Rich Foster, Chief Executive and Vice President of L3Harris Technologies Canada was elected as Chair of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) Board of Directors. Foster succeeds Lee Obst, Country Lead, Canada, Customer & Account Management at Collins Aerospace.

Amandeep Kaler, Chief Executive Officer at Avcorp Industries has been elected as the new Vice-Chair. The new Chair and Vice-Chair were officially welcomed by Mike Mueller, President and CEO of AIAC at AIAC’s Annual General Meeting held virtually on November 8.

“Rich and Amandeep are both long-time Board members, industry leaders and advocates. They are tremendous assets to our association and we’re very pleased to welcome them as Chair and Vice-Chair. A strong national aerospace industry has arguably never been more important. Our industry, in particular, has the ability to contribute to our nation’s economic recovery from coast to coast to coast,” said Mueller.

“Partnership with government is critical to ensure we chart a globally competitive plan – spanning the civil, defence and space sectors – based on Canada’s strengths and advantages in order to drive economic recovery and innovation here at home,” said Mueller. “On behalf of the staff at AIAC, we look forward to working with Rich, Amandeep, and our new board members, to press this message to Government,” said Mueller.

The Board acknowledged the service and contributions of Lee Obst as outgoing chair. “Lee’s leadership and support over the past year has been pivotal. The pandemic has tested us in ways no one saw coming and we we’ve come together as an association in unprecedented ways to ensure Canadian aerospace companies weather this crisis and emerge stronger from it,” added Mueller.

Rich Foster in his role with L3Harris provides a focal point for the company in conducting business in Canada. As Chief Executive, he manages the company’s Canadian Advisory Board. Foster joined L3Harris in 2016 after 35 years of distinguished service in the Canadian Armed Forces, retiring as the Deputy Commander Royal Canadian Air Force at the rank of Major General.

“It is a privilege to be appointed Chair of this association, particularly at such a pivotal time for the industry as we come through the COVID19 pandemic. I am honoured to succeed Lee, whose leadership of the Board came during extraordinary times. Despite the challenges, Canada’s aerospace industry saw some significant gains in terms of the strategic recognition of our industry by the federal government in Budget 2021. Aerospace has an opportunity to contribute to Canada’s economic recovery, but we require a strategy to ensure the sector can remain globally competitive,” said Foster.