MONTREAL (CP) -- Montreal's aerospace sector proved resilient during the recession but now needs to look to the future and the development of environmentally friendly products, the head of flight-simulator maker CAE Inc. said Friday.
CAE president Marc Parent said the city's aerospace cluster had positive results last year despite the challenges brought on by the global economic downturn.
"The industry demonstrated a resilience and determination that enabled it to navigate through difficult times," said Parent, who also chairs Aero Montreal, the city's aerospace think-tank.
Through the downturn, area businesses worked to develop the next generation of equipment and enhance the competitiveness of Quebec's supply chain.
That work needs to be accelerated by focusing on research and development, he said.
Parent applauded the Quebec government for supporting the industry in its latest budget. The province said it will provide $150 million over four years to support industrial demonstration projects to develop "green" aircraft.
Unpredictable fluctuations in oil prices and environmental concerns will push sustainable development to the forefront of the industry's focus, said a report released at Aero Montreal's annual meeting.
To remain competitive, the sector must provide concrete support to members in the area of sustainable development, said Francois Caza, the report's author.
It is also essential to enhance the ability of small and medium-sized suppliers to innovate.