Industry Statistics

In June 2016, AIAC and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada jointly released The State of the Aerospace Industry: 2016 Report, which contains updated data and analytics for the Canadian aerospace industry as of 2016.

glass curtain wall and aircraft against a blue sky

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All data is from 2015 unless otherwise stated.

Economic Impact

  • Contributed more than $28B to GDP and 211,000 jobs in the Canadian economy[1]
  • The industry directly generated $29.8B in revenues, 89,000 in employment and $13.3B in GDP[2]
  • More than 70% of the industry’s activity is dedicated to manufacturing while the balance (30%) is focused on maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO)
  • Both aerospace manufacturing (+11%) and MRO (+25%) experienced GDP growth between 2010 and 2015

Canadian Aerospace Activity  

  • The Canadian aerospace industry is comprised of a mix of civil/commercial, defence and space systems activities
  • High technology related C4ISR[3], avionics and simulation systems goods/services captured more than one-third of overall aerospace defence sales
  • Space systems activities cut across civil and defence markets
  • Aerospace manufacturing accounts for close to 30% of total manufacturing R&D investments in Canada.


  • The industry invests $1.9 billion annually into R&D
  • Close to 20% of the industry’s activity is dedicated to R&D
  • R&D investment increased more than 20% in the last 5 years (2010-2015)
  • Aerospace manufacturing has 5 times the R&D intensity[5] of Canada’s total manufacturing average
  • A high proportion of the Canadian aerospace workforce is innovation related (30% of the Canadian aerospace employment are engineers, scientists and technicians)

Manufacturing Perspective 

Compared with Canada’s total manufacturing average, aerospace manufacturing has:

  • 30% more value-added per employee[6]
  • 60% higher wages
  • 5 times the R&D intensity
  • 4 times the export intensity[7]

International Performance

Canada ranks third in terms of global civil aircraft production activity[8]

When compared with other OECD countries, Canada’s aerospace manufacturing industry ranks[9]:

  • 1 in terms of strategic importance over total manufacturing[10]
  • 3 in terms of R&D intensity4, behind France and the U.S.
  • 5 in terms of GDP, behind the U.S., Germany, France and the U.K.

Canadian aerospace industry exports nearly 80% of its products to highly diversified markets and product segments. All Canadian aerospace product exports benefited from positive growth during the period of 2010-2015

[1] There was a revision on aerospace product and parts manufacturing employment and GDP statistics (2014) by Statistics Canada

[2] ISED’s model estimates direct, indirect and induced employment and GDP impacts based on data from Statistics Canada (Business Registry and CANSIM), National Input-Output Multipliers (2011 adjusted to 2015 GDP and employment), Canada Revenue Agency, OECD and firm level observations, 2016

[3] Command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance

[4] Source: Canadian Defence, Aerospace and Commercial and Civil Marine Sector Survey (2014), 2016

[5] R&D / GDP

[6] Value added (GDP) / Full-time Employment (FTE)

[7] Export / Shipments

[8] Aircraft production: Average of Forecast International and Teal Group Forecasts, 2015

[9] 2011 analysis

[10] GDP based analysis