Bombardier Inc.’s (TSX:BBD.B) CSeries Aircraft Program Team, led by CSeries Program Vice President Rob Dewar, has been awarded the James C. Floyd Award for significant domestic and global contribution to Canadian aerospace innovation and leadership by the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC).
The annual award was established in 2009 to honour James C. Floyd, the chief engineer on the Avro Arrow project, who oversaw the development of the C102 Jetliner, the CF 100 fighter and the Avro Arrow.
After the cancellation of the Avro Arrow project, Floyd established his own international aviation consulting company and made contributions to a number of other projects around the world, while several members of his design and engineering team later played key roles in America’s Apollo project to put a man on the Moon.
“The development and launch of the CSeries aircraft is an industrial achievement of the highest order. Rob Dewar and his team have dedicated over a decade to the creation of the CSeries, making it the biggest Canadian commercial aerospace program ever launched in history,” said Jim Quick, President and CEO of AIAC. “Their achievement highlights everything that we celebrate about Canada’s aerospace industry: innovation, perseverance, and a commitment to world-class products and services that drive our economy and push the limits of human ingenuity and creativity. It is my pleasure to congratulate Bombardier, Mr. Dewar, and his team, on this outstanding contribution to Canada’s aerospace industry.”
The award comes at a strange moment for Bombardier in that the business has been forced to announce hefty global job cuts and is still in the midst of negotiating federal assistance to meet demand from increasingly impatient clients, such as Toronto transit company Metrolinx, which has been threatening to cancel Bombardier’s $770 million contract for significant delays in delivering new streetcars.
Bombardier finished Q3 2016 with US$8.9 billion in long-term debt, and has been burning through significant amounts of cash precisely because of the CSeries division, which the company claims will be cash flow positive by 2020.
“The James C. Floyd Award is a tremendous honor, and it is with great pride that I accept it on behalf of Bombardier and the CSeries team,” said Dewar. “For over a decade, I have enjoyed the privilege of leading a team of men and women with the goal of delivering one of the most ambitious and innovative aerospace projects in the world. This award is a testament to their perseverance and dedication; they are each equally deserving of this recognition. Wherever the CSeries takes to the skies, it will be an ambassador for our aerospace industry and a symbol of Canadian innovation and achievement, and this is something that can make us all proud.”
The CSeries program involves over 200 Canadian suppliers and provides direct employment to over 2,000 Canadians.
This year’s James C. Floyd award was sponsored by Pratt & Whitney Canada and presented during the Canadian Aerospace Dinner, as part of the annual Canadian Aerospace Summit in Ottawa.
Floyd was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 1993, and in 1950 became the first non-American recipient of the Wright Bros. Medal for his work on the jet transport technology design for the Avro Canada Jetliner, which was the world’s first regional jet passenger aircraft.
From 1965 to 1972, Floyd was consultant to the British Ministry of Technology on the Concorde project.