Canada’s aerospace reputation takes off with new research centre

Canada has launched a new Centre for Air Travel Research, a world-first facility aimed at giving the country a competitive edge in the global aerospace industry by helping improving the travel experience.

The new $12m centre, located next to the Ottawa International Airport, will study the air travel experience from start to finish; from check-in to terminal, to security, boarding, flying, and deplaning.

Managed by the National Research Council, it will allow members of the aerospace industry to improve passenger safety, efficiency and comfort through developing and evaluating aerospace technologies, systems and materials.

“Our government is working to make sure that the Canadian aerospace industry is in the best possible position to meet customers’ needs and remain competitive. By launching the world’s first and only centre dedicated to improving customers’ air travel experience, Canada is demonstrating that it’s at the leading edge of innovation,” says The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Aerospace contributes some $24.5 billion in GDP to Canada’s economy, with centres of excellence in Montréal and Winnipeg and with a maintenance and manufacturing centre in Kelowna, each a unique destination in which to host conferences in the aerospace sector. Ranking third globally for civil aircraft production, Canada is recognised internationally for its regional aircraft, avionics, business jets, commercial helicopters, aircraft engines, flight simulation, landing gear, and more.

Some 70 industry players from around the globe have already been to check out the new research centre as they look for somewhere to test their latest innovations, with airplane manufacturing giant Airbus booking the facility’s labs before the official opening.

The labs aim to create a ‘realistic experience without leaving the ground, allowing researchers to test variables like air temperature, lighting, and the impact of vibration. It features everything from a mock check-in desk to a fully adjustable airplane fuselage, where volunteer passengers have access to a working lavatory and seating that measures biometric information.

Ottawa was picked for the facility in part because of its proximity to other NRC research facilities, including its Flight Research Lab.

The new centre follows the announcement of a $10 million investment from the federal and provincial governments into four projects promoting growth in Manitoba’s Aerospace industry. This includes: $1.8m for the Composites Innovation Centre to establish a collaborative space at Red River College’s Smart Factory to develop new advanced aerospace composite products and processes; $1.6m to deliver the Manitoba Aerospace Fund to support the development of local aerospace businesses; $5m to Magellan Aerospace Limited to produce more advanced aerospace technology, and $1.6m to West Canitest R&D (WestCaRD) to expand engine testing capabilities in Manitoba.

Bains adds: “Our Government’s investment in the Canadian Aerospace industry builds on our ambitious plan to turn Canada’s economic strengths into global successes.”


(via BE Canada, CBC)