KF Aerospace invests in Hamilton

Avatar for Lisa GordonBy Lisa Gordon | February 15, 2019

Estimated reading time 4 minutes, 56 seconds.

In a partnership billed as a “made in Canada” solution to the looming shortage of aircraft maintenance engineers (AMEs), KF Aerospace and Mohawk College announced plans on Feb. 15 for the creation of a new aerospace training hub at Hamilton International Airport.

Participating in a ceremonial groundbreaking, held inside due to inclement weather, were (L-R) Ron McKerlie, Mohawk College president; Katrina McFadden, chair of the Mohawk College Board of Governors; Donna Skelly, local MPP; Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger; Barry Lapointe, CEO of KF Aerospace; Nathan Verduyn, a Mohawk grad and AME Apprentice at KF Aerospace; Filomena Tassi, Local MP; and Cathie Puckering, president and CEO of Hamilton International Airport. Lisa Gordon Photo


The new training centre is one part of a larger KF Aerospace expansion that will add a total of 150,000 square feet and more than 275 jobs to the aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company’s Hamilton footprint.

A new 75,000-square-foot wide-body hangar will be constructed that will allow KF Aerospace to expand its capabilities and take on new business. Currently, the company’s Hamilton location–established in 1985–provides heavy and line maintenance to Sunwing Airlines and WestJet, among others.

KF Aerospace has been at Hamilton airport since 1985. The company currently performs heavy and line maintenance for Sunwing Airlines, among others. Lisa Gordon Photo

Construction on the new hangar is starting next week and the building is scheduled for completion in October 2019. It is expected to triple the company’s business at Hamilton airport, which was named the country’s fastest-growing airport last year.

In addition, the expansion project includes the construction of a new 70,000-square-foot narrow-body hangar to house Mohawk’s fleet of maintenance aircraft, shops and classrooms. For the first time, the college’s aviation department will be located under one roof, enabling the school to grow its programs to provide hands-on training for 300 to 600 students in aircraft maintenance, structures and avionics. Classes in the new facility are expected to begin in August 2020.

A school handout indicates that drone inspection technology, composite materials and additive parts manufacturing are all future areas of focus at the new training hub.

The two new hangars will bookend the current KF Aerospace hangar at 9500 Airport Road in Mount Hope, Ont.

A new Mohawk College aerospace training centre, far left, will be part of an overall expansion that adds 150,000 square feet and more than 275 jobs to KF Aerospace’s Hamilton facility. KF Aerospace Image

KF Aerospace founder and CEO, Barry Lapointe, was on hand to describe the vision for the project.

“I’m excited about the new hangar and that we will build a facility here for Mohawk College to expand and grow,” he said.

“Nothing is more important to the future of aviation than the people who work in it. Without Mohawk training young people, we won’t be here. As we get older, people move on, and the young people are going to make this community and they’re going to make this trade, because employees are quickly dwindling now.”

Ron McKerlie, president of Mohawk College, said the project is an opportunity to give students the best possible education.

A 75,000-square-foot wide-body hangar, far left, will be constructed to allow KF Aerospace to take on new business and expand its capabilities. KF Aerospace Photo

“This is as real as it gets; to have our aviation students right here at the airport,” he commented. “The new state-of-the-art facilities will give students in the aviation structures, maintenance and avionics programs the kind of experiences that few other colleges will be able to match. When the first classes start here in 2020, students will have access to nearly 70,000 square feet of modern learning space that includes a purpose-built hangar, classrooms, labs, specialized shops and even food services.”

The new hangars will be designed, manufactured and constructed in Canada. KF Aerospace has contracted Ledcor Construction and NA Engineering, and hangar pre-fabrication is being completed in Brandon, Man.

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