Kelowna’s KF Aerospace has announced a major project that will place it at the forefront of education in its industry.
KF Aerospace on Thursday unveiled plans for a $25-million state-of-the-art aerospace exhibition hall and conference centre to be built across from Kelowna International Airport. It’s scheduled to start construction next spring.
The KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence will celebrate the aerospace legacy of KF founder Barry Lapointe by providing a hub for education, professional development and industry advancement, the company says.
At 50,000 sq. feet, the facility will feature groundside and airside access from YLW’s main runway and include a museum, aircraft hangars, conference suites, classrooms, a cafeteria and airfield viewing gallery. It will also house 15,000 square feet of training space for aircraft maintenance engineering programs delivered by Okanagan College.
Lapointe, who was recently inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, has launched a non-profit society to operate the centre.
“We want to provide a first-hand aerospace experience for the public, from commercial and military operations to maintenance and manufacturing,” says Lapointe. “By providing a central source for education, training, career and policy development, the centre will be a proud home to our ever-expanding aerospace community.”
A ground-breaking is scheduled for March 25, 2020, to coincide with KF’s 50th anniversary, and the centre is expected to open in 2022.
“KF Aerospace has a long and proud history as a leader in the aviation industry in Canada,” says YLW airport director Sam Samaddar. “This spectacular new facility in Kelowna will not only celebrate the rich aviation history of the Okanagan, but will work with education facilities to ensure that we continue to innovate by providing hands-on, technology-driven education and solutions for the demand of aerospace jobs in the future.”
KF Aerospace is Kelowna’s largest private-sector employer and provides maintenance, training, air cargo, leasing, and aircraft solutions for corporate, commercial and military customers worldwide.