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Guest column by Jim Quick, AIAC

Picture of Jim Quick

Jim Quick

Aerospace Industries Association of Canada / President & CEO


Competitiveness and Collaboration: The Future of Global Aerospace

Tectonic shifts inside aerospace are currently remaking the industry in exciting and challenging ways. Supply chains are consolidating and changing the way they manage cost and take on risk. Globalization has opened new markets and introduced new players hungry to grow their own domestic aerospace capability. And all of this is being driven by increasing demand from a growing consumer base seeking air travel that is faster, more environmentally friendly, and more cost-effective than ever before.

Today Canada’s aerospace industry is a world leader in key niche markets.

Canada’s aerospace industry has thrived for over a century, and today we are a world leader in key niche markets. The Canadian aerospace industry ranks first in the OECD in civil flight simulation and in small engine production (turboprop and helicopter engines), second in business and regional aircraft production, and third in overall civil aircraft production. Our companies are truly world-class, and we are very proud of our accomplishments. In the face of massive changes to the global industry, however, we must all be looking ahead to what the future holds and taking concerted, strategic action to ensure that we are prepared.

For the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) and our members, taking a collaborative approach has been essential to strengthening our members’ competitiveness and future growth so that we are well-positioned to meet both the challenges and opportunities that come our way. This has resulted in several initiatives that are critical to the way our companies do business globally:

  • Innovation and Research – Aerospace is named as a strategic focus area in the Canadian government’s Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy. In 2014, Canada established the Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada (CARIC), a national network that promotes collaborative research between academia, research institutions, OEMs / Tier 1s, and suppliers. CARIC also works with CANNAPE and our partners in the EU to promote international research with our European partners.
  • Supplier Development – AIAC is leading the development of a supplier development initiative that will strengthen the Canadian supplier base so that small companies can grow quickly, adapt, and meet supply chain requirements here in Canada and around the world.
  • International Business Development – Aerospace was named a strategic sector in the Canadian government’s Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP), an international strategy designed to make it easier for Canadian companies to do business internationally and reach global markets. AIAC works closely with our international industry counterparts and the globe-spanning Trade Commissioner Service to ensure that current and potential partners and customers around the world are able to easily do business with Canadian companies.
  • Canadian Aerospace Summit — AIAC hosts this growing annual conference and trade show in November 2015 to bring together industry executives from around the world to network and identify new business opportunities with Canadian suppliers and OEMs.

Over the coming years, nascent and established aerospace players alike will need to be both nimble and strategic in responding to the “new normal” that will become the aerospace industry of the future. AIAC is looking forward to working with our members and potential partners from around the world to make the most of these opportunities.


Jim Quick
President & CEO
Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC)



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