Our scientific research programme, Polar Science for Planet Earth, sets the strategic direction for British Antarctic Survey, demonstrates our commitment to partnership and promotes our Vision and Mission to deliver excellence, impact and leadership in science.

Our operational teams aim to provide and operate world-leading research infrastructure that enables scientists from the UK, and colleagues from many nations, to work safely and effectively in the polar regions. A key goal is to be recognised nationally and internationally as a partner of choice for polar operational expertise wherever it can be applied.

AIMP Future Air Capability

More information: FAC - British Antarctic Survey (

About UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

UK Research and Innovation is the largest public funder of research and innovation in the UK, with a budget of around £8bn. It is composed of seven disciplinary research councils, Innovate UK and Research England.

It operates across the whole country and works with many partners in higher education, research organisations businesses, government, and charities.

UKRI’s vision is for an outstanding research and innovation system in the UK that gives everyone the opportunity to contribute and to benefit, enriching lives locally, nationally and internationally.

UKRI’s mission is to convene, catalyse and invest in close collaboration with others to build a thriving, inclusive research and innovation system that connects discovery to prosperity and public good.

About Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

NERC is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. It’s work covers the full range of atmospheric, Earth, biological, terrestrial and aquatic science, from the deep oceans to the upper atmosphere and from the poles to the equator. NERC coordinates some of the world's most exciting research projects, tackling major environmental issues such as climate change, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on Earth, and more.

About De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited

With more than 5,000 aircraft delivered, De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (De Havilland Canada) is well established across the globe and our talented team of aviation professionals is dedicated to advancing our near-100-year reputation for excellence in innovation, production and customer support. Our aircraft operate reliably in some of the world's harshest climates and provide vital connections between rural communities and urban centres – transporting essential cargo and millions of passengers annually. Our aircraft also support a wide variety of special mission operations including aerial firefighting, search and rescue, medical evacuation, reconnaissance and coastal surveillance. In February 2022, De Havilland Canada became the operating brand for the companies that previously operated as Longview Aviation, Viking Air Ltd, Pacific Sky Training and De Havilland Canada.

About Collins Aerospace

Collins Aerospace, a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp., is a leader in technologically advanced and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defense industry. Collins Aerospace has the extensive capabilities, comprehensive portfolio and broad expertise to solve customers’ toughest challenges and to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving global market. For more information, visit