Western Canada: Home to a Thriving Aerospace Sector
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Western Canada’s aerospace industry generates annual revenues of more than $4 billion, and employs some 15,000 people, most of whom provide engineering, technical or management expertise. Overall, Canada’s aerospace industry has become the fourth largest in the world, next to the United States, Britain and France.
Western Canada’s Aerospace Advantages
Photo courtesy of Hammer Mechanical.
Western Canada is a cost-competitive and trade-friendly investment destination. It benefits from Canada’s business, labour and benefits costs, which are the lowest among the G7 countries.
Canada’s solid research and development infrastructure offers additional advantages with Canadian-based aerospace firms annually investing more than $1 billion in research and development. Western Canada’s success in aerospace is based on a wealth of competitive strengths. Additionally, western Canadian aerospace companies enjoy proven expertise and leadership in:
- aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul,
- unmanned vehicle systems,
- composites innovation,
- satellite communications and remote sensing, and
- training and simulation.
Photo courtesy of StandardAero.
Manitoba is home to the largest aerospace sector in Western Canada and is the third largest provider of aerospace goods and services in Canada. Four world-class firms anchor the sector: Aveos Fleet Performance Inc., Bristol Aerospace Limited, Boeing Canada and Standard Aero. The province is also home to 23 established regional and national firms that specialize in tool and dye making, precision sheet metal fabrication, plating and coating and electronics.
- Standard Aero operates one of the world’s largest independent small turbine engine repair and overhaul companies.
- Bristol Aerospace Ltd. designs, manufactures and repairs engine units, metal and composite parts, and also designs and manufactures small satellites and rocket systems.
- Boeing Winnipeg, the largest aerospace composite manufacturer in Canada, designs, develops and fabricates complex composite structures and sub-assemblies.
- Aveos is a large well established maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility for narrow body commercial aircraft and has a capability and capacity to complete MRO work for the Regional aircraft sector.
Saskatchewan’s aerospace industry specializes in satellite-based communication system products and services for aerospace and defence industries in Canada and around the world. It is also home to numerous companies offering aviation engineering and manufacturing solutions. In addition, Saskatchewan is home to NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC).
- SED Systems is a leading provider of satellite communication systems for global clients, including Intelsat, Boeing, Hughes, Lockheed Martin, WorldSpace, the Canadian Space Agency and the European Space Agency.
- Award-winning Draganfly Innovations has developed several unmanned aerial vehicle systems that fulfill a variety of civilian and military functions.
- Scientific Instrumentation Limited specializes in the research and development of advanced sensor technology. Its engineers and technologists can take a project from conceptualization through prototyping to full production.
- Saskatchewan’s NFTC offers under-graduate and post-graduate advanced military jet pilot and tactical training. Canadian and NATO Qualified Flying Instructors (QFIs) provide flight training, while private industry performs aircraft maintenance and provides simulator and classroom instruction.
At the core of Alberta’s globally competitive aerospace sector are five key sub-sectors: robotics and unmanned vehicle systems; defence electronics; space sciences, geomatics, and navigation systems; maintenance, repair, and overhaul; and logistic support to the military.
- Field Aviation and 25 other Alberta firms provide skilled aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services for military and commercial aircraft, including: avionics, airframes, engines, equipment and component parts, interior/exterior refurbishing.
- Alberta is proud to host companies such as NovAtel, Keo Scientific, Iunctus, BlueSky, Hyperion, and Obsidian as examples of innovative high-tech solution providers for the defence and space industries.
- Meggitt Training Systems Canada offers advanced training solutions for military, law enforcement, and security agencies around the world.
- The Canadian Centre for Unmanned Vehicle Systems (CCUVS) is a national change agent whose purpose is to facilitate the sustained, profitable growth of national and international unmanned vehicle systems sector. CCUVS is engaged in several activities and delivers a range of services to achieve this aim.
- Lighter than Air; an emerging aerospace niche sector still in the R&D phase, but showing great potential as heavy lift air vehicle with industrial and commercial applications.
CH-149 Cormorant. Photo courtesy of the Department of National Defence.
British Columbia’s global customer base spans the commercial aviation, defence and security, and space market segments and has demonstrated capabilities in component manufacturing, assemblies, sub-assemblies, machined parts and systems. The province’s network of high technology companies also provides a wealth of expertise in remote-sensing, satellite communications, complex robotics, 3-D simulation technology and advanced aerospace systems and sub-systems.
- Cascade Aerospace, based in Abbotsford, is one of North America’s top 10 maintenance, repair and overhaul organizations.
- Avcorp Industries in Delta is a leading supplier of primary and secondary flight structures, including stabilizers, flight control surfaces, fuselage components and interior panel assemblies.
- NGRAIN provides 3D equipment simulation solutions for training and maintenance applications to all branches of the Canadian and United States militaries, their system integrators, and manufacturers. Supporting Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter program, NGRAIN’s 3D Visual Damage and Repair Tracking software will be used by F-35 maintainers to document aircraft damage and repairs.
- MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) is a space contractor with over 40 years of experience in the development of innovative space systems. The company delivers turnkey, fixed-price earth observation, space surveillance, space science, and information delivery satellite missions. Complementing its mission capability is its heritage in the design, development and supply of spacecraft payloads and subsystems.
- Kelowna Flightcraft operates scheduled courier service aircraft, line stations across Canada, heavy maintenance facilities and a military flight training facility on behalf of the Department of National Defence.