BC's aerospace advantage

Seventeen British Columbia companies and two regional airports are taking part in one of this region's premier aerospace conferences, which starts Tuesday and runs until Thursday just outside Seattle.

"British Columbia is a leader in the aerospace industry with a geographic advantage. Our province offers the necessary intellectual and natural capital to compete in a 21st-century economy that relies significantly on emerging markets and opportunities," says Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour.

The B.C. contingent at the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance annual conference is led by British Columbia's U.S. trade and investment representative, Rick Stolle. He will be at B.C.'s booth to help develop connections for the province's delegation, which has been organized through the B.C. Business Network.

British Columbia and its cluster of aerospace and technology companies are ideally located to take advantage of projected growth in worldwide airplane sales and in increased air traffic between North America and the Asia Pacific.

The province is in close proximity to Boeing's final assembly and integration production lines in the Seattle area and, as international carriers increase the number of flights to B.C. airports, there will be additional opportunities to grow B.C.'s aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) sector.

Quick Facts:

  • British Columbia's aerospace sector generates over $1.2 billion in revenue per year and directly employs approximately 5,000 people.
  • Over the next 20 years, approximately half of the world's air-traffic growth will be connected to or within the Asia Pacific region.
  • Total air traffic for the region is expected to grow 6.7 percent per year during that period with air cargo expected to increase by 6.3 percent per year.
  • To modernize their fleets and meet the growing demand for air transport, airlines in the Asia Pacific region will need 11,450 new airplanes valued at $1.5 trillion over the next 20 years.
  • Global airplane sales, for both fleet growth and replacement of aging aircraft, will total 30,900 units over that period, with a value of over $3.6 trillion.
  • The B.C. government has invested $65.5 million to improve 36 airports throughout the province in the past decade, including significant projects in Prince George, Kamloops, Cranbrook, Campbell River, Comox, Castlegar, Kelowna, Abbotsford and Langley.
  • Recently, a number of significant upgrades were completed at the Langley Regional Airport. Since 2004, the B.C. government has provided $853,000 toward the construction of a taxiway and serviced lots, and for paving the airport's second runway. That investment, through the Transportation Partnerships Program, was matched by the airport, and the Township of Langley along with the private sector. Since then, the private sector has invested more than $14 million in facilities at the airport
  • On Jan. 23, the ministry provided a pre-conference preparation session in Surrey for local aerospace suppliers, service providers and manufacturers.
  • British Columbia is the title sponsor of the Chairman's Reception on Feb. 13.

Learn More:

BC Jobs Plan.

Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance.

The B.C. Business Network is a dynamic directory of leading British Columbia suppliers and exporters interested in new business opportunities. Find out more at their website.

B.C. Aviation Strategy.

The Aerospace Review is an independent report prepared for the Government of Canada.

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