Western Economic Diversification Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Feature - Collaborating for Success

Warning The following document is out of date.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.

access
west

Collaborating for Success

Strengthening Aerospace Innovation in Western Canada

WD plays a key role in helping Western companies take advantage of the federal government’s industrial and regional Benefits (IRB) policy. the policy requires contractors to do business in Canada, ensuring Canada gets extra value for money spent in the form of industrial and regional investments.

WD plays a key role in helping Western companies take advantage of the federal government’s industrial and regional Benefits (IRB) policy. the policy requires contractors to do business in Canada, ensuring Canada gets extra value for money spent in the form of industrial and regional investments.
Photo courtesy of the Department of National Defence

The abundance of natural resources that blanket Western Canada’s vast landscape has always been crucial to the region’s economic growth and prosperity. While these resources are a key economic driver, Western Canada has been turning to the sky and the stars to diversify its economic base. today, technological innovation in the aerospace sector is quickly becoming the hallmark of the western economy.

Currently, Western Canada’s thriving aerospace sector boasts annual revenues of more than $4 billion, and employs 15,000 people, with the majority providing engineering, technical or management expertise. many of the 450 companies involved in aerospace in Western Canada are now developing a global customer base that spans the commercial aviation, defence and security, and space market segments.

This progress complements a nationwide trend. Overall, Canada’s aerospace industry has become the fourth largest in the world, next to the United States, Britain and France.

To help strengthen Western Canada’s aerospace industry, Western Economic Diversification Canada works in partnership on projects that enhance aerospace innovation and training in Western Canada.

The department also partners with the Western Aerospace Alliance (WAA) to identify national and international procurement opportunities for Western Canada’s aerospace sector by facilitating business development opportunities. It also supports WAA’s participation in key industry tradeshows.

In 2007, WD organized a trade mission to the United States, providing Canadian companies the opportunity meet with representatives at Boeing and Lockheed Martin and discuss potential collaboration. more recently, and thanks in part to their new familiarity with western Canadian firms, Boeing announced contracts worth more than $157 million to companies in Western Canada, including Avcorp for 747 light sheet metal assemblies; Hydratech Ltd. for direct work on the Canadian Forces C-17 Globemaster fleet; and SED for feeder link Earth stations and telemetry. In 2008, WD was represented at the Farnborough International Air Show. In 2009, the Department worked in partnership with the WAA to help coordinate WAA presence at the Paris Airshow.

Return to the top of this pagetop of page

Saskatchewan: NATO Flying Training in Canada

In partnership with industry, the federal government is providing world-class training to military pilots from Canada and around the world at the NATO Flying training in Canada (NFTC) program in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and Cold Lake, Alberta. (Photo Courtesy of NFTC.)

Manitoba: Satellite Design and Development

Bristol Aerospace Ltd. in Winnipeg was selected by the Canadian Space Agency to design and develop the MAC-200 small satellite bus, a unique technology adaptable for different types of missions. The satellite will launch in 2009 as part of the Cassiope mission, which will conduct space environment research and an advanced telecommunications technology demonstration. (Photo courtesy of Bristol Aerospace Ltd.)

British Columbia: Radarsat Constellation Mission

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) is working on the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM), a constellation of three identical spacecraft that will ensure C-Band data continuity for RADARSAT-2 data users. The RCM will support Canadian efforts to assure sustainable development, better manage natural resources and ecosystems, and enforce security and sovereignty in the Canadian Arctic. (Photo courtesy of MDA.)

Return to the top of this pagetop of page

Western Canada: Home To A Thriving Aerospace Sector

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

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,
  • composites innovation,
  • unmanned vehicle systems,
  • avionics,
  • satellite communications and remote sensing, and
  • training and simulation.

Return to the top of this pagetop of page

Manitoba

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 facility for narrow body commercial aircraft and has a capability and capacity to complete maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) work for the Regional aircraft sector.

Return to the top of this pagetop of page

British Columbia

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 (MRO) 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.

Return to the top of this pagetop of page

Alberta

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.

  • Aero 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 is 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.

Return to the top of this pagetop of page

Saskatchewan

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 undergraduate 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.

Return to the top of this pagetop of page

Northern Manitoba to Get State-Of-The-Art Cold Weather Testing Facility

Minister Vic Toews and Premier Gary Doer with other speakers at the CanETREC funding announcement in Thompson, Manitoba April 2009.

Minister Vic Toews and Premier Gary Doer with other speakers at the CanETREC funding announcement in Thompson, Manitoba April 2009.

Already know as Manitoba’s “Hub of the North,” the City of Thompson is quickly earning a reputation as the hub for cold weather testing and research in North America. For years, major automobile manufacturers have taken advantage of Thompson’s unique geographic location, strong infrastructure and subarctic climate to conduct comprehensive cold weather testing on their vehicles. now aircraft are getting onboard.

To capitalize on Western Canada’s aerospace expertise and Thompson’s cold weather, WD has worked in collaboration with aerospace industry partners and the Province of Manitoba to establish the Canadian Environmental Test Research and Education Centre (CanETREC). The facility is scheduled to be operational by August 2010 and will be the world’s most advanced, large engine, cold weather testing and research facility.

Operating year-round, CanETREC will specialize in supporting engine icing certification and research and development of new, more efficient and advanced aerospace designs. In addition this testing technology will be applicable to other sectors such as the bus and automotive manufacturing industry.

MDS Aero Support Corporation will manage the facility, which is being built by the Global Aerospace Centre for Icing and Environmental Research Inc. (GLACIER). This state-of-the-art facility is a new joint venture between Rolls-Royce Canada Limited and Pratt & Whitney. The National Research Council Canada (NRC) will supply, own and operate the icing system in GLACIER. It will also be partnering with CanETREC.

CanETREC’S geographic location benefits from Thompson’s consistently cold weather and an expanded window for testing. During off-peak testing periods, CanETREC will focus on research and education to drive new aerospace designs. Over the long-term, the facility will expand its research infrastructure and develop expertise in noise and emission reduction, and alternative fuels and lubricants.

WD’s $8.4 million investment will help establish the CanETREC facility and will support leading-edge R&D in aerospace. The facility will also offer a wide variety of aeronautical sciences and aviation maintenance training programs through partnerships with post-secondary institutions.

With large-engine testing accounting for 22 per cent of annual global icing certification business and the aerospace industry conservatively estimating the need for 21,000 engines, including maintenance routines, CanETREC is poised to become a world leader in cold weather testing and certification and research.

Canetrec will operate year-round and offer a variety of different services, including:

  • engine ingestion testing;
  • cold soak testing;
  • endurance testing; and
  • blade-off certification.