A proud Canadian pioneer in the civil and commercial RPAS industry, Alma’s CED is a community of interest operating on an international scale.

Our origin

Our history:
A partnership
Although we have been working since 2008 to complete the project in collaboration with industry, various government departments and local, regional and provincial communities, Alma’s Unmanned Aerial System Centre of Excellence (UAS Centre of Excellence) was launched in May 2011 with the active participation of CAE as a founding partner.
From project to reality:
The CED complex comes to life
In 2014, Alma Airport was awarded a $2.5million grant from Canada Economic Development for the construction of the building and hangar, while the CED (the UAS Centre of Excellence) received a $220,000 grant from Québec’s Ministère des Affaires Municipales, des Régions et de l'Occupation du Territoire (MAMROT) for the extension of the infrastructure needed to construct the building. In total, $4.3 million was invested in 2013-2014 on the CED site.

In 2016, as part of Québec's Aerospace Strategy, the provincial government recognized the importance of the CED by providing $1million over 5 years for the deployment of an ecosystem dedicated to civil drones, and $800,000 for the creation of a test centre for the pre-qualification of drone systems, which was renamed the Qualia Test Centre in 2018. In the same year, under the management of the CED, the Government of Québec formalized the creation of a Niche of Excellence in Civil and Commercial RPAS.   

In 2019, the Government of Canada and the City of Alma announced their commitment to build the test site by contributing $800,000 each.
Who are we:
A community committed to RPAS
The CED is a community of interests and a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop, manage and promote a range of expertise, services and skills in the RPAS sector. Our headquarters are located at the airport in Alma (QC), but we offer services on an international level:
A thriving Canadian and international market
An industry created to develop technologies for civil and commercial services
RPAS regulations written at a state level
A shaping of public opinion
An ideal time to develop a range of services tailored to users and developers for civil and commercial RPAS services and technologies
An industry that needs a R&D centre for flight and ground tests

Our vision, mission and values

Be the main Canadian reference and a world leader in the field of civil and commercial RPAS applications.
Develop an international centre of expertise, innovation and services in the design, operations and applications of RPAS.
Community spirit

Our objectives

an international centre of expertise offering, directly or indirectly (through various partners) a complete range of services such as:
  • manufacturing
  • research and development
  • ground/flight testing
  • training, counselling
  • maintenance and operations in areas such as platforms, payloads, RPAS parts and components, and dedicated infrastructures
a superior research and testing site including infrastructure, facilities, instruments and airspace to facilitate innovation.
Initiate or foster
the development of industry initiatives, ensuring they meet market needs and the requirements of related services.
the development of Canadian regulations by being a key player in the representation of the RPAS industry, in the dissemination of information to civil society and in the innovation of procedures.

Our spheres of action

The activities of the CED are managed by a board of directors and a management office that oversees the development and growth of five (5) spheres of action. These make up the CED’s overall offer of services and are managed directly (with the Centre acting as the main service provider) or indirectly (with the CED sub-contracting out service delivery to a recognized and certified partner) by our various members and partners, allowing for directclient-partner relationships.
These fields of action are:
  • Maintenance & Operations
  • Ground/flight testing
  • Training
  • Manufacturing
  • Research and development