OTTAWA, Jan. 21 /CNW/ - The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada
(AIAC) today deplored a fundamental lack of understanding of the
strategic importance of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program to the
Canadian Aerospace Industry as demonstrated in television ads posted on
the Web this morning.
"The Government of Canada has participated in the JSF initiative for
almost 15 years and an acquisition decision to acquire 65 aircraft to
replace our aging CF-18 fleet was finally made earlier this year.
Moreover, many of our members are now pursuing JSF contract
opportunities with the determination and confidence that defines our
industry," said Dr. Claude Lajeunesse, CEO of the AIAC. "And the doubt
and dithering signals that internal political debates send to the world
will only result in the loss of opportunities and much needed
high-skill, high-value added and long-term jobs for Canadians from
coast to coast."
As a member of the nine-nation partnership, Canada has access to an
unprecedented commercial opportunity on the JSF program. The next 24
months are critical as Canadian aerospace companies compete for and
secure substantive contracts on the supply-chain both as first and
second sources, as well as on the sustainment of the F-35 which
represents billions of dollars in contracts opportunities to serve the
global JSF fleet estimated to eventually exceed 3,500 aircraft.
"As several CEOs noted last September, the current climate of
instability that clouds this procurement decision is harmful for
investments, harmful for the industry and harmful for the creation of
high-value added jobs across Canada" added Dr. Lajeunesse.
"The support of Canadians and elected officials is a factor which will
either contribute to - or detract from - the optimization of the
benefits that the JSF program will bring to Canadian aerospace workers
and their communities", concluded Dr. Lajeunesse.
The 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 generated over $22
billion and employed nearly 80,000 Canadians in 2009 and more than
150,000 including indirect and induced employment. Seventy-eight per
cent of Canadian aerospace products were exported. AIAC represents the
interests of 400 aerospace companies across Canada.
SOURCE Aerospace Industries Association of Canada
For further information:
Maryse Harvey,Vice-President Public Affairs, Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, 613-760-4562, firstname.lastname@example.org