Progressive Air

In the blood

The aircraft industry is in the blood of Brian Barron. His father worked as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer for Canadian Pacific Air Lines before it eventually merged into Air Canada. Brian eventually carried on the tradition.

Brian was born at Royal Alec Hospital in Edmonton where, coincidently, so was his future wife June.


Brian moved to Kamloops with his parents in 1958. His dad started Kamloops Air Services Ltd. and Brian worked at the company part-time throughout elementary and high school, and in summer full-time. He left NorKam Secondary before graduating to try various jobs in Alberta but returned to NorKam to finish high school and return working for his father.

Progressive Air and its affiliates have grown from humble beginnings of supplying aircraft engines and parts worldwide. They now employ from 30 to 40 staff in their modern 15,000 square foot facility near Kamloops airport.

 Left: Brian (right) and employees of Progressive Air Photo submitted

Brian graduated from BCIT as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer and later took correspondence courses and various upgrading in the U.S. to add to his Transport Canada AME Category "A" license. After working at his father's company from 1966 to 1969, he continued to gain experience at West Coast Air Services until 1974. Then Brian purchased his dad's company with two partners and a year later started Progressive Air Services Ltd.

Meanwhile, June had also moved to Kamloops where she met Brian. They and their two children, Steven and Jolene, moved to Rue Chez Nous in 1976.

At first Progressive Air was in the business of airframe overhauling but expanded into the parts distribution business. In the 1980s and 1990s, the company became the parent company for ProAero Engines Inc. and Aero Sport Power. ProAero performs maintenance on commercial aircraft engines and Aero Sport buys engine kits and builds the engines from scratch to exact specifications. Progressive Air in Kamloops is the second largest distributor in North America and Aero Sport is the largest experimental engine builder.



   Above: Brian discusses repair of intake manifold.
  photo: David Charbonneau