IMP Group is everywhere; on the Dalhousie campus, on Hammonds Plains Road, even at the Atlantica Hotel on Robie Street. They’re one of the largest businesses headquartered in Halifax- but do you really know anything about them? I spent a morning out at the airport learning more about IMP Aerospace. Carl Kumpic, the VP of International Marketing, had just returned from doing business in Brazil and was eager to give me the lowdown on one of Canada’s best managed companies.
A private, Canadian company with over 40 years experience in aerospace, aviation, hotels, offshore and real estate, IMP really do have their fingers in a lot of pies. Halifax plays host to their aerospace division headquarters, and there are approximately 1,500 people in our province working for them. Much of their business is province-centric; working closely with Halifax based educational institutions, government as well as local small businesses.
IMP Group has their corporate headquarters located in Halifax at the Armdale rotary. The Group comprises five primary divisions including Aviation, Healthcare (yes, healthcare!), CanJet Airlines, Commercial and Aerospace. A smart, well organized video helped me understand the nuts and bolts of IMP Aerospace- which is broken down into several operations including avionics, aerospace, components and machining divisions. In Halifax, the main bread and butter for IMP Aerospace is manufacturing and repair of military aircraft- including Sikorsky SeaKing and Agusta-Westland Cormorant helicopters, as well as the Lockheed Martin Aurora, with which I stood nose-to-nose on our tour later in the morning.
The Avionics division on Hammonds Plains Road maintains NASA certification for work on spacecraft systems and supports clients such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The Machining Division in Dartmouth does machine details for the new Continental business jet for Bombardier. The largest division is Aerospace, which holds the monopoly at nine facilities at the Halifax International airport. It’s fairly impressive that one of Canada’s largest aircraft engineering and maintenance operations is based here in our small but mighty city.
So why would a large company like IMP be a member of the Halifax Chamber? Well, having their aerospace headquarters here is a good starting place, and Carl Kumpic maintains they recognize the importance of supporting the local business community. IMP works closely with several local businesses, and they feel it’s important to be visible, and to take advantage of any opportunities to work with local small businesses. Also, several of IMP’s senior staffers have had a long involvement with the Chamber, including Julie Rehemtulla , Senior VP Corporate Services , who sat on the Chamber’s Board of Directors, and CEO Stephen Plummer, who is a past-chair of the Chamber Board and is still very active with the Chamber.
After the video, Carl introduced me to the Aerospace Division President David Gossen, an enthusiastic leader who was very encouraging of increasing the community awareness on the work IMP performs. From there Carl took me into two hangers, both of which housed huge intimidating aircraft like the Aurora and the Search and Rescue beauty, the CH-149 Cormorant. People in blue smocks were crawling in, on, and around these aircraft, taking them apart and inspecting for cracks, replacing wings and removing engines with incredible precision. Quite an impressive operation!
I thoroughly enjoyed my morning at IMP and wanted to stay and play amongst the planes. Carl jokingly offered that I could stay and work if I wanted- but I’m not Aircraft qualified, so I had to pass. It was indeed a pleasure to get to step inside one of Halifax’s most omnipresent businesses.