$25-million exhibition centre coming to Kelowna airport

KF Aerospace to build 50,000 square foot facility across from YLW celebrating aviation industry

KF Aerospace announced a $25-million exhibition hall and conference centre on Thursday, scheduled to break ground on KF’s 50th anniversary.

The 50,000 square-foot KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence, to be built across from the Kelowna International Airport, will offer training and career development opportunities while celebrating the country’s aviation industry.

“KF Aerospace has a long and proud history as a leader in the aviation industry in Canada,” YLW airport director Sam Samaddar said.

“This spectacular new facility in Kelowna will not only celebrate the rich aviation history of the Okanagan but will work with education facilities to ensure that we continue to innovate by providing hands-on, technology-driven education and solutions for the demand of aerospace jobs in the future,” he added.

The Centre for Excellence will include a museum, aircraft hangers, conference suites, classrooms, a cafeteria and an airfield viewing gallery.

Fifteen-thousand square feet of training space will also be dedicated to the Aircraft Maintenance Engineering programs offered by Okanagan College.

Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton said the new Centre for Excellence will further the impact the company has on the industry.

“Okanagan College is proud to be a part of this exciting plan,” he said. “KF has been a tremendous partner and a force behind building the aerospace industry in this region.”

KF founder Barry Lapointe said the vision of this development is to bridge the history of aviation with its future.

“We want to provide a first-hand aerospace experience for the public, from commercial and military operations to maintenance and manufacturing,” Lapointe said. “By providing a central source for education, training, career and policy development, the centre will be a proud home to our ever-expanding aerospace community.”

The centre is slated to open in 2022 and all construction aspects of the facility are to be sourced locally. A newly established non-profit organization will oversee the facility’s operations.


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@kelownacapnews.com

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