by Stella Shepard
The Sea to Sky PEI Aerospace, Defence and Marine Conference 2021 was recently held in Charlottetown.
The conference was led by the Atlantic Canada Aerospace and Defence Association (ACADA). The association has approximately 200 industry members and organizations across Atlantic Canada. Based in Halifax, they assist Provincial Directors located in Charlottetown, Fredericton, Halifax, and St. John’s.
“The conference featured a jam-packed program of informative presentations centering on our theme, The Path Forward – Succeeding in the New Reality,” says Allan Campbell, PEI Director for ACADA.
“We were thrilled to bring back last year’s industry panel to reflect on what the companies have experienced over the past year, lessons learned, and strategies for success.”
Action Aero: Dave Trainor, President
“COVID-19 restrictions have been a challenge, but they also opened new opportunities for the company. We never considered getting into a distribution market before the pandemic, but an opportunity came along, and we were able to sign an agreement to become a distributor.
“We are now getting into more manufacturing. During the pandemic, we used the down time wisely with training to get staff production up higher. We really focused on business development during the pandemic.”
For more information about Action Aero Inc., visit www.actionaero.com
Tronosjet: Mark Coffin, CEO
“We used our time for training on different aircraft types and tidying up things we had not had a chance to tidy up for about the last 10 years.
“We are heading back into a winter season of maintenance on airtanker fleets and working on getting airplanes in and out into the country down to a science, which takes a tremendous amount of resources.
“We are looking at expanding opportunities in our machine shop as we see programs that are starting to come back. We have been able to concentrate on quality improvement as well.
“We had seven new hires since the pandemic. The housing issue is now part of the interview process because if you are hiring someone from away, what will they do about the lack of apartment vacancies?”
Mark says that during the pandemic, the number of staff sick days dropped because COVID-19 restrictions were being enforced.
Aspin Kemp & Associates: Jason Aspin, CEO and Co-Founder
“As an industry, we came together here on PEI, and that created opportunities. As well, we got to know each other better locally. However, we certainly saw how supply chains can crumble during the pandemic and we are looking to strengthen our global supply chain in other parts of the world.
“We have been looking at multiple methods of achieving stronger partnerships within our supply chain. Face-to-face contact is still important, but with virtual connections it’s no longer necessary to travel halfway around the world for every meeting.
“I personally take on the responsibility for every person in the company, and I want to make sure everyone keeps their livelihood. Keeping the business healthy for the long-term is our focus, so that people can have a job after COVID-19. So, we have to be ready to make tough decisions fast.
“If we do our job right, the business will be there in the long term. The hardest thing to do is to let people go, but sometimes it is necessary for the survival of the business through times like COVID-19. We always want to protect the people by protecting the business.”
For more information about Aspin Kemp & Associates, visit www.aka-group.com
MDS Coating Inc.: Kerry Butler, Vice President, Operations
“We were in good shape for a supply chain with multiple suppliers in geographical locations before COVID-19 hit. We are now starting to form more strategic partnerships with other businesses that are complimentary to ours.
“When you start a business, don’t cut corners, and be ready for events such as the pandemic. Having good people is essential to the company’s success.”
For more information about MDS Coating Inc. visit www.mdscoating.com
For more information about PEI’s Aerospace, Defence, and Marine industry, contact Allan Campbell, Provincial Director PEI, Atlantic Canada Aerospace & Defence Association, at 902-314-3946 or email [email protected]