About the industry

Alberta has a strong foothold in aerospace and defence. The industry contributes $1.3 billion in revenue annually to the provincial economy, is home to 170 aerospace and aviation companies, and employs over 6,000 highly skilled Albertans. It is recognized world-wide for its expertise within niche areas like robotics and unmanned vehicle systems, defence electronics, and space science and geomatics.

Industry fast facts

  • Annual revenues are over $1.3 billion, with 40% of production destined to export markets
  • Universities have leading expertise in space science and close ties with the Canadian Space Agency
  • Alberta has a significant military presence with three immense instrumented weapons ranges
  • DRDC Suffield is internationally recognized for its R&D in chemical and biological defence

Industry overviews

Areas of expertise

Alberta's aerospace and defence industry sector can be thought of as five closely interrelated, yet distinct sector niches. To learn more about Alberta’s aerospace and defence strengths, see:

Robotics and Unmanned Vehicle Systems

A strong Unmanned Vehicle Systems sector is emerging in Alberta. This innovative niche is expected to grow tremendously in the coming years because of its wide-ranging applications for military and commercial use.

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Logistic support to the military

Alberta offers unique advantages and opportunities for defence companies – including excellent flying weather; some of the best instrumented test ranges in the world, and a strong federal defence research and development capability.

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Defence Electronics

Alberta companies are making and maintaining the Canadian Forces’ communications systems, software, specialized sensors, and other electronic components used in military applications.

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Space science and aerospace geomatics

Alberta's expertise in the areas of space physics, space instrumentation, imaging, and space materials is unmatched in Canada.

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Manufacturing, maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MMRO)

Alberta-based companies provide maintenance, repair, overhaul and modification of both military and commercial aircraft, including: avionics, airframes, engines, equipment and component parts, interior refurbishment, and, aircraft painting.

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Niche Cluster Support

Alberta has other areas noteworthy for their direct support to the aerospace and defence industry: Aerospace Infrastructure, Alberta’s Aerospace and Aviation Heritage, Aerospace Education, and cTraining Capacity.

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