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Canada’s Aerospace Industry Charts a New Course for the Future

Today at the Paris Air Show, former Deputy Prime Minister and Quebec Premier Jean Charest unveiled Aerospace Industries Association of Canada’s (AIAC) Vision 2025 report. While tremendous growth is predicted for the global industry over the next 20 years, global competition has also increased, and Canada is at risk of losing its share of this growth to aerospace industries in countries with high levels of government support, planning and investment.

“Global competition has never been tougher, and we’re at a turning point where Canada must step up, or risk being left behind,” said Mr. Charest. “Canadian aerospace plays a major role in the economic health of our nation. Our industry has achieved many accomplishments, but that did not happen by accident. It happened because government and industry shared a vision, worked and invested together. We need to renew that commitment today.”

The report recommends six key priorities for prosperity, and a number of areas for further collaboration that Canada’s government and aerospace industry partners must take in order to continue to be a leader in an increasingly fierce competitive global economy. Those six priorities are:

  • Building the most skilled and talented workforce in the world
  • Ensuring small and medium-sized aerospace businesses thrive and grow
  • Using innovation to capture new opportunities, including carbon-neutral flight and unmanned vehicles
  • Investing to maintain Canada’s status as a world-class regulator
  • Leveraging Canada’s role at the forefront of space
  • Maximizing defence procurement and government partnerships to drive new industrial growth

Through AIAC’s industry-led initiative Vision 2025, Mr. Charest hosted engagement sessions in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Halifax, Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. It led to new dialogue between industry, government, the public, and other stakeholders lead to a plan to secure Canada’s future in the international aerospace sector, and ways for government and industry to work closely together.

Today, the Canadian aerospace industry contributes nearly 215,000 jobs in every region of the country, and $25.5 billion annually to the Canadian economy. Canada is the only nation with a top-five rank in all civil flight simulation, engine and aircraft subcategories.

“The stakes are high for Canadian aerospace. The industry is facing many opportunities and risks,” said Jim Quick, President and CEO of AIAC. “This report reflects what we heard and charts a new course to ensure Canada remains a global aerospace champion and can seize the opportunities that come with this growing industry.”

The Canadian aerospace industry has the potential to create an additional 55,000 new jobs and contribute an additional $7 billion in economic growth. The success of the industry and its goals depend on further collaboration between government and industry to realize that growth.

“More than anything, this report is about new partnerships in an aggressive pursuit of new jobs, new innovation and new growth,” said Pat Mann, Chair of AIAC’s Board of Directors. “I have served on the board of AIAC for 30 years, and I can honestly say that the board couldn’t agree more with the report’s assessment. Our sector believes in this report, and we stand behind its recommendations.”

Quick Facts:

  • Aerospace’s share of STEM workers is 3 times the national manufacturing average. Women make up nearly a quarter of all STEM-related aerospace jobs in Canada.
  • Aerospace leads Canada’s manufacturing sector in innovation-related investment, spending over $1.4 billion on R&D annually – nearly a quarter of all manufacturing R&D.
  • Canada ranks first globally in civil flight simulation, third worldwide in civil engine production, and fourth globally in civil aircraft production. Canada is the only nation ranked in the top five of all key sector categories.
  • The Canadian aerospace industry exports over 70% of its products to over 190 countries across 6 continents.
  • Canada’s aerospace manufacturing employment has declined by 5 per cent and its GDP contributions have declined by 4 per cent since 2012.

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