Ontario aerospace industry looking at growth

April 22, 2010   by PLANT staff

KITCHENER, Ont.: Ontario aerospace firms are increasingly confident about 2010 and planning for growth in 2011 and beyond, according the Ontario Aerospace Council (OAC), a not-for-profit corporation that represents 200 aerospace firms in the province.

The OAC says new aircraft programs are shifting from the development stages into production, resulting in increased business activity for the industry.

“At least 30 Ontario companies are involved in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner program and many have significant positions in other key programs, such as the Lockheed Martin F35 Lightning II joint strike fighter and the Airbus A350,” says Rod Jones, executive director of the OAC.

For example, Centra Industries of Cambridge, Ont., which manufactures structural wing and landing gear component assemblies for major commercial and military aircraft programs, anticipates 60% growth over the next several years with new programs moving into production.

“We invested significantly in business systems and new equipment to ensure we are well positioned for new programs like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Joint Strike Fighter and the Gulfstream G250 and G650 business jets,” says David McIntyre, president of Centra Industries.

Luigi Mattia, president of Messier-Dowty Inc., a manufacturer of landing gear and landing gear systems in Ajax, Ont., notes the business jet sector was the hardest hit with a steep decline in orders and deliveries. He says military business has remained strong with a significant increase in scope of work on Bell-Boeing V-22 as well as delivery ramp-up on the program.

“Ontario aerospace companies are players on a global stage,” says Mattia. “It’s our global reach and the diversity in our customer base that enables us to emerge from downturns like we’ve experienced in the past 18 months.”

And Oakville, Ont.-based Goodrich Landing Gear, part of Goodrich Corp., a landing gear manufacturer, has a product mandate that encompasses a wide range of commercial aircraft from the Airbus A380 and all Boeing airliners currently in service to Bombardier’s popular regional aircraft.

OAC says the Ontario aerospace industry ranks fifth in the world and employs more than 80,000 Canadians.

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