MONTREAL, Jan. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - As part of Canadian Prime Minister
Stephen Harper's visit to Montréal, during which he will meet with
several aerospace companies, Aéro Montréal reiterates the importance of
the F-35 program for Québec's aerospace cluster and supports the
acquisition of this 5th generation of Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) jets
by the federal government. This unprecedented program - based on a
partnership among nine nations, of which Canada has been a member since
1997 - will generate significant economic benefits and create wealth
for Canada and Québec.
"The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft is a key program in which our
industry is heavily involved," says Gilles Labbé, Chairman of Aéro
Montréal and President and CEO of Héroux-Devtek. "The JSF program opens
unprecedented opportunities for Canadian companies. We will be able to
secure a place among first and second tier suppliers in the global
supply chain, generating benefits and jobs for the next 30 years."
"Québec has a substantial and world-class industrial capacity and is the
main centre for Canada's aerospace industry," explains Suzanne M.
Benoît, CEO of Aéro Montréal. "Québec companies are well equipped to
compete for lucrative contracts and want the chance to do so. The
window of opportunity is open and we must position ourselves to become
part of this supply chain starting now."
Currently, over 85 Canadian companies have recognized prospects under
the JSF program, and 60 of these companies have already signed
contracts. These figures should increase between now and the start of
full JSF production in 2015. Opportunities should benefit small, medium
and large companies across Canada and Québec.
"Canadian government investments and the F-35 program are a critical
lever for the economic development of Québec's aerospace industry,"
adds Serge Brasset, member of the board of Aéro Montréal, Director
General of Collège Édouard-Montpetit and Director of the École
nationale d'aérotechnique. "The increased business activity generated
by this historic supply contract will not only give our aerospace
graduates better access to the labour market, but also allow our
industry to benefit from an even more qualified workforce."
However, to maximize the benefits of this decision for the industry, we
need a stable environment. That's why Aéro Montréal supports the
federal government's decision to proceed with the purchase of F-35
Joint Strike Fighter jets. By working together, we can protect and
create thousands of high-quality and well paid jobs that will be
available for future generations.
Québec's aerospace industry at a glance
Recognized for its highly skilled and innovative labour force, Québec's
aerospace sector today employs 40 000 people and generates revenues of
$12.4 billion, or around 60% of the Canadian total. With 98% of
Québec's aerospace activity concentrated in Greater Montréal, the
region is one of the world's leading aerospace centres, along with
Seattle and Toulouse.
Québec's aerospace industry benefits from the presence of global
leaders. These include 4 major prime contractors and some 15 equipment
manufacturers and MROs supported by a network of more than 200
specialized companies. Moreover, Québec is home to Canada's largest
aerospace centres of excellence and most prestigious technical
institutes, schools, colleges and universities. Thanks to this
exceptional innovation capacity, our industrial sector is recognized
around the world as a true model of excellence.
About Aéro Montréal
Aéro Montréal, Québec's aerospace cluster, is a strategic think tank
that brings together all the major decision makers in Québec's
aerospace sector, including companies, educational and research
institutions, associations and unions.
Aéro Montréal's mission is to mobilize industry players around common
goals and focused actions to increase cohesion and optimize
competitiveness. By fostering the growth and expansion of the aerospace
cluster, it intends to make this industry an increasingly important
source of wealth creation for the Montréal region, Québec and Canada.
SOURCE AERO MONTREAL
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