Kelowna's KF Aerospace Centre For Excellence a go despite struggling airline industry | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna's KF Aerospace Centre For Excellence a go despite struggling airline industry

A rendering of the KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence
Image Credit: KF Aerospace
September 21, 2020 - 7:00 PM

Construction is expected to start in January on a $25 million Okanagan air museum, hanger and conference centre in Kelowna.

It will be called the KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence.

It was supposed to be launched on March 25 of this year to mark the company’s 50th anniversary but because of COVID-19 that got delayed.

READ MORE: Kelowna airport set for $25M exhibition centre

It’s expected to open on March 25, 2022, the company’s 52nd anniversary, Paula Quinn, the centre’s executive director told today, Sept. 21.

The 50,000 square foot building is shaped like an airplane and was originally supposed to include 15,000 square feet of training space for Okanagan College’s aircraft maintenance engineering programs.

Since the initial announcement in June 2019, the college pulled out and decided to keep its courses in Vernon, Quinn said.

“It’s been in the works for nearly eight years now,” Quinn said. “We’ve been planning this for a long, long time. (Company founder) Mr. (Barry) Lapointe set it up as a not-for-profit to be able to build this and we are moving ahead with it because it will be a benefit for the community.”

A key component of the centre will be the museum which will focus on the history of aviation in Okanagan.

Despite the loss of Okanagan College and the fact that the aviation industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, the building design will stay the same.

A development permit application was filed with the city of Kelowna last week.

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