Aerospace and Defence in Canada
A High-Performing Industry
Canada is home to many aerospace companies employing over 89,000 skilled professionals. The aerospace industry contributed $13.1 billion to Canadian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2018. 93% of aerospace manufacturing firms were exporters in 2018, 44% higher than the manufacturing average.With their product and service quality, leading-edge technology and cost competitiveness, Canadian aerospace companies hold strong positions as Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and within the supply chains of global OEMs and their Tier 1 partners.
Canada's aerospace companies possess strong world-class capabilities in:
- Design and production of regional and business aircraft, helicopters, small gas turbine engines, flight simulator systems and landing gear
- Structural assemblies and components incorporating advanced materials, including composites, special coatings and alloys
- Avionics, communications, power conversion, environmental controls, in-flight entertainment and business solutions
- Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) of aircraft and major systems, in-service support (ISS) and aftermarket logistics support
- Space robotics, earth observation systems and communications satellites
Sustained commitment to research and development (R&D) keeps Canada at the forefront of aircraft technology development and applications. The aerospace industry is the top R&D stakeholder among all Canadian manufacturing industries, with investments totaling $1.4 billion in 2018.
Many innovative small and medium-sized businesses have unique capabilities in composites, precision machining, coatings and component system design. Their reputation bolsters Canada's recognized expertise in aerospace.
Canada’s Key Industrial Capabilities (KICs) ensure that defence procurement can better drive innovation, exports and the growth of firms through the Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy. In consultation with stakeholders, the Government of Canada has identified 16 KICs that represent areas of emerging technology with the potential for rapid growth and significant opportunities, established capabilities where Canada is globally competitive, and areas where domestic capacity is essential to national security.
Transport Canada's world-recognized aviation certification system ensures that Canadian aerospace products meet or exceed the highest standards in safety and reliability and are recognized by other regulatory bodies worldwide.
For more information on innovation, please consult the Innovation page.
A Significant Global Player
Canadian aerospace companies have a well-deserved reputation for quality, value, performance and reliability. Canada's aerospace industry is recognized by customers around the world for delivering leading-edge and advanced technology solutions on time and at a competitive cost. The following list is a sample of Canadian companies that are suppliers of choice across a broad spectrum of civil aviation, defence and space programs.
Avcorp Industries is a producer of high-strength aerostructures for commercial and defence platforms.
Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited has produced more than 5,000 helicopters in Canada for delivery worldwide. The company specializes in airframe design, product development manufacturing, flight testing, certification, composites, customization and customer support.
Bombardier Aerospace is a world leader in the design and manufacture of innovative aviation products and services for regional, business, commercial, and specialized aircraft. Bombardier's business aircraft product family includes the Learjet, Challenger, and Global series of jets. Bombardier also manufactures aerostructures and provides aftermarket services.
CAE is an international leader in the provision of simulation and modelling technologies and training services for civil aviation and defence customers around the globe. CAE has the largest installed base of civil and military full-flight simulators and training devices. Through its global network of over 50 civil aviation training centres, CAE trains more than 120,000 crew members yearly.
CMC Electronics provides innovative cockpit systems integration and avionics solutions to customers worldwide.
Héroux-Devtek engages in the design, development, manufacture, repair, and overhaul of aircraft landing gears, hydraulic flight control actuators and fracture-critical components. Héroux-Devtek is the third largest landing gear company in the world, supplying both the commercial and defence sectors.
IMP Aerospace & Defence has locations from coast to coast, providing engineering, MRO, electronic systems and aircraft components. IMP provides ISS to the Canadian Armed Forces and commercial clients.
Longview Aviation manages a portfolio of long-term investments in the Canadian aerospace industry, including Viking, an OEM of the Series 400 Twin Otter. Viking has also provided MRO services for all CL-215, CL-215T, and CL-415 aerial firefighters since it acquired the program in 2016. Longview Aviation also manages the newly reformed De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited, which acquired the Dash 8 program in 2019, including the in-production Dash 8-400 series.
Magellan Aerospace Corporation designs, manufactures and repairs aeroengine and aerostructure components and assemblies, in addition to advanced products for defence customers. Magellan also provides solutions for space and satellite missions that span payloads for sounding rockets, space shuttles and the International Space Station.
MDA develops and delivers advanced surveillance and intelligence solutions, defence and maritime systems, radar geospatial imagery, space robotics, satellite antennas, and communication subsystems.
Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) is a global aerospace leader committed to shaping the future of business, general aviation, and regional aircraft and helicopters with high-performing, dependable engines. P&WC now counts approximately 13,400 customers all around the world, providing innovative efficient, reliable engines.
StandardAero maintains helicopter engines, turboprop engines, small engines and helicopter airframes and components at locations from coast to coast.
Thales is a world leader in critical information systems solutions for the aerospace, space, defence, security, and transportation markets. Thales Canada designs and integrates various avionics systems for regional and business aircraft and operates a Centre of Excellence for avionics and another for uncooled optronics technologies.
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Take Advantage of Canadian Opportunities Today
Canada provides businesses with the world's most comprehensive range of proven investment advantages that encourage growth and performance. Canada has a strong, stable and dynamic economy with a talented, hard-working and innovative workforce, world-class infrastructure, and leading-edge R&D capabilities. For more information, please contact the closest Canadian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate, or visit The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.
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