Ontario's Aerospace Industry Soars to Great Heights – Aviation Week

Compare the global aerospace industry to a tree. Its branches reach into just about every country in the world; but, just like a tree, those branches cannot thrive without a strong, supportive root structure. That support comes from a nurturing environment – and in the case of aerospace, that environment must include several key ingredients. Among them: favorable business costs, an educated workforce, a business climate focused on innovation, and easy access to global markets.

Ontario’s aerospace industry is the second largest in Canada, employing 21,000 people and realizing more than $6 billion in annual revenues. In fact, KPMG’s Competitive Alternatives 2016 report found that it costs less to manufacture aerospace components in the Toronto area than it does in many larger U.S. clusters, including Seattle and Wichita. That report also found that aerospace manufacturing costs are lower in Canada than in any other G7 nation, and labor costs are among the lowest in the same group.

Ontario’s aerospace industry is concentrated around specific clusters, including aerostructures, landing gear systems, avionics and flight management, turbine engines, environmental conditioning/electric power, space and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO).  In fact, there are more than 200 Ontario aerospace companies with a wide range of specializations across aerospace design, manufacturing, and product support. 

“The core of the industry in Ontario is actually in our Tier 1 and Tier 2 companies – the systems integrator companies and the ones immediately below them,” he said. “They make a product, or provide big work packages (to OEMs),” says Moira Harvey, executive director of the Ontario Aerospace Council (OAC).

“One of our best assets is Ontario’s engineering expertise,” says Harvey, referring to the over 40 university and college programs in Ontario related to aeronautics, aviation and space. “The number of schools in Ontario

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