The Downsview Aerospace Innovation and Research (DAIR) Consortium, an association of the largest aerospace companies and leading post-secondary education institutions from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), have come together with the joint mandate of developing an Aerospace Hub at Downsview Park in Toronto, Ontario. The engineers at University of Toronto have also partnered with aircraft manufacturers and academic institutions in the hope to bolster Canada’s aerospace industry.

The multidisciplinary project, aimed at improving current initiatives and developing new research, will bring together people from industries, academia and government. They will collaborate on a variety of cutting-edge projects, such as optimizing the shapes of future airplanes and spaceships, and designing satellites. The centre would also provide aerospace training for students.

This project, apart from improving Canada’s aerospace industry, will also provide an opportunity for graduate students to work directly in this sector. DAIR has decided to introduce new courses, such as, accident investigation class, which will examine a plane crash wreckage to identify and develop better engineering methods for safety.

Although it will take approximately four years for this project to be completed, Centennial College opened its $72-million Downsview Campus facility for aerospace training last month. The main phase will be at Downsview in North York while other departments relocate to it.

In an interview with CBC, executive director of DAIR Andrew Petrou said, “This is the beginning of a renaissance of aerospace activity at the Downsview site.”

Petrou hopes that the consortium will provide a space for the next generation of Canadians to learn, collaborate on, and to share new ideas.