Centennial College to receive up to $26 million from Ontario government for aerospace training

TORONTO, Oct. 29, 2013 /CNW/ - Centennial College will receive up to $26 million from the Ontario government to relocate its aviation programs to the former de Havilland aircraft manufacturing centre at Downsview Park. The investment is seen as the first step towards creating an aerospace training and research hub for the development of new technologies in Ontario.

The former de Havilland plant will be renovated to provide new classroom, workshop and hangar space, and will house an innovation and research working group that brings together industry leaders and academic partners, including University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, Ryerson University, York University, Bombardier, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Honeywell, UTC Aerospace Systems, MDA Corporation and Sumitomo Precision Products Canada Aircraft, Inc.

Centennial College currently trains about 300 aircraft technicians and avionics technicians annually at its Ashtonbee Campus hangar in Scarborough. The move to Downsview will provide a much larger teaching space with access to working runways. Enrolment is expected to grow to more than 900 students. Program graduates are in demand across Canada and around the world.

In his 2012 review of the Canadian aerospace industry, the Hon. David Emerson identified a need for an aerospace training and research hub in Ontario to maintain Canada's fifth-place ranking in the industry. Globalization, competition from emerging economies and a diminishing skilled workforce are looming challenges. There are also opportunities: some $3.2 trillion in new commercial aircraft and $661 billion in business aircraft will be ordered over the next 20 years worldwide as operators look for more efficient and environmentally sustainable aircraft to update their fleets.

The Downsview Aerospace Cluster for Innovation and Research (DAIR), which involves Ontario's best educational institutions and aerospace technology leaders, has an ambitious plan to recast the former military airbase as a global aerospace hub that would function as an innovation incubator and attract new investment.

The partners are motivated to develop new technologies through research and innovation, aid in workforce training and skills development, and participate in supply-chain development geared to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Already, Bombardier has selected Centennial College as its trainer of choice, helping to prepare its existing and future workforce with new skills required in the assembly and maintenance of its aircraft.

SOURCE: Centennial College

For further information:

Media contact: Mark Toljagic, Communications Officer, Centennial College, 416-289-5000, ext. 7142/mtoljagic@centennialcollege.ca


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