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Aerotec Engines: The sky's the limit

Sunday, September 1, 2019

An NSBI pilot project has led to spectacular growth for Aerotec Engines.

Scale-Up Hub Cambridge, a 2018 pilot in Massachusetts, was designed to help high-tech, innovative companies tap into northeastern U.S. markets. Aerotec, based in Beaver Bank, overhauls and repairs piston engines in planes such as Cessnas and Pipers owned by fight schools, commercial operators and private pilots. 

“In 12 months, we generated an additional $1.2 million in sales,” says Phil Burchinshaw, Aerotec’s director of sales and marketing. “We acquired 15 new customers in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, including the biggest flight school in New England.”

During the pilot project, Aerotec maintained an office on the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA. Part of the added value for companies participating in the pilot, was working with a consultant on the ground that was retained by NSBI to drive leads and sales for participating companies. Working with NSBI, Consultant Christine Carr of Launch Mechanics, the Canadian Consulate, and aviation specialists, Aerotec reached out to prospects across New England, and began building a connected network.

“It was hugely successful,” Burchinshaw says. “We told our story, how Aerotec was founded 22 years ago by Jason Crowell, starting with one engine in a tiny hangar at the airport. Now we have over 10,000 square feet and own over 100 engines – which is part of what makes us unique. Overhauling an engine takes four to eight weeks, and for flight schools, having an aircraft down means lost income. At Aerotec, we build up one of our engines for the customer ahead of when they need it and swap the engines out on exchange.

“The entire team at NSBI helped us,” he adds. “What’s beautiful is that they see where we are and where we can go. They introduced us to the Export Growth Program that helps fund travel. Last year I covered 60,000–70,000 kilometres all over New England, meeting with customers and prospects. It was fantastic.”

The best thing about doing business from Nova Scotia is the people, the can-do attitude, and the location, Burchinshaw believes. “Geographically, we’re closer to New England than to Ontario.”

“We have the potential to be one of the biggest in the world, and we wouldn’t be where we are now if it weren’t for NSBI.” 

He expects Aerotec Engines to be number one in Canada by volume this year. “This is an established market, but Aerotec is just blowing the doors off,” he says. “We have the potential to be one of the biggest in the world, and we wouldn’t be where we are now if it weren’t for NSBI.” 


Does your business plan include travel outside of Nova Scotia? Reach out to a Regional Business Development Advisor and learn how the Export Growth Program can help grow your business.