Canada's aerospace industry can look back on a long history. Since WW2, Canada plays a decisive role worldwide as a production location. Today, Canada's world-class research, testing and certification infrastructure, digital technologies, and advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, cyber-security and clean energy solutions help ensure that Canada's aerospace industry can look forward to a greener, safer future.
In 2018, the nation's technologically-intensive, high-technology industry contributed over $25 billion to GDP and created 213,000 jobs. Canada's industry ranks among the world's top three in the production of civil simulators, turboprop and helicopter engines, business jets and regional aircraft, and fourth in the production of large jets and helicopters. Canada is home to world-renowned aircraft manufacturers such as Bombardier and Viking Air. Bombardier remains Canada's major industrial player and one of the world's largest civil aircraft manufacturers. The activities of the Canadian aerospace sector fall into three main categories: 86% civil aerospace, 12% defense and 2% space.
Seven of the world's top 10 aerospace and defense companies are based in Canada. In 2018, most of the manufacturing activities took place in Ontario (30%) and Quebec (51%). In contrast, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba dominated maintenance, repair and overhaul activities with over 50%, followed by Ontario (25%) and Quebec (23%). Clusters have formed in this industry mainly in the cities of Montréal, Ottawa, Halifax and Winnipeg, with important centers also located in the cities of Toronto and Vancouver.
The aerospace industry is very research-intensive. In 2018, Canada's aerospace industry invested CAD 1.4 billion in R&D, nearly a quarter of Canada's total manufacturing R&D.
Canada's main trading partner, the United States, is the primary destination for aerospace products manufactured in Canada. For example, in 2015, the United States purchased a total of CAD 10.7 billion of the CAD 17 billion that Canada's civil and military aircraft, components and other items produced by the Canadian industry. The close integration between the Canadian and American aerospace industries is reflected in both trade and partnerships between the companies themselves, as many American companies operate subsidiaries in Canada and benefit from a more favorable Canadian dollar and government incentives.
There are also strong trade links between Canada and Germany in this industry. The Canadian aerospace sector, for example, accounts for the lion's share of Canadian exports to Germany in 2017. Germany exported aircraft parts, jet turbines, parts of jet turbines and propeller engines with a total value of approximately CAD 575 million in the same year. In addition, the Airbus Group, in which Germany also holds a major share, acquired a majority stake (50.01%) in the CSeries programme of the Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier in 2017.
Increasing collaboration with the EU gives Canada ‘big leverage’ for money invested in aerospace research, according to Ibrahim Yimer, director general for aerospace at Canada’s National Research Council. Click here for more information.
The most-turbulent period in Canadian aviation since the cancellation of the Avro Arrow interceptor. Click here for more information.
Saab has partnered with several Canadian aerospace companies for the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP) deal. Click here for more information.
Bombardier Inc. has sold its remaining shares in the Airbus Canada Limited Partnership (ACLP) to Airbus and the Government of Québec. Click here for more information.
“The industry is in good shape, but they also know they are in the eye of a storm … in the sense that competition is very intense, and there are new entrants in the market,” said the former premier of Quebec and deputy prime minister of Canada. Click here for more information.
Expertise in robotics, space medicine and artificial intelligence promises bold new business frontier. Click here for more information.
The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) are looking to pressure the new minority Parliament to implement a national aerospace strategy. Click here for more information.
Engineers at the University of Toronto are partnering with aircraft manufacturers and academic institutions to build a collective research hub they hope will strengthen Canada’s role as an aerospace leader in an increasingly competitive global market. Click here for more information.
Lufthansa Technik AG, one of the leading providers of technical aircraft services in the world, is expanding its Montréal site for maintenance and repair of state-of-the-art aircraft engines. Click here for more information.