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Aerospace, Defence and Security Expo: Strong Voice at Tradex

If anyone knows about the humble beginnings of the Aerospace, Defence and Security Expo (ADSE) at Tradex, it is retired Brigadier General Dwayne Lucas.

Six years ago, a tent on the Abbotsford Airshow ramp housed networking, announcements, and local aerospace companies with a mix of dignitaries who participated in a tour of Cascade Aerospace.

It was in 2013, after some strong influencing by Lucas (founding ADSE member) and his team who wanted to see the event grow, that ADSE made its debut at Tradex, this time raising the importance of the show and featuring Western Canadian participation, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and a higher level of government involvement. It was an opportunity to show the strength of the growing B.C. aerospace industry.

ADSE Forum at Tradex

Mike Mueller, new vice-president of operations and communications for AIAC Pacific (which took over responsibility of the ADSE in 2014) said the aerospace industry “is buying into what we are doing here . . . we have a pretty bright future.”

Mueller was among 150 guests celebrating Tradex’s 25th anniversary at a special outdoor luncheon on July 28 at the facility which is serving ADSE’s needs very well.

To walk into an ADSE event with its trade show with 50 exhibitors on one side of Tradex, and on the other side its 400 delegates and representatives from 29 sponsors seated listening to major industry discussions lead by key aerospace leaders and aided by super screen technology and professional lighting and staging, is truly an impressive experience.

In 2014, then-AIAC Pacific VP Jay Teichroeb said inviting the international aerospace, defence, and security companies to Abbotsford was “one way we work to make sure our B.C. aerospace companies remain world class in this competitive global marketplace. B.C. has a diverse range of companies that are proved aerospace innovators and technology leaders, and that translates to significant employment here in the Fraser Valley as well as throughout B.C. and the rest of Canada.”

Teeming with government officials, federal and provincial ministers that year at Tradex, thunderous applause could be heard there as Abbotsford MP Ed Fast, then Minister of International Trade, announced $30 million in federal funding for research and technology development to the Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada (CARIC), an industry-led network dedicated to aerospace innovation.

3D printed aviation parts at ADSE

For those keen on industry news, they heard UrtheCast, a Vancouver-based technology firm developing the world’s first Ultra HD video feed of Earth, streamed from space in full colour, announce at Tradex its plans to expand its Earth Observation data stream by operating state-of-the-art sensors on the NASA segment of the International Space Station.

Chinook Helicopters also announced its MOU with China Aviation Industrial Base of Shaanxi, China to provide helicopter training services and other support to the growing commercial helicopter market there.

And Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group based in the U.K. announced the Abbotsford International Airport as the site of its North American hub for strategic growth.

Parm Sidhu, Abbotsford Airport general manager, has a keen interest in ADSE, and is particularly excited with news that the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) will be tag-teaming with ADSE and the airshow to bring some 20 aircraft for indoor and outdoor displays in 2017.

“Great things are happening in B.C.,” said Sidhu. “ADSE and now the CBAA will give aerospace an even greater voice.”

ADSE, because of its location at Tradex, is Canada’s only expo connected to a major airshow. And because of the timing, the Abbotsford International Airshow’s Friday-night twilight event is now an after-dinner treat for ADSE delegates.