One of the major factors that sets aerospace apart from most other manufacturing sectors is the length of its product lifecycles. The lifecycle of an aircraft from design to engineering to delivery takes years and even decades to complete. This reality directly influences other major trends in the industry, including R&D investments, supply chain management, and cost pressures.
Almost every major civil aircraft manufacturer is currently shifting from design to delivery. Aircraft orders have set record highs and backlog values have spiked in the last several years. Fierce competition to secure orders for new single aisle airliners has imposed strict cost pressures in order to meet expected profit margins; at the same time, the record-high order books have created unprecedented production volumes.
In fact, with global demand expected to increase by 6 percent annually over the next twenty years, strengthening our small businesses and helping them to expand and secure national and international customers is essential to the long-term competitiveness of the Canadian aerospace industry. The nature of small businesses mean that they face challenges not encountered by larger firms. AIAC is sensitive to these operational differences and understands that small businesses have specific concerns in dealing with government policy, with the public procurement system and with the wider aerospace marketplace.
Over the last several years, AIAC’s Board and Management Team have made recognition of a separate small business agenda a priority. In particular, AIAC has identified that creating an environment that encourages small business growth is critical to the health of the entire aerospace sector in Canada. In conjunction with the AIAC Small Business Committee, we have made good progress on various initiatives to support and encourage small business growth. We continue to build on these efforts in partnership with our members, stakeholders and with government.