Why the Ontario Aerospace Industry Is So Important to Canada


Aug 03

Ontario’s aerospace industry deals with various sectors within the airline world. Ontario Aerospace Industry is the second largest in Canada and employees around 21,000 people and generates large annual revenues of around $6 billion a year.

Studies have found that it is more cost efficient to manufacture aerospace components in Toronto than in larger U.S. cities like Seattle. Lower labor and manufacturing costs in Canada make it suitable for the industry to operate.

The industry deals with various areas of aerospace like aerostructures, landing gear systems, avionics and flight management, turbine engines, environmental conditioning/electric power, space and maintenance, repair and overhaul. There are many companies across Ontario that specialize in these specifications and deal with aerospace designing, manufacturing and even after sales support.

Apart from around 200 companies that deal with the Ontario Aerospace Industry  in the area, there are also around 40 college programs in Ontario that are related to the field creating a workforce ready for the industry. Research and technology development is given a lot of importance since innovation is the key to success in the world of aerospace.

In 2018, the first phase of the Downsview Aerospace Cluster for Innovation and Research (DAIR) will unite stakeholders from Ontario’s strongest universities with aerospace industry leaders making it an ideal partnership.

Ontario has seen many aerospace related innovations and accomplishments including:

  • Providing landing gear for 75% of Boeing and Airbus commercial aircraft programs.
  • Aeryon Labs is a world leader in small unmanned aircraft systems, with aircraft operating in commercial, military and public safety applications in more than 35 countries.
  • Honeywell’s COM DEV operations in Cambridge manufactures components that are used on 80% of commercial communications satellites launched worldwide.
  • Bombardier builds its popular Q400 regional turboprop and the Global series of business jets in Toronto.
  • MDA, which developed the robotic manipulators on the space shuttle and the International Space Station, Canadarm and Dextre, is leveraging its technologies into other applications from industrial automation to robotic surgery.
  • Neptec Design Group built the first PC-based real time machine vision system for NASA and is a world leader in 3-D data collection and processing.
  • In order to be closer to Bombardier, for whom it builds business jet components, MHI opened a Toronto-area manufacturing. In just four years, the company had moved to a new facility and doubled its size.

Ontario’s location makes it suitable for direct access to the U.S. market including for military and government procurement.  Companies located in Ontario can bid on U.S. military projects through special trade agreements and Arms regulations.