B.C. Aerospace industry wins international recognition
Feb. 12, 2015, Lynnwood, Wash. - The British Columbia aerospace industry raised its international profile this week with the signing of a mutual cooperation agreement between the aerospace industry associations in B.C. and Washington State, and with the naming of Victoria's Viking Air as PNAA's "Company of the Year." The events took place at the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA) 2015 conference in Lynnwood Washington, where over two dozen B.C. companies and organizations joined aerospace companies from across Canada, the US and around the world at what is the largest event of its kind on the West Coast.
The reciprocal membership agreement signed this week by AIAC Pacific and PNAA signals a significant step for AIAC Pacific in representing the industry and offering industry participants a voice at the regional, national and international levels. The association, which was established as a regional arm of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) in early 2014, has partnered with the B.C. Government to deliver on a five-year funding agreement and program of activities designed to unify and strengthen the competitiveness of the B.C. aerospace industry.
“With a strong core of skilled and innovative companies and proximity to the Asia-Pacific and the world’s largest commercial aerospace cluster in Washington State, the aerospace industry in B.C. has tremendous potential for growth and to establish increasing prominence on the Canadian stage as well as in international circles,” said Jim Quick, AIAC President & CEO. “We welcome the opportunity for AIAC Pacific to work cooperatively with the PNAA to expose aerospace companies on both sides of the border to new opportunities.”
“B.C.’s aerospace industry has been demonstrating significant growth and innovation for some years now,” said B.C. Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat. “That’s why this mutual cooperation agreement between British Columbia and Washington State is so important — it will help facilitate increasing trade between jurisdictions and drive economic competitiveness.”
Minister Wat and Mr. Quick also extended congratulations to Victoria-based Viking Air on becoming the first Canadian company to be named “Company of the Year” by PNAA. Quick describes Viking as not only a B.C. success story, but a Canadian and international success story as well.
“Viking Air has grown quickly from its roots as an aircraft maintenance and repair operation to an original equipment manufacturer, and to a leader in the Canadian aerospace industry,” said Quick. “Viking is an excellent example of the potential that exists for aerospace on Canada’s west coast.”
Viking Air — whose President and CEO, Dave Curtis, chairs the AIAC national Board of Directors — employs 600 people in providing a range of services related to the seven de Havilland legacy aircraft including manufacturing the fully modernized Twin Otter at a rate of one every 10 days.
AIAC Pacific looks forward to building on the momentum established by the PNAA conference and welcoming an equally impressive audience to the 2015 Aerospace Defence & Security Expo, August 6 and 7, at the Abbotsford International Airport and TRADEX.