Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Government of Canada Invests in Atlantic Aerospace and Defence Sector

A new pan-Atlantic model of collaboration will better support the growth and development of industry in Atlantic Canada

January 31, 2017 - Moncton, NB – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Atlantic Canada is home to a globally-recognized aerospace and defence cluster of companies and organizations that create well-paying jobs for the middle class.

A new Atlantic Canada Aerospace and Defence Association (ACADA), representing nearly 200 aerospace, defence, security and marine firms, will promote the sector’s capabilities and develop value-added activities for Atlantic Canadian aerospace and defence companies, with a particular focus on regional small and medium-sized enterprises in key areas such as supply chain engagement, workforce development, innovation and commercialization, and career promotion.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is investing more than $3 million under its Business Development Program to support ACADA’s operational and programming costs over the next three years.


“Atlantic Canada’s aerospace and defence sector is innovative and well-poised for growth. Our government is proud to support a globally-recognized sector that creates high-quality, sustainable jobs for Atlantic Canadians. This contributes to a strong economy.”

- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“ACADA’s mission is to advance the growth and development of the sector by providing unified leadership, advocacy, and valuable member services.  I am honoured to lead a team of dynamic professionals located in Halifax, Charlottetown, Fredericton and St. John’s as we respond to future opportunities, and help grow the Atlantic aerospace and defence industry.”

- Richard Billard, CEO of the Atlantic Canada Aerospace and Defence Association

Quick Facts

  • ACADA is replacing the former four provincial aerospace and defence associations. The new regional association will continue to build upon the provincial mandates and successes through a unified voice and a more effective service delivery model.
  • ACADA is a non-profit, member-focused industry organization whose mission is to advance the growth and development of the aerospace and defence sector by providing unified leadership, advocacy and valuable member services.
  • The Atlantic aerospace and defence industry employs an estimated 10,000 people or more in Atlantic Canada and is comprised of an estimated 500 companies with annual revenues of over $2 billion. 
  • Employment in the aerospace and defence sector in the Atlantic region has almost doubled since 2011, surpassing Western Canada and is forecasted to rise to close to one third of Canada's employment in the sector.
  • Over the past five years, Atlantic Canada has been the fastest growing region in aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO).
  • The aerospace and defence industry is an important contributor to the region's economy with the largest Canadian Forces presence in the country, the second largest commercial aerospace and services industry in Canada and the centre of excellence of combat vessel construction.

Associated Links

Natalie Belliveau
Senior Communications Officer
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Catherine MacDonald
Membership and Communications