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Kelowna's KF Aerospace to share in massive $11.2B contract

Kelowna's KF Aerospace is part of another gargantuan Royal Canadian Air Force contract.

The latest is a $11.2 billion deal to train air force pilots and aircrews at KF's faculty in Southport, just outside Portage La Prairie, Manitoba.

KF is a 50/50 partner with CAE (Canadian Aviation Electronics) in SkyAlyne, the company formed to land contracts.

SkyAlyne also has nine sub-contractors to help deliver on the contract, so it's difficult to calculate exactly what KF's share is.

However, it will be substantial, after all, the contract is for $11.2 billion over 25 years.

<who>Photo credit: KF Aerospace</who>KF Aerospace will share in the $11.2 billion Future Aircrew Training (FAcT) contract.

This latest contract was announced by Minister of National Defence Bill Blair this week at the CANSEC (Canada's global defence and security trade show) in Ottawa,.

It follows hot on the heels of the November 2023 granting of a $10 billion contract to make P8-A Poseidon jets for the Royal Canadian Airforce.

KF is a key maintenance partner on the Poseidon project, so again it's hard to determine exactly how much KF's share will be.

But again, it will be hefty because we're talking about a $10 billion overall contract.

Kelowna-based KF president and CEO Tracy Medve is also chair of the SkyAlyne board.

"The vision for FAcT (the $11.2 billion Future Aircrew Training Program contract) represents a unified effort from Canada's finest minds and organizations," she said.

"We're geared up to bring this vision to life with our truly Canadian expertise, working closely with Canada and the Royal Canadian Air Force to usher in a new era of aircrew training. Our focus is beyond meeting today's standards, but shaping the future of aircrew readiness, creating new jobs and opportunities in communities across Canada."

<who>Photo credit: KF Aerospace</who>Tracy Medve is the president and CEO of KF Aerospace and chair of the SkyAlyne board of directors.

Besides training military pilots, the contract also covers training air combat systems officers and airborne electronic sensor operators.

SkyAlyne has a joint-management office in Ottawa, but will get administrative support from KF headquarters in Kelowna.

The SkyAlyne contract for the pilot and aircrew training is an extension and expansion of the pilot training KF has been involved with at Portage La Prairie since 2005.

It will also have some training services out of Moose Jaw and Winnipeg.

KF's main operations are in Kelowna beside Kelowna International Airport where 750 staff work on aircraft maintenance and retrofitting.

KF counts WestJet, Air Canada, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Air North, Sunwing and Icelandair and several governments and militaries among its clients.

Out of Kelowna, there's also KF Cargo, which flies Purolator packages across the country, and Aeroflyer, an airline that flies workers to oil and gas camps up north and flies sports teams around.

<who>Photo credit: KF Aerospace</who>KF Aerospace is headquartered in Kelowna has operations across the country.

With 750 workers in Kelowna, KF is the largest private-sector employer in Kelowna and a big economic generator.

KF has 450 other workers across the country, including Hamilton, where aircraft maintenance and retrofitting is also done, Portage La Prairie, where the aircrew training is, as well as facilities in Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa.

Thumbnail photos courtesy of SkyAlyne

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