Industry Statistics

  • In July 2014, AIAC and Industry Canada jointly released The State of the Aerospace Industry: 2014 Report, which contains updated data and analytics for the Canadian aerospace industry as of 2014. Click here to download the full report.

    All data is from 2012 unless otherwise stated.

    Economic Impact

    The Canadian aerospace industry is a strategically important contributor to the Canadian economy in terms of employment, innovation, productivity, R&D, GDP and trade. Among important facts:

    • Made up of over 700 companies of all sizes from coast to coast, the industry is responsible for the employment of more than 172,000 Canadians.1
    • Aerospace contributes $28B of GDP to the Canadian economy annually and reached $25.1B in direct revenues in 2013.
    • 70% of the industry’s activity is dedicated to manufacturing while Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) service providers represent 30%.

    Canadian Aerospace Activity

    • Canada ranks third in terms of global civil aircraft production activity
    • Canada’s civil aircraft production growth is forecasted to outpace the global market for the 2014-2021 period (22% for Canada versus 11% for the global civil aircraft production)i
    • The Canadian aerospace defence sector represents 25% of the total Canadian defence sector and is responsible for close to 60% of the total R&D investment
    • A very diversified space systems manufacturing sector with close to 50% of the revenues dedicated to commercial and industrial activitiesii


    The Canadian aerospace industry is an innovation leader with stellar R&D performance:

    • More than 20% of the industry’s activity is dedicated to R&D;2
    • 5 times the R&D intensity of Canada's total manufacturing average
    • Each year the industry invests $1.7 billion into R&D
    • R&D investment increased by close to 40% in the last five years (2008-2013)1

    Manufacturing Advantage

    Canada’s aerospace industry is a national leader in twenty-first century manufacturing, driving the jobs, innovation and skills of the future. Compared with Canada’s total manufacturing average, the aerospace industry provides:

    • 64% more value-added per employee;2
    • 46% more skilled labour;
    • 28% higher wages;
    • 5 times the R&D intensity;
    • 2.4 times more productive (2007-2012);
    • 2.1 times the export diversity index;
    • 1.9 times the export intensity.

    International Perspective

    When compared with other OECD countries, Canada’s aerospace industry ranked:3

    • No. 1 in terms of productivity
    • No. 1 in terms of strategic importance over total manufacturing4
    • No. 3 in terms of R&D intensity2
    • No. 5 in terms of GDP and revenues

    One of Canada’s largest exporters, the Canadian aerospace industry exports nearly 80% of its products to highly diversified markets and product segments.iii

    • 57% of total product exports to the US, 20% to Europe, 13% to Asia and 10% to Africa, Middle East as well as Central and South America

    iAverage of Forecast International and Teal Group’s forecasts by value for 2014-2021 period. (Note: General aviation forecast is from Forecast International only), 2014
    iiStatistics Canada—Canadian Commercial Aerospace, Defence, Commercial/Civil Marine and Industrial Security Sector Survey (2011), 2013
    iiiIndustry Canada. Economic modelling based on data from Statistics Canada (Business Registry and Cansim), Canada Revenue Agency, OECD and firm level observation, 2013

    1Direct, indirect, and induced employment and GDP
    2Sector GDP on total FTE
    32010 analysis
    4GDP based analysis