Upgrades to equipment require upgrades to supporting infrastructure–and at 19 Wing Comox that means a new Liquid Oxygen (LOX) facility to support the expected arrival of a new aircraft.

The new LOX facility will safely and efficiently support the new C295 Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) aircraft, which has a requirement for in-flight oxygen. The new building will also provide an important safety upgrade to existing liquid oxygen storage and distribution.

The ground-up build of the over $4-million building started in January 2023, and is nearing the commissioning phase scheduled for late October. The new reinforced concrete structure will offer better energy efficiency and meet all current LOX facility regulations, such as fire protection and facility design requirements. The 425-m2 building–about 6.5 times the size of the existing one–will also offer expanded space and meet the building code for occupancy.

The project has experienced smooth sailing to date, except for some transformer procurement issues that are being experienced across the industry as a whole. The project team is currently looking at options to handle the resulting delay, to get the facility up-and-running as soon as possible.

“With work on the cladding happening now, and mechanical and electrical pieces seeing solid progress, we’re excited to be looking ahead to a substantial completion date at end of December,” said Kyle Donald, DCC Coordinator, Construction. “This project will offer a much safer workplace and be a welcome addition for those handling liquid oxygen here at 19 Wing Comox.”

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