SIDNEY - B.C. is providing the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada's Pacific Division (AIAC Pacific) with the first $1 million of a $5-million commitment to help develop the provincial aerospace industry, Finance Minister Mike de Jong and International Trade Minister Teresa Wat announced today at Viking Air in Sidney.
The new funding is part of government’s Budget 2014 commitment to provide $5 million over five years to develop a more unified aerospace industry cluster in B.C., helping attract investment and integrated contract sourcing from aerospace global firms.
The AIAC Pacific will work with the B.C. government to:
- Increase collaboration among B.C. aerospace industry partners;
- Enhance market access and expand international trade opportunities;
- Develop a globally competitive supply chain to expand access to global markets;
- Improve the B.C. aerospace industry’s research and development capabilities;
- Access B.C.’s fair share of federal program, procurement, and research funding; and
- Leverage provincial training programs and opportunities to strengthen the advanced manufacturing skills base.
British Columbia’s aerospace and defence industry is recognized worldwide for delivering highly specialized products and services. With its proximity to Seattle’s final assembly and integration production lines, B.C. is a major hub for the Pacific Northwest and Canada’s aerospace sectors. B.C. is also a preferred gateway for the aerospace industry to Asia Pacific, a region which is expected to see major growth in airplane sales and increased traffic in the coming years.
Ministers de Jong and Wat, AIAC’s board of directors and aerospace leaders from across Canada gathered at Viking Air, one of the province’s top aircraft manufacturers, to celebrate the new partnership.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour -
“We are very pleased that B.C.’s world leading aerospace industry will be expanding and working to attract more contracts around the world. This means fulfilling a commitment we made as part of BC’s Jobs Plan to create more jobs for British Columbians.”
Mike de Jong, Minister of Finance -
“This is an example of investing taxpayer’s money now and seeing the economy benefit for decades. British Columbia’s aerospace industry generates $1.2 billion in revenue per year and employs about 10,000 people. We’re looking forward to seeing those numbers grow.”
Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism -
“Expanding B.C.’s aerospace industry into new markets such as Asia is key to B.C.’s future.”
David Schellenberg, chair of AIAC Pacific -
“With its deep-rooted local base and strong international network, the British Columbia aerospace industry is a provincial innovation leader that is poised to take advantage of unprecedented global growth opportunities in the years ahead. The government’s investment in our industry will not only help us accelerate that growth, but it will also provide tremendous benefits to British Columbia’s workers, tax payers and economy.”
Viking Air president & CEO, David Curtis -
“This announcement is great news for the growing aerospace sector in Canada’s west, as the only western-based Canadian OEM, Viking has long seen the need for this type of support to develop the aerospace industry in our region. Asia-Pacific is a key market for Canada’s aerospace industry, and companies located on the west coast are perfectly situated to take advantage of this opportunity, made even greater by the Government of B.C.’s contribution.”
- Over the next 20 years, approximately half of the world's air-traffic growth will be connected to or within the Asia Pacific region.
- Total air traffic for the region will grow 6.7% per year during that period and air cargo will grow 6.3% per year.
- To modernize their fleets and meet the growing demand for air transport, airlines in the Asia Pacific region will need 12,000 new airplanes valued at $1.9 trillion over the next 20 years.
- Global airplane sales, for both fleet growth and replacement of aging aircraft, will total 30,900 units over that period, with a value of over $3.6 trillion.
BC Jobs Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/
Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC): http://www.aiac.ca/en/
To read the B.C. Aviation Strategy, click here: http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/airports/documents/2012_AviationStrategy.pdf
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour