A Unique Quebec Project

The Québec Aerospace Museum (QAM) is a non-profit organization established in August 2018 with the mission of preserving and promoting aerospace heritage in all its forms.

In this capacity, the society is now developing plans to establish an innovative aviation and space museum at Saint-Hubert Airport, located 12 km east of downtown Montreal, Quebec.

The Montreal metropolitan area is home to one of the world’s leading aeronautical manufacturing and innovation hubs, with five world-leading aerospace companies having major manufacturing and R&D centres here – Bombardier Aerospace, Airbus, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Bell Helicopter, CAE – and Montreal also the headquarters of Air Canada and the Canadian Space Agency.

However, apart from the Montreal Aviation Museum in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue – a QAM partner – there are no major air and space museums in the region.

The three founding members of the Québec Aerospace Museum, from left to right: Pierre Gillard (Director of Operations and Secretary), Gilbert McCauley (President) and Éric Tremblay (Treasurer).

Filling an Important Gap

There is an important gap that needs to be filled when it comes to the promotion of aerospace trades in Quebec between the virtual promotion of careers by industry organizations like Aéro Montréal and CAMAQ and the youth outreach programs conducted by technical schools.

Workforce studies indicate that young people start to consider careers in aviation when they are teenagers and it’s important for the aviation industry to engage young people as early as possible.

Aviation museums around the world already play an important role promoting aviation careers and STEM education and QAM can provide this missing link in Quebec. This could be achieved, for example, by creating interactive, educational and fun activities that arouse the interest of younger generations in flying and the aerospace industry.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC is an example to follow and a source of inspiration for the QAM.

Full Member of the Industry

The Québec Aerospace Museum plans to become a full member of the Quebec and Canadian aerospace industry and is already attracting leaders and volunteers from across the industry.

This will require greater integration and participation by the Museum in the activities of associations and groups across the aviation and aerospace ecosystem and Aéro Montréal cluster.

The QAM is already a member of the Canadian Aeronautical Preservation Association (CAPA) which represents all aviation museums in Canada and the Canadian Aviation Historical Society (CAHS), which is Canada’s oldest aviation heritage organization. In 2020, the MAQ entered into a collaborative partnership with the Montreal Aviation Museum located in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue that will support the growth of both organizations. The museum is also a member of Volunteer Canada.

Flight simulation is an important part of the aerospace industry in Quebec. The QAM must reserve the place it deserves.

Growing the Business

While the Québec Aerospace Museum does not yet have a physical exhibition space, it is building relationships with all the stakeholders required to achieve this goal. For example, QAM, has been asked to join a team proposing the establishment of an aerospace innovation and excellence centre in the Montreal area.

Currently, one of the Museum’s top priorities is to increase its visibility. To this end, it is advocating that the annual Aerospace Heritage Day held in collaboration with the City of Longueuil be expanded. Other mainstream activities, such as “Introduction to Aerospace Days,” will be organized once the Covid-19 pandemic has passed.

Further updates to the QAM website are also planned to make it more visually attractive and interactive. The digital communications strategy also calls for the production of regular podcasts highlight the aviation history of Quebec and its pioneers.

The Canadian Space Agency booth attracted interest from visitors on Aerospace Heritage Day.

A Major Attraction

The greater Montreal region is one of the world’s major aerospace centers, and the establishment of local air and space museum has the potential to become a significant tourist attraction. Here are some well-known international museum attendance figures (before the COVID crisis):

• Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA): 500,000 visitors per year.

• Imperial War Museum (Duxford): 400,000 visitors per year.

• Air and Space Museum (Le Bourget): 300,000 visitors per year.

• Aéroscopia (Toulouse): more than 200,000 visitors per year.

Just imagine the direct and indirect returns to the Longueuil region of an air and space museum at Saint-Hubert Airport.

Of course, other major aerospace centres like Seattle and Toulouse have had a head start, but a Montreal museum with a similar aerospace industry focus will almost certainly attract many local and international visitors over a 10- to 20-year development phase.

Air and Space museums are very popular with tourists and the general public. Pictured is the Air Mobility Command Museum at Dover AFB, Delaware.

Health and Safety

The safety of our members, who are all volunteers, is without compromise. To this end, the QAM makes regular payments to the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), which represents regular business expense.

In addition, the QAM has its own trainers authorized to give general training and also specialized health and safety at work training such as Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).

First aid training is also provided to volunteers.

Finally, the QAM has its own first aid resources and basic emergency equipment.

Workplace health and safety training is provided internally for the benefit of QAM members.



Dernière mise à jour/Last update : 11-12-2023.

© Pierre GILLARD, Pierre MÉNARD & Kenneth I. SWARTZ