HALIFAX (CP) - Nova Scotia-based IMP Aerospace Components has landed a deal to build components for Cessna aircraft, creating approximately 300 manufacturing jobs over the next five years, a company source said Wednesday.
''We've already accrued over 100 of them (the jobs) and there's another couple in these new contracts we're winning,'' the source told The Canadian Press.
Doug Oliver, a spokesman at Cessna, confirmed in an interview that IMP is now ''a supplier on the new CJ4 business jet.''
The jobs will be created at IMP's sprawling manufacturing plant in Amherst, N.S., a town that has seen ups and downs in the aerospace sector, as the business jet is developed.
IMP came to Amherst in the early 1990s following the closure of Amherst Aerospace and moved into a new manufacturing facility in the industrial park in 1993.
At its height, the company employed over 300 people, but a recession in the aerospace industry resulted in almost continual staffing reductions until the plant's fortunes started improving last year.
''It's our first breakthrough, though mind you we have been their (Cessna's) Canadian agents. We sell their aircraft in Canada,'' the source said of the Cessna deal.
''We're very pleased and there's more to come. Once you're into those big organizations and you perform, they fill you up.''
There was no precise figure available for the value of the contract or the precise completion dates.
However, Cessna is among the largest private jet manufacturers in North America, and IMP's landing of the contract is considered a key breakthrough for the Halifax-based conglomerate owned by Ken Rowe.
IMP has been better known for its work maintaining and manufacturing military aircraft.
The CJ4 program was launched by Cessna last fall, and IMP is going to work on the airplane's ''control surfaces,'' including the flaps on the wings.
''It's a continuing process of adding suppliers. We're not building the airplane yet,'' said Oliver.
The province is going to provide financial assistance for the project through Nova Scotia Business Inc., a Crown-owned economic development agency. The figures will be released Thursday in Amherst during a news conference attended by Premier Rodney MacDonald.
Cessna, owned by aviation giant Textron Inc., makes aircraft ranging from single-engine piston powered aircraft to the Citation X, one of the world's fastest business jets.
The Nova Scotia company has won other contracts—with government providing aid—in the past, including a deal to build and export parts for aerospace giants such as Airbus.
The Nova Scotia government provided an $850,000 repayable loan to IMP Aerospace Components in 2006 to purchase equipment and improvements that will allow it to produce parts for Composites Atlantic of Lunenburg, N.S.
Composites Atlantic will then use those parts in components it supplies for Airbus, a French-based aircraft consortium.
It's not uncommon for IMP to receive government assistance.
It received a $5.8-million loan six years ago to build an aircraft hangar in Halifax.