Aerospace industry pleased with $1 billion funding in budget

At least one of Canada’s major industries is happy with the new federal budget brought down by finance minister Jim Flaherty yesterday. The budget gives the aerospace industry $1 billion in cash and support for many of the recommendations made last year in the government-backed Aerospace Review report. The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) issued a statement, in which Jim Quick, AIAC’s president and CEO, said that the group is “very pleased,” calling certain measures in the budget “an excellent short-term response to the Aerospace Review report released in December.”

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That report, known as the Emerson Report, made a number of recommendations, some of which are addressed in the budget, including:

  • Stable funding of nearly $1 billion over five years provided to the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI) and a commitment to reviewing the administration and operation of the Program over the coming  year
  • The creation of an Aerospace Technology Demonstration Program of $110 million over 5 years beginning in 2014-15 and $55 million annually thereafter, to be partly funded by SADI at $20 million per year
  • Launching of consultations regarding the creation of a National Aerospace Research and Technology Network
  • Review of cost-recovery rates for Aircraft Safety Certification to ensure the program responds to growth in demand for certification
  • A federal commitment to review the Emerson report recommendations to better support Canada’s space leadership and capabilities

“AIAC and its member companies look forward to supporting this government work, particularly with respect to the space industry,” said Quick.

Other budget measures that could have a positive impact on the aerospace industry noted by AIAC include the use of key industrial capabilities for military procurement, small business incentives, skills development, domestic financing, technology development and demonstration.

AIAC represents Canada’s aerospace manufacturing and services sector, the world’s fifth-largest aerospace industry. Canada’s aerospace sector generates more than $22 billion, exports 80 per cent of its output, and dedicates over 20 per cent of its activity to research and development (R&D). Aerospace employs160,000 Canadians.

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