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, even decades, to complete. This reality directly influences other major trends in the industry, including R&D investments and supply chain management.
Almost every major civil aircraft manufacturer is currently shifting from design to delivery. The current business reality facing the civil aerospace sector centers on finding a way to build aircraft both quickly and in a cost-effective manner. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their suppliers already know how many aircraft they will need to build in the next five years; the challenge will be meeting their targets.
One of the important trends resulting from these market dynamics has been the effort on the part of OEMs to consolidate, rationalize and integrate their supply chains. It is clear that in order to meet their targets, OEMs will require significant contributions from the supply chain. This presents both significant challenges and opportunities. Suppliers who perform will find themselves with increased business and increased opportunity for growth and expansion. Suppliers who are not able to meet the demands of the OEMs will find themselves working on lower volumes at lower margins.
For Canada’s aerospace industry to remain successful, therefore, it is essential to respond to these trends by developing an environment which encourages and fosters aerospace firms who are innovative, responsive, and competitive. Our industry will need to leverage our existing strengths, capacity, and areas of leadership into new programs and initiatives that develop small and medium sized companies into attractive suppliers who are ready to meet the demands of prime contractors both at home and abroad. AIAC is committed to working with government and industry to make Canada the most attractive jurisdiction in the world for these kinds of companies to grow their businesses.