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. Click here to download the full report.

    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