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French contract propels MDS Aero into repair, overhaul sector

The head of one of Ottawa’s largest aerospace firms says a recently signed $30-million contract with Air France Industries gives the local company a foothold in a field traditionally dominated by its competitors.

MDS Aero Support Corp. designs and supplies test facilities and systems for gas turbine engines used by aviation, industrial and marine customers.

Officials at the 25-year-old company say they hold a dominant market position in the engine manufacturing industry, counting Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce and Siemens among its major customers.

However, the deal with Air France Industries is a “prestigious” contract that company officials hope will help MDS Aero win more business in the maintenance sector.

“It really put us on the map in the repair and overhaul field”, said company president and CEO Kevin Fitzgerald.

“(The contract) completes our market offering in the aviation space”, he added in an interview Tuesday. It followed a press conference featuring federal politicians, there to tout the industrial benefits of Canada’s participation in the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program.

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