CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

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CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

Crucial turning point for Canadian aerospace manufacturing strategy

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Forecasts indicate that over the next decade, there will be demand for 40,000 aircraft, countless numbers of UAVs and other aerospace products, worth billions. Canada needs an aerospace manufacturing strategy to enhance its competitiveness in going after this business the AIAC says. PHOTO courtesy Boeing.

The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) says the industry’s relationship with the federal government may have reached a crucial turning point.

Mike Mueller, president and CEO of AIAC, says the turning point came recently as Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Philippe Champagne, emphasized his willingness to work with the industry on a comprehensive aerospace strategy for Canada.

“On behalf of the over 200,000 Canadian workers and the over 600 diverse businesses in every region of the country that make up our industry, aerospace is a strategic industry for Canada and a strategy will foster innovation and growth, enhance Canada’s competitiveness on the global stage and reclaim our position as a leading aerospace nation,” Mueller said. “AIAC looks forward to next steps and working closely with Minister Champagne and officials to develop this aerospace strategy.”

In a open editorial to Wings magazine, Mueller said that predictability and long-term planning are two essential ingredients of any successful nation engaged in the aerospace industry in a substantial way. Yet both those elements have been lacking over the years and, as a result, Canada has seen investment in R&D for aerospace diminish with a sense of uncertainty.

Champagne’s signalled willingness to work with the aerospace industry comes at a time when the stakes couldn’t be higher, Mueller said in his Wings magazine op-ed.

“Canada’s aerospace industry is not merely a contributor to our economy; it is a powerhouse, generating $27 billion in GDP, with more than 80 per cent of manufacturing revenues (approximately $18.7 billion) stemming from exports in 2022,” Mueller wrote. “These are significant numbers, but in the absence of a supportive regulatory environment and clear commitment from government on an industrial aerospace strategy for Canada, we’re merely scratching the surface of our potential, allowing other nations to seize the opportunities in front of us.”

Forecasts indicate, Mueller wrote, that over the next decade, there will be demand for 40,000 aircraft, countless numbers of UAVs and other aerospace products, worth billions. Canada has a distinct advantage in going after this business as it is one of a select group of countries capable of manufacturing an aircraft from nose to tail and certifying it.

“We agree with the Minister when he stated that we have an opportunity to take a Team Canada approach, to showcase to the world that Canada is open for business and ready to seize opportunities, with a strategy that positions Canada, its aerospace industry and workforce for all opportunities,” Mueller stated in his Wings op-ed. “With an industrial aerospace strategy, we will have what it takes to compete. We have little time to waste.”

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