Still working on new wing for Tec Voc

By Andrew Swan, MLA for Minto

As published in The Times March 24, 2017

Metro readers have a strong connection to James A. Richardson International Airport. Citizens of St. James and the West End are used to airplanes overhead.

More than any other folks in the province, we know how important airlines and aerospace are to our province. We are employed at 17 Wing, with the airlines flying into the airport, with services at and around the airport, and in Manitoba’s exciting and dynamic aerospace industry.

My family is no exception. My dad was an aircraft mechanic with Air Canada for 35 years. His career started at a hangar on Ferry Road working on propeller planes like Viscounts and Super Constellations and ended at the massive hangar on Saskatchewan Avenue with jets like the Airbus and Boeing 767s. I grew up just a few houses off the major flight path — to the north-south Runway 13/31.

Despite setbacks from time to time, the future of Manitoba’s airline and aerospace industries remains bright. Companies like Standard Aero, Boeing, and Magellan Aerospace continue to expand their operations in Winnipeg, because our diversity and efficiency allows us to compete against the rest of the world.

The airport works to expand its offerings to travellers, as we regain our role as a natural hub. Centreport Canada will continue to develop into a vital zone for trade and manufacturing where air, rail, and road connect.

The tradition of the West End supplying aerospace workers continues. Students at Tec Voc High School have the chance to begin working with companies like Standard Aero, Boeing, and Magellan Aerospace even as they earn their high school diplomas. We await the start of construction of the new aerospace and welding wing at Tec Voc — although it has been delayed by the new provincial government, I will continue to work to ensure this important expansion will happen.