Vector Aerospace lands major contract extension with Jazz

Vector Aerospace, P.E.I.'s largest aerospace company, has announced an expansion to its testing facilities, plus a major contract extension with Jazz.

Company adds 4th test cell at its aircraft engine repair facility and announces deal with Jazz

Vector Aerospace Atlantic president Jeff Poirier and P.E.I. Economic Development Minister in the control room for Vector's new test cell. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

Vector Aerospace, P.E.I.'s largest aerospace company, has announced an expansion to its testing facilities, plus a major contract extension with Jazz.

"I'm delighted to announce that the new test cell is now ready and open for business and I'm hoping to hear it making noise and sucking fuel and making money very shortly," joked Declan O'Shea, president and CEO of Vector Aerospace

"I'm the CEO. I have to say that."

At a news conference on Wednesday, O'Shea announced the extension of an engine maintenance contract with the company's long-standing customer Jazz. 

Jazz contract extended to 2025

Declan O'Shea, CEO of Vector Aerospace, speaking at the company's plant at Slemon Park on May 11. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

"Under the terms of this contract, we will be the sole provider of engine maintenance repair and overhaul services for the entire fleet of Pratt and Whitney Canada Dash 8 regional turbo-props,"  O'Shea told the crowd of employees gathered for the announcement.

"We're very proud of our relationship with Jazz over the last five years and this contract and a future contract extension will run until 2025."

O'Shea says the deal with Jazz is one of the biggest contracts not just for the division at Slemon Park but for Vector Aerospace overall. The previous contract with Jazz was worth $170 million USD.

"To renew a contract like that, a very big contract in the aerospace business to renew, it has all of the contenders who would normally pitch for those contracts," explained O'Shea.

"It establishes the revenue stream for the next 10 years in fact ... But also it means that we're better than the competition. We won a very large contract in an open competition."

Jazz engines will be tested in new test cell

The new turboprop engine test cell joins three other test cells at the P.E.I. plant in Slemon Park, just outside of Summerside. The multi-million dollar cell was purchased with the assistance of both the federal and provincial governments.

"This new test cell will dovetail well with our existing test stands," said Jeff Poirier, president of Vector's Atlantic division, in a news release.

"This investment also reinforces our long-term commitment to the Summerside facility and our local workforce."

Competing globally

The multi-million dollar test cell was purchased with the assistance of the federal and provincial governments. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

The new test cell will improve turnaround times for the company's aircraft engine repair work, and support further business growth.

"Companies like Vector Aerospace compete on a global scale, and their continued success means a stronger economy and good jobs here at home," said federal Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains.

With 450 employees, Vector Aerospace is the province's second largest private employer, noted provincial Economic Development Minister Heath MacDonald.

Vector is celebrating 25 years of operation on P.E.I.