VICTORIA, BC--(Marketwired - February 17, 2015) - The British Columbia aerospace industry welcomed the provincial government's 2015 budget pledge for aerospace as a signal of the province's confidence in the industry's growth potential and its commitment to supporting an ambitious strategy to develop a unified and sustainable aerospace cluster in B.C. Today's funding announcement is the second installment in a 5-year $5 million commitment of support promised during the last election and initiated in Budget 2014. The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC), through its Pacific office, is working in partnership with the government to develop and advance the BC aerospace strategy. 

"We need to support a growing economy, and growing international trade. That includes moving forward with the Province's commitment to provide $5 million over five years to further expand and grow B.C.'s world-class aerospace cluster. The second installment of funding will continue the work that has been launched, aimed at expanding markets and attracting more global business and investment to B.C." said Minister of Finance Michael de Jong.

"British Columbia is home to many of Canada's most vibrant and innovative aerospace companies," said David Schellenberg, Chair of AIAC Pacific. "The government clearly recognizes the contribution this industry makes to the province's diversified economy and is demonstrating a strong desire to see the aerospace industry take advantage of global market opportunities to create more high-paying technology jobs in B.C."

Activities funded through the partnership include an aerospace industries economic impact and capabilities study, support for B.C. companies global and national market access programs, and involvement of the B.C. industry in key federal initiatives such as the development of a national aerospace research network (CARIC) and a national supply chain program. In addition, the provincial industry will benefit from the national association's development of an agenda to accelerate the growth of small and medium-sized companies so they can better access national and international supply chain opportunities.

"This partnership allows AIAC Pacific to continue leveraging the many initiatives taking place to strengthen aerospace at the federal level and maximize their benefit to aerospace companies in B.C. We are very pleased with the progress we've made so far, and look forward to working with the provincial government and AIAC nationally to continue advancing our goal of a unified and sustainable British Columbia aerospace industry," said AIAC President and CEO Jim Quick.

AIAC Pacific has identified over 160 companies that are active in the aerospace sector in B.C. which generates $2.4 billion in revenues annually, contributes $1.3 billion in Gross Domestic Product and directly employs 8,300 British Columbians.

About AIAC:

AIAC is the national association representing Canada's aerospace manufacturing and services sector. As the world's fifth-largest aerospace industry, Canada's aerospace sector contributes nearly $28B to the economy in GDP, exports 80% of its output, and dedicates over 20% of its activity to research and development (R&D). Aerospace is responsible for the employment of 172,000 Canadians. AIAC represents the interests of over 700 aerospace companies across Canada.

About AIAC Pacific:

In early 2014, AIAC created AIAC Pacific with a mandate to promote and develop aerospace business in B.C. by acting as an advocate and facilitator for its members with industry and government. AIAC Pacific speaks with a cohesive voice for the industry; it provides access for B.C. companies to national and international programs; and aims to develop a strong relationship with the provincial government. AIAC Pacific has a unique relationship with AIAC in that it is the only provincial entity managed by the AIAC.

Through this relationship, AIAC Pacific is able to leverage participation in national and international programs designed to enhance business development, investment and global competitiveness.

Contact Information:

Media contacts:

Kristen VanderHoek
Director of Communications 
Aerospace Industries Association of Canada
613 232-4297 x225