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"Building our workforce - talent and expertise in aviation in Canada"

Ottawa, May 12, 2011

Robert Donald
Executive Director

Global Demographic Trends to 2050

  • In 1998 - those over 60, in the developed world, outnumbered those under 15, for the first time.
  • In 2047, the same thing will happen worldwide.
  • In 1950 there were 12 people of working age (15-64) for every person 65 and over. (12:1)
  • In 2010 the ratio dropped to 9.1.
  • By 2050 it is expected to fall to 4.1.

Canadian Population over 65 2026 and 2050

2000 – 1 person over 65 for 8 of working age (8:1)

2026 – 1 person over 65 years for 5 of working age (5:1)

2050 – 1 person over 65 years for 3 of working age (3:1)


Demographics - 2007 > 2017 Canadian Labour Characteristics 

People Without Jobs, Jobs Without People
Canada's Labour Market Future

Canada Labour Force Balance: Medium Population Growth

Industry Demographics
International Data: ICAO/IATA

Pilot and Training Demand 2018 2026
Total new pilots (additional aircraft and retirement) needing ab-initio training 207,600 352,900
Total new pilots needing transition training on replacement aircraft 59,930 122,700
Maintenance Demand 2018 2026
Total mechanics needed for additional aircraft 247,100 420,000
Total mechanics including retirement 405,500 739,000

Average number of personnel per aircraft

Average number of personnel per aircraft

Industry Demographics
Boeing International Forecast

  Pilots Maintenance
North America 97,350 137,000
Europe 94,800 122,000
Africa 13,200 15,000
Middle East 32,700 44,500
Latin America 37,000 44,000
Commonwealth of Independent States
(former Soviet Republics)
11,000 14,000
Asia Pacific 180,600 220,000
Worldwide 466,650 596,500

Aviation & Aerospace Footprint in Canada

  • 80,000 aviation maintenance technicians;
    (CCAA HR study for the Canadian Aviation Manufacturers and Maintenance Industry, 2002)
  • 78,965 aerospace employees and $22.2 billion in revenues;
    (Deloitte & Touche analysis of AIAC Survey, 2009)
  • 24,598 commercial pilot licenses held;
    (CCAA Human Resources Study of Commercial Pilots in Canada, 2010)
  • 3,758 full-time Airport workers;
    (CCAA Canada’s Airports Occupation Study, June 2010)
  • Plus fixed wing and rotary workforce not included above
    - Air Canada alone has 23,200 employees.
    (Air Canada Corporate Overview, April 2011,

Human Resources Challenges

E.g. Bombardier Aerospace

  • Hiring 1,500 new engineers and tradespeople
  • 10-20% of their hires will be recent graduates from specialized Canadian programs (e.g. SAIT, BCIT)
  • Will also institute call-backs of senior, skilled workers
  • Global recruiting drive
    • “Some of the jobs are so highly specialized and tailored to the aerospace industry that Bombardier recently sent a team of recruiters to the United Kingdom and France to find just the right mix of skills, talent and experience it required…One position took 700 days to fill…”

“They are highly specialized skills that we need to search the whole planet to find.”
(from Derek Sankey – Postmedia, published in The Montreal Gazette, Saturday March 5, 2011)

Panel Discussion

  • What is the potential impact on our industry?
  • Can we compete with other sectors for skilled workforce?
  • What should be done?
  • What is the role of Transport Canada?

Contact Information

Canadian Council for Aviation & Aerospace
Tel.: 613-727-8272
Toll-free: 1-800-448-9715

Robert Donald
Executive Director
Ext. 222


  • Rob Donald
    Executive Director
    Canadian Council for Aviation and Aerospace
  • Mark Gallant
    Vice-President, Flight Operations
    First Air
  • Gordon Duke
    Director, Operations
    Halifax International Airport Authority
  • Captain Dan Adamus
    President, Canada Board
    Air Line Pilots Association
  • Robert Nag
    Manager, Engineering and Maintenance
    CAE Inc.


  • How do we attract talented individuals into the aviation industry? How can we build on strategies currently being implemented by industry and government today?
  • What can be done to ensure better training and development, and what is Transport Canada’s role in supporting industry in this pursuit?
  • What worries you? What measures can industry and government put in place to be prepared for the cyclical nature of the aviation industry in Canada over the next 10-15 years?