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KF Aerospace is excited to announce plans for a state-of-the-art aerospace exhibition hall and conference centre across from Kelowna International Airport (YLW). Scheduled to start construction in spring 2020, the KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence will celebrate the aerospace legacy of KF founder, Barry Lapointe with the Okanagan community, by providing a hub for education, professional development and industry advancement.
At 50,000 square feet, the $25 million facility will feature both groundside and airside access from YLW’s main runway and include a museum, aircraft hangars, conference suites, classrooms, a cafeteria and airfield viewing gallery. It will also house 15,000 square feet of dedicated training space for the aircraft maintenance engineering programs delivered by Okanagan College.
Lapointe, who was recently inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, has launched a non-profit society to operate the Centre for Excellence. Initial board members include KF president Tracy Medve, KF Centre for Excellence executive director Paula Quinn, and KF Capital advisory board member David Burke. The project is possible through a broader collaboration with key partners at Kelowna International Airport and Okanagan College.
Lapointe said the vision is to bridge the industry’s heritage with its future. “We want to provide a firsthand aerospace experience for the public, from commercial and military operations to maintenance and manufacturing.”
“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,” he said.
The ground-breaking is scheduled for March 25, 2020, to coincide with KF’s 50th anniversary. All facets of the construction, including the wood features of the building, will be sourced locally in British Columbia.
“KF Aerospace has a long and proud history as a leader in the aviation industry in Canada,” said Kelowna International Airport director Sam Samaddar. “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.”
“Okanagan College is proud to be a part of this exciting plan,” says Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton. “KF has been a tremendous partner and a force behind building the aerospace industry in this region. This Centre for Excellence will further reinforce the impact the company has had.”
The KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence is expected to open in 2022.