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Viking joins forces with Washington-based aerospace suppliers

Feb. 10, 2015, Lynnwood, Wa. - Aerospace suppliers in Washington state are teaming up with counterparts in British Columbia.


February 10, 2015
By Puget Sound Business Journal

The new partnership will be announced at the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance, held from Feb. 10-12 in Lynnwood.

The new partnership is with the West Coast branch of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, reflecting the strengthening link between aerospace suppliers on both sides of the border.

“The Pacific Northwest is the largest aerospace cluster in the world. We have about 160 companies in British Columbia that have aerospace-related revenues, and many of them are doing business with Washington state companies that are part of the Boeing supply chain,” said Jay Teichroeb, vice president with the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada.

Washington has about 1,000 aerospace suppliers.

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The partnership should help companies on both sides of the border better collaborate on landing work from Boeing and Airbus.

“British Columbia and Washington state are part of the same economic region, and that fundamentally is why we wanted to cultivate a stronger working relationship between the industry in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia,” Teichroeb said.

Melanie Jordan, CEO of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance, agreed.

“This is in recognition of ongoing efforts to work together,” she said. “There is a lot of aerospace business that crosses back and forth over the border. A lot of our suppliers here send metals over the border for heat treating, and they come back and are put into assemblies.”

The 15th annual conference will feature a higher-than-usual contingent from Canada, reflecting the new agreement. Jordan anticipates more than 450 people at the three-day conference, which would be a record.

One attendee from Canada will be Viking CEO and President David Curtis. The British Columbia company in recent years has ranked second only to Boeing, in the region, in the number of new aircraft it is building.

To be sure, Viking Air builds only 24 aircraft a year — the twin-engine, propellor-driven utility aircraft called Twin Otters, which carry just 19 passengers. Boeing last year built 723 jetliners, 91 percent of which were built in Washington.

Viking, like most of British Columbia’s aerospace companies, is relatively small, employing about 600 people. Boeing, by contrast, employs 82,000.