Industry Statistics

In June 2015, AIAC and Industry Canada jointly released The State of the Aerospace Industry: 2015 Report, which contains updated data and analytics for the Canadian aerospace industry as of 2015.

glass curtain wall and aircraft against a blue sky

(Click here to download)

All data is from 2014 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 180,000 Canadians.1
  • Aerospace contributes $29B of GDP to the Canadian economy annually and reached $27.7B in direct revenues in 2014.
  • 73% of the industry’s activity is dedicated to manufacturing while Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) service providers represent 27%.

Canadian Aerospace Activity

  • Canada’s aerospace manufacturing and MRO sectors are both expanding rapidly, growing 29% and 37% respectively over the last 10 years (2004-2014)
  • 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)
  • 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 activities ii


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&D2;
  • 5 times the R&D intensity of Canada’s total manufacturing average
  • Each year the industry invests $1.8 billion into R&D
  • R&D investment increased by 60% in the last ten years (2004-2014)2

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:

  • 62% more value-added per employee2;
  • 47% more skilled labour;
  • 29% higher wages;
  • 5 times the R&D intensity;
  • 2.5 times the productivity growth (2004-2014);
  • 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 ranked3:

  • No. 1 in terms of productivity
  • No. 1 in terms of strategic importance over total manufacturing
  • 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 segmentsiii

  • 62% of total product exports to the US, 23% to Europe, 8% to Asia and 7% to Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South America

1 Direct, indirect, and induced employment and GDP
2 Value added (GDP) / FTE
3 2010 analysis
4 GDP based analysis
i Average of Forecast International and Teal Group’s forecasts by value for 2014-2021 period. (Note: General aviation forecast is from Forecast International only), 2014
ii Statistics Canada—Canadian Commercial Aerospace, Defence, Commercial/Civil Marine and Industrial Security Sector Survey (2011), 2013
iii Global Trade Atlas (based on Statistics Canada), 2014