Winners of 2019 AIAC Industry Excellence and James C. Floyd Awards Honoured at Canadian Aerospace Summit

November 12, 2019

Ottawa (Ontario), November 12, 2019 – Industry winners of three annual awards recognizing aerospace achievement, innovation, and excellence will be honoured tonight at the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada’s Canadian Aerospace Summit.

The 2019 winners are:

  • James C. Floyd Award – Marc Parent, CEO of CAE
  • Industry Excellence Award for Lifetime Achievement – John Saabas
  • Industry Excellence Award for Small Business Innovation and Technology – Avior Integrated Products

“The winners of this year’s awards are champions of Canadian aerospace whose vision and achievements have strengthened the industry, making it more innovative and competitive both in Canada and in the global marketplace,” said Jim Quick, President and CEO of AIAC. “We are proud to celebrate their achievements, and on behalf of AIAC’s Board of Directors and members, I thank them for their leadership and dedication to our industry.”

About the Winners:

James C. Floyd Award – Marc Parent, CEO of CAE

Marc Parent is the CEO of CAE Inc. Under his leadership, CAE went from a company that was heavily in debt and trailing its competitors to one that is today the foremost provider of aviation and healthcare training services in the world. A true Canadian success story on the world stage, CAE has customers in 190 countries and over 10,000 employees around the world (nearly half of them in Canada).

Mr. Parent is also a passionate champion for Canadian aerospace success. He has served as chair of AIAC and Aero Montreal, and he has participated in numerous government round tables and advisory boards to promote Canadian aerospace growth and achievement.

Under his leadership CAE has offered nearly 3000 coop and internship positions to Canadian students, and through his efforts as part of the Business-Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), it is estimated that 2500 students across the country will have access to similar work-integrated learning opportunities. His efforts to create a culture of openness and diversity resulted in Randstad naming CAE Canada’s 2nd best Employer Brand in 2018, and in 2019 CAE launched Women in Flight, a scholarship program that encourages more young women to become pilots.

Named after the chief designer of the Avro Arrow, the James C. Floyd Award recognizes visionary individuals or teams whose outstanding achievements have to the success of the Canadian aerospace industry. The 2019 award was sponsored by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada.

Industry Excellence Award for Lifetime Achievement – John Saabas

Holding a PhD in Aerodynamics from McGill University, John Saabas spent 35 years at Pratt & Whitney Canada, including the last ten years as President, until retiring from the company earlier this year. His legacies of innovation, sustainability, and collaboration have had a profound impact on Canada’s aerospace industry.

Under his leadership, Pratt & Whitney Canada achieved a leadership position in all markets, with a portfolio of more than 64,000 engines in service and 13,000 customers worldwide. It certified over 100 engines during a 25-year period, and it expanded and transformed its global manufacturing capabilities, developing operations in China, Poland, the Mirabel Aerospace Centre, and the Advanced Manufacturing Cells.

Over the 10-year period of John’s leadership, his visionary commitment to greener, more sustainable aviation industry led to significant reductions by Pratt & Whitney Canada in greenhouse gas emissions and industrial process waste, non-recycled waste and water consumption. The company also launched the PW800 business aviation engine, which achieved double-digit improvements in fuel burn, emissions, and noise.

As an industry leader, Mr. Saabas sought to leverage innovation and research to advance change in aerospace, and championed collaboration between all players of the Canadian aerospace cluster – including small and medium sized companies and universities – as an essential part of the industry’s competitiveness.

The Lifetime Achievement award is presented to an individual whose distinguished lifetime achievement through the exploration, development or utilization of aviation, space, or defence have led to their wide recognition as a “champion” of aerospace industry. Winners are celebrated for their outstanding leadership, commitment, promotion and consistent contribution to the continuous development of aerospace in Canada. The 2019 award was sponsored by L3Harris.

Industry Excellence Award for Small Business Innovation and Technology – Avior Integrated Products

Avior Integrated Products is a full-service manufacturer of lightweight structures and complex mechanical assemblies. The company has leveraged its fabrication capabilities in advanced composite details and complex machined components to become a competitive Tier III/II integrator of aircraft structures. Avior customers include leading aerospace manufacturers including Boeing, Bell Helicopter, Bombardier, Mitsubishi and Viking.

In providing a competitive solution for its customers the company has invested significantly in creating a culture of innovation and introducing new technologies. In the last two years Avior commissioned its first robotic machining center, with another to follow shortly; launched its own Business Intelligence software system; converted two of its three business units into paperless production environments; and more recently, installed a collaborative robot to assist with certain shop-floor operations.

The company’s culture of innovation is supported by a dynamic team focused on execution and providing nimble and effective solutions. The transformation of the business is an on-going process and will include the introduction of AI technology in the administration areas of the company in the coming year.

Avior has grown by 35% in 2019 and is forecasting 20% growth in 2020 in large part due to the benefits of transitioning to an Industry 4.0 business.

The Industry Excellence Award for Small Business Innovation Technology recognizes a business whose advanced or innovative technologies have contributed to making Canada a strong and rapidly growing innovation economy and made a positive impact in the industry and community. The 2019 award was sponsored by Viking Air Ltd.

About AIAC:

AIAC is the national association representing Canada’s aerospace manufacturing and services sector.  As the world’s fifth-largest aerospace industry, Canada’s aerospace sector contributes over $25B to the economy in GDP, exports over 70% of its output, and dedicates nearly 20% of its activity to research and development (R&D). Aerospace is responsible for the employment of nearly 215,000 Canadians.

Media contact:

Christine Csversko
Manager, Communications & Marketing
Aerospace Industries Association of Canada
(613) 232-4297 x235