Wings Magazine

Government invests in Cold Weather Testing Centre

ir49-730915April 16, 2009, Ottawa - The world's aviation industry will benefit from the development of the new Canadian Environmental Test Research and Education Centre in Thompson, Man.

April 16, 2009  By Carey Fredericks


April 16, 2009, Ottawa – The world's aviation industry will benefit from the development of the new Canadian Environmental Test Research and Education Centre (CanETREC) in Thompson, Man., thanks to a major investment by the Province of Manitoba and the Government of Canada.

We are pleased to support this leading edge testing facility, Manitoba Premier Gary Doer said.  "Research and innovation are catalysts for new business opportunities and job creation, and this project will help generate new education, training, and job opportunities here in Thompson.
Our Government is proud to be investing in the largest, and most advanced cold weather testing and research facility in the world, said the Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Canadian Treasury Board. "A facility of this magnitude will be a Northern Canadian flagship centre of excellence that will receive global recognition and use, helping to attract and retain students, researchers, and industry so they can conduct leading-edge aerospace research in Thompson.

CanETREC will be a year-round research facility that specializes in supporting engine icing certification and research and development of new, more efficient and advanced aerospace designs. Through partnerships with secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, CanETREC will offer a wide variety of aeronautical sciences and aerospace research and maintenance programs to attract, develop and retain qualified professionals within Canada. The testing technology will also be applicable in other sectors, such as bus and automotive manufacturing.

CanETREC will be co-located with industry in a new facility being built by the Global Aerospace Centre for Icing and Environmental Research Inc. (GLACIER).  This state-of-the-art facility is a new joint venture between Rolls-Royce Canada Limited and Pratt & Whitney.


The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) will supply, own and operate the icing system in GLACIER.  It will also be partnering with CanETREC. For more than 50 years,NRC has been a pioneer in the development of icing simulation technology for aircraft engines and wings, as well as ice detection equipment for aircraft and atmospheric measurement of icing conditions.

Our government supports science and technology because they create jobs, improve the quality of life of Canadians and strengthen the economy, says Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology. This facility is an excellent example of how government and industry can work together to build aerospace capabilities through Canadian research.While the facility initially focuses on icing research and builds on NRC's extensive expertise in this domain, plans already exist to extend CanETREC's reach into areas of noise and emissions reduction, as well as, alternative fuels and lubricants.

Ice testing and research are important for the aviation industry and we are delighted to be working with Pratt & Whitney to take the lead in this important area," said Michel Toutant, President and Chief Operating Officer, Rolls-Royce Canada Limited. This new  state of the art facility has been planned for a number of years and will be at the cutting edge of new technology, which will deliver benefits to the wider aviation industry,The facility will also play a role in developing local skills and expertise.  We look forward to working with the Canadian Environmental Test Research and Education Center to support educational and research activities.

An investment of $13.4 million from the Government of Canada and of $9.0 million secured, repayable loan from the Province of Manitoba towards this major northern initiative will create value-added economic activities in northern Manitoba as the knowledge and technology developed in Thompson emerge into commercial opportunities.

Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and represents the interests of western Canadians in national decision-making.

The National Research Council (NRC) is the Government of Canada's premier organization for research and development. NRC is composed of more than 20 institutes and national programs, spanning a wide variety of disciplines and offering a broad array of services. NRC is located in every province in Canada and plays a major role in stimulating community-based innovation.


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