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AIAC & ISED Release their Joint 2020 Report on the State of Canada’s Aerospace Industry

The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) and the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) have released their joint 2020 report on the State of Canada’s Aerospace Industry.

Then Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, joined AIAC President and CEO, Mike Mueller, along with industry members to discuss the future of Canadian aerospace.

The 2020 report quantifies the impacts of the pandemic on aerospace jobs and the sector’s economic activity in Canada and points to a long recovery. According to the report, the overall aerospace industry’s contribution to the Canadian economy decreased by $6.2B in GDP and 27,900 jobs between 2019 and 2020. Ontario was the most impacted region in terms of manufacturing employment levels.

Aerospace saw similar declines globally. On a positive note, revenue losses in Canada were mitigated compared to the global average due to the diversity of Canada’s aerospace sector including our strength in business aircraft as opposed to large aircraft which saw a much bigger drop in demand and production through 2020. Canada ranked # 2 in the world in the manufacture of business jets in 2020, consistent with 2019 rankings.

Despite the steep decline in jobs and GDP contribution, Canada remains an innovation and export leader. The report’s key findings include:

• In 2020, the Canadian aerospace industry contributed over $22B in GDP and close to 207,000 jobs to the Canadian economy. (As compared to $28.5 Billion contribution to GDP and 235,000 jobs in 2019);

• Aerospace manufacturing R&D intensity and share of STEM employment were 3X higher than the manufacturing average;

• Between 2019 and 2020, the aerospace manufacturing industry’s investment in R&D was relatively stable ($934M R&D investment in 2020, down from $1.4B in 2018, and 5X higher R&D intensity than the manufacturing average in 2018).

• Canadian aerospace maintains its position as a global leader in several segments: 1st in civil flight simulators, 3rd in civil engines, 4th in civil aircraft

• The Canadian aerospace manufacturing industry exported over 75% of Canadian aerospace products to 186 countries across 6 continents in 2020

“This report is an important account of the productive partnership between our government and the aerospace industry,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “As we had recognized in Budget 2021, aerospace was one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. We will continue to support our aerospace champions every step of the way to build on Canada’s strengths, continue our global leadership, and develop new competitive advantages in the green economy of the future.”

“We thank the government and the department for their continued collaboration and for this year’s report, which is perhaps the most important to date,” said Mike Mueller, President & CEO AIAC. “These are very sobering numbers. Job losses on this scale are felt in families and communities across the country. How we plan our aerospace recovery will set the stage and determine our competitiveness for the next 30 years.”

“We have so much to build on,” Mueller continued. “Our companies, large and small, are major exporters and integral to global supply chains. For example, Canada’s expertise and leadership in smaller, business aircraft helped to buoy against even steeper declines seen globally; the global average was brought down by the plummet in demand and production of large aircraft. Business aircraft is a strength and competitive advantage for Canada, providing a solid foundation for recovery and jobs.”

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