Industry Canada

Industry Canada

February 23, 2011 13:00 ET

Harper Government Supports Alberta Aerospace Growth

Investment will create jobs and keep Canada cutting-edge

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Feb. 23, 2011) - The Honourable Rob Merrifield, Minister of State (Transport), on behalf of the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, today announced a repayable government investment of $1.96 million in a $6.5-million project being undertaken by AeroMechanical Services Ltd. (AMA). The project calls for the research and development of next-generation data communication systems for commercial and military aircraft.

This investment, made through the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI), will have an impact not only on technology firms in southern Alberta but also across Canada.

"On behalf of the Government of Canada, I am pleased to announce this investment in one of Alberta's most promising aerospace firms," said Minister Merrifield. "With the economic recovery still fragile, our government is committed to protecting the 83,000 jobs in Canada's aerospace sector. The project we are investing in today will create or maintain Canadian research jobs and help keep Canada at the forefront of the international aerospace industry."

The AMA project represents a substantial upgrade to the system used by aircraft operators to relay information from a plane's data-gathering devices, such as the black box, to authorities on the ground. When AMA completes the research and development of the proposed upgrade, it will become more competitive as a result of its integrated and multi-functional data-transfer system.

"AeroMechanical Services Ltd. has spent 13 years developing and marketing innovative technologies for the global aviation community," said Bill Tempany, Chief Executive Officer of AMA. "Our patented on-board system is the only product in the world that has the demonstrated capability to transmit all of the black box data and continuous position information to the ground in real time on demand. The participation of Industry Canada through the SADI program is a great benefit to our company."

SADI supports strategic industrial research and pre-competitive development projects in the aerospace, defence, space and security industries.

BACKGROUNDER

Government of Canada Repayable Investment in Next-Generation System for Aircraft Data Communications

The Government of Canada is making a repayable investment of $1.96 million in a research and development project being undertaken by AeroMechanical Services Ltd. (AMA). The project will produce a certified on-board system capable of using text, voice and data transmissions to communicate to and from an airplane. The system will be able to relay data from the black box and other diagnostic components to the ground in real time.

The project represents a significant upgrade to a product that AMA has manufactured previously and installed in more than 200 aircraft from 30 different operators worldwide. The latest product will integrate an aircraft's safety-related and non-safety services. The addition of safety-service messaging will comply with the new European Union regulations for aircraft-to-ground communications.

AMA is based in Calgary and incorporated in Canada. It is publicly traded on the TSX Venture Exchange and employs 44 people. It is considered an industry leader in real-time satellite data transmission for aircraft monitoring and communications.

The Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI) was launched in April 2007. Through repayable investments, SADI supports strategic industrial research and pre-competitive development projects in Canada's aerospace, defence, space and security industries.

The benefits of SADI include the leveraging of private sector investment in research and development, the attraction of foreign investment to Canada, advances in technology transfer and innovation, and the development of a highly skilled workforce. SADI is managed by the Industrial Technologies Office, a special operating agency of Industry Canada.

For more information about SADI, please visit the Industrial Technologies Office website (ito.ic.gc.ca).

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
    Minister of Industry
    Heather Hume - Press Secretary
    613-995-9001
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502