Groundbreaking ceremony held to launch construction of the state-of-the-art aviation exhibition hall and conference centre
The KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence has officially broken ground on its future location at 5800 Lapointe Drive, Kelowna International Airport (YLW).
To mark the occasion – which coincided with KF Aerospace’s 51st anniversary— the Centre’s directors and builders were joined by local officials, including Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, who voted with City Council to unanimously approve the Centre’s building plans last fall. YLW Director Sam Samaddar also lent a hand with the ceremonial shovel turning. Construction on the 60,000 sq. ft., world-class facility is underway.
“We have watched and benefitted as KF evolved from an aviation company to an aerospace company,” says Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. “From airplane maintenance, engineering, defence programs, cargo operations and leasing – KF Aerospace celebrates 51 years in style by groundbreaking yet another game-changer in the industry.”
“KF Aerospace is the longest privately held aerospace company in Canada,” says YLW Director Sam Samaddar. “The vision of Barry Lapointe is unparalleled and the Centre for Excellence will showcase the rich history the Okanagan has had with the aerospace industry. The Centre for Excellence will become a premier destination for the community and visitors to enjoy. It will inspire young aviators to share in the love for aviation that has inspired Barry in his aerospace journey.”
The KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence is a not-for-profit, legacy endowment for the Okanagan, courtesy of Lapointe. Designed to replicate an aircraft, the building will have the main hall as the fuselage with wing-shaped hangars to house aircraft that showcase aviation history in British Columbia and Canada.
The Centre features “made-in BC” wood products and expertise, from an innovative structural design to locally sourced and prefabricated mass timber components.
“I am very excited to be under construction on this important project,” says Barry Lapointe, Founder and CEO of KF Aerospace and President of the Centre for Excellence. “This facility provides the foundation for the Centre’s work of celebrating our rich aviation history while providing opportunities for future generations of aviators. I am looking forward to dedicating this facility to the Okanagan when it opens in 2022.”
The project is made possible through a collaboration with the Kelowna International Airport, the City of Kelowna and the Government of Canada.