Major aerospace players descend on Abbotsford Airport
Aug. 1, 2012, Abbotsford, B.C. - Many of the world’s leading aerospace companies including Lockheed Martin, MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA), Airbus, Textron, Thales and General Electric came together at the 2012 Abbotsford Aerospace & Defence Expo on Thursday with a view to making deals in an industry with investment potential.
With support from the Government of Canada, the trade Expo is presented by the City of Abbotsford and Abbotsford International Airport. The Expo is part of Abbotsford`s campaign to transform the Fraser Valley into a western Canadian hub for the aerospace industry, with Abbotsford Airport (YXX) at the core.
The one-day Expo on Thursday at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Complex is being attended by more than 160 delegates from international aerospace, defence and marine industries, as well as representatives from Western Economic Diversification Canada, BC’s Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, the Western Canadian Defence Industries Association, and others.
“The Expo’s combination of one-on-one meetings, workshops, and networking sessions will undoubtedly create solid ground for the development of new strategic partnerships in the aerospace, defence and marine industries,” said the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “I’m pleased that our Government is playing a vital role in supporting our Western Canadian companies in creating high-value jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity.”
Canada’s aerospace sector contributes $6.8 billion to our gross domestic product, and sector-related activities support more than 87,000 Canadian jobs
“Strategic investments and partnerships by our Conservative government have helped the Abbotsford International Airport on its successful path of attracting world-class aerospace companies and new commercial opportunities," said Abbotsford MP Ed Fast, Canada's Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. "In turn, these investments are creating new jobs, local economic growth and long-term prosperity in Abbotsford. The Abbotsford Airshow is an excellent opportunity to highlight the strengths of our airport and to showcase why aerospace companies and airlines should take another look at our community.”
On the morning of Friday, August 10, the City of Abbotsford, YXX and Cascade Aerospace, with support from the Province of British Columbia, will also sponsor a BC Aerospace Showcase at which several important announcements related to the British Columbia aerospace industry are scheduled to be made.
“The City of Abbotsford and the Abbotsford International Airport are making great strides as they foster a thriving cluster of aerospace companies and research in the Fraser Valley,” said B.C. Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell. “Through Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan, we will help our province’s technology industry become even stronger as we continue to leverage the more than $1.8 billion we have already invested in research and innovation to develop the commercial opportunities of tomorrow.”
“The response to the Expo has proved to be even better than we had hoped, in fact it’s turned out to be a bit of a coup,” said Jean-Paul Laube, Business Development Manager of Abbotsford International Airport. “We definitely have the industry’s attention, and the response shows we’re definitely on the right track in our work to create a new western Canadian aerospace industry hub in the Fraser Valley, with Abbotsford Airport at the centre.”
Last summer, the airport celebrated the completion of major upgrades funded jointly by the Canadian and British Columbia governments and Abbotsford International Airport. Each partner committed $10 million to the project, for a total of $30 million.
A new 9,600-ft. taxiway to parallel the primary runway, major terminal improvements and other upgrades double the airport’s passenger capacity and paves the way for the airport to proceed with its plans to attract major aerospace companies and additional commercial air service.
With four nearby border crossings to the U.S. (Aldergrove, Abbotsford-Huntingdon, Peace Arch and Pacific Highway), and a short drive to the aerospace hub in Seattle, WA, YXX is well situated for efficient and cost-effective movement of goods and passengers. In addition, aerospace tenants at YXX may be partnered with the University of the Fraser Valley to develop new courses to be offered as part of UFV’s curriculum
Approximately 100 hectares of land at the Airport is serviced and ready for development, and new aerospace industry tenants are granted property tax exemptions by the City of Abbotsford under a program covering the first 10 years of tenancy.