A ‘must attend’ event

AMJun19Features - careless1
AMJun19Features - careless1

As James Careless discovers, Canadian exhibitors still see the value in returning to attend and exhibit at the Paris Airshow.


Even with the advent of modern aviation, it is no small thing for Canadians to exhibit at the 2019 Paris Airshow. Creating and sending over displays across the Atlantic remains expensive, as does the airfare, hotel, and meal costs of the people being sent to the show.

This said, 18 Canadian exhibitors were listed on the 2019 Paris Airshow website at the time of writing this article. They include manufacturers and service providers, such as Bombardier, Burloak Technologies, CAE, CMC Electronics, Heroux-Devtek, IMP Aerospace and Defence, Magellan Aerospace, and Viking Air; industry groups such as the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada and Aéro Montréal; and government delegations from the provinces of Ontario and Quebec and the Canadian federal government, among others.

Aerospace Manufacturing approached Canadian Paris Airshow exhibitors to ask them what makes it worth their time to attend the show – many have done so for years – and what they hope to gain from being at Le Bourget Airport June 17-23, 2019. Here is what three of them – all returning to the event having attended in previous years – had to tell us.

Hopes and dreams

For the three Canadian exhibitors we spoke with, the Paris Airshow is a perennial destination. A case in point: CAE is returning to Chalet D62 for this year’s airshow; the same chalet it occupied two years ago. The training and simulation company has been attending the event since 2001.

According to Chris Stellwag, CAE’s director of defence & security marketing communications, Paris is one of two must-attend airshow events for his company.

“The Paris Airshow, and Farnborough Airshow in alternating years, are the biggest aerospace events in the world during their respective years, so they represent an ideal opportunity for aerospace and defence suppliers and their customers to meet face-to-face and discuss business,” he explained.

This said, CAE doesn’t use Paris and Farnborough to demonstrate simulation technologies. It reserves such product-focused demos for simulation- and training-specific shows instead, while using the two major aerospace events to ‘press the flesh’ with top procurement decision-makers.

“The Paris Airshow is our opportunity to meet with senior-level government officials, civil and defence customers, and OEMs to advance our strategic and business development initiatives,” added Stellwag. “With these airshows attracting the global aerospace and defence industry, they provide a unique opportunity to address the global market, and that’s important to CAE as we are really the only truly global training and simulation company serving both the civil and defence markets.”

IMP Aerospace & Defence has been coming to the Paris Airshow since 2009

IMP Aerospace & Defence has been coming to the Paris Airshow since 2009. This year it is booth E79 in hall 3; inside the Canadian government’s Showcase Canada pavilion. Like CAE, IMP Aerospace & Defence comes to Le Bourget to build relationships, rather than sell specific products.

“The Paris Airshow is a world-recognised aerospace trade show that provides an excellent opportunity to network and meet with existing clients as well as develop new clients and suppliers,” said Carl Kumpic, the company’s vice-president of international marketing.

This is because Paris’ attendees “include global OEMs, MROs, and related service providers as well as international operators and government officials.

That’s not all: “The show also provides excellent insight into new technologies that can impact our business,” Kumpic added. A third bonus: “Exhibiting at the Paris Airshow showcases IMP’s capabilities within the aerospace and defence market and facilitates our numerous business meetings. The outcomes of these meetings help to grow our business as well as better understand our competition.”

The Showcase Canada pavilion in which IMP and other Canadian firms are featured is being paid for by Canada’s federal government, and for good reason: the aerospace industry supports nearly 190,000 quality jobs for Canadians while pumping $25 billion annually in GDP to Canada’s economy.

Given these substantial benefits, “our government will continue to invest in leading edge technology and job creation, while improving access to global markets and supply chains for one of the most innovative and export-driven industries in the country,” said Hans Parmar, a spokesperson with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. “The strength of our sector is demonstrated by the fact that Canada ranks in the top three for the production of civil aircraft, engines and flight simulators.”

Aims and ambitions

The Canadian exhibitors who attend the Paris Airshow have definite reasons for being here; including specific goals that they want to achieve. CAE’s goal is to help aerospace customers cope with the growing shortage of trained pilots. It’s a chronic problem that is affecting both the civilian and military aerospace sectors, and becoming more serious as baby Boomer-aged pilots retire.

“One of our key objectives is to continue to educate the global aerospace and defence market about CAE’s comprehensive portfolio of training solutions that includes classroom, simulator and live flying training,” said Stellwag. “In essence, CAE is a company that helps train and produce pilots, and with the global pilot shortage being a ‘top of mind’ issue in both civil aviation and defence, CAE is focussed on helping our customers address this challenge.”

CAE will also provide updates on the CAE Women in Flight scholarship programme, which was launched last year during the Farnborough Airshow.

IMP Aerospace & Defence’s goal is to “further develop our international relationships with European and MENA region clients,” said Kumpic; specifically, in areas such as aircraft fleet sustainment as well as fleet modernisation, mission system enhancement, and selected manufacturing services for OEMs. IMP’s sights are trained on the entire aerospace sector.

“We have an excellent niche market in the defence and military fleet sector but also serve civilian markets,” Kumpic added. “There are a number of potential clients with legacy fleets that are seeking ways to reduce operational cost as well as achieve more mission capability with the equipment they have. We look forward to assisting them with solutions, working in partnership with OEMs and other niche service partners.”

The Paris Airshow is a ‘must-attend’ event for the Canadian aerospace industry

As for the Canadian government? Returning to the Paris Airshow is an opportunity to reinforce the efforts of their citizens attending and/or exhibiting at Le Bourget, and to ‘fly the flag’ to keep that $25 billion of annual aerospace earnings flowing into Canada - and hopefully growing.

“Over 400 Canadians representing 130 Canadian companies and organisations are expected to attend the 2019 Paris Airshow,” said Parmar. “At Le Bourget this June, our goal is to promote Canada as an investment destination for global companies and to support Canadian companies seek new business opportunities by promoting the innovative thinking and cutting-edge products they develop.”

The bottom line: As in previous years, the Paris Airshow is a ‘must-attend’ event for the Canadian aerospace industry and the governments who support it. That’s why they keep coming back to Le Bourget every time they can.



Paris Air Show

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