Premier Christy Clark tries out a tilting helicopter seat while touring Alpine Aerotech with Simon Konte on Friday during a launch celebration for the newly expanded 18,000-square-foot facility in West Kelowna.
"It's like an NDP budget," says the Liberal leader with a laugh.
She pushes the lever and the seat returns to upright.
"That's nice - balanced like a Liberal budget," she adds with another smile.
The premier attended the grand opening Friday afternoon of Alpine Aerotech in West Kelowna, checking out where the company makes so-called long line helicopter seats that allow pilots to tilt to look out the window without having to unbuckle.
Alpine also makes 29 other components and parts for Bell helicopters, ranging from floor and wall panels and exhaust ducts to brackets, handles, lights and mirrors.
Most of the parts go to a Bell Helicopters assembly plant in Quebec, but they are also shipped to helicopter operators around the world.
"We're a global company," said Alpine Aerotech president Jim Campbell.
"We may not be well known locally, but we're well known in the international helicopter community."
Clark is the MLA for Westside-Kelowna, so she made a point to be at the grand opening.
"I'm so proud of what you're doing here," she said.
"Thanks for your contribution to British Columbia. Facilities like this see more people go to work every day."
The new 18,000-square-foot building at 1435 Stevens Rd. in the West Kelowna Business Park was built specifically for Alpine Aerotech's manufacturing by Kelowna-based Argus Properties.
Previously, Alpine Aerotech's maintenance, repair, overhaul, research and development and manufacturing functions were all crammed into its 59,000-square-foot plant at 1260 Industrial Rd.
Moving the manufacturing to a separate space relieves the congestion and allows Alpine to grow all sectors of the business and add to its workforce of 110.
Alpine Aerotech should not be confused with Alpine Helicopters, which runs copters out of its headquarters in front of Aerotech's Industrial Road location.
Alpine Helicopters operates aircraft for forest-fire prevention and firefighting, sightseeing, heli-skiing operations and corporate lease.
However, the two companies do share some ownership.
Alpine Aerotech is wholly owned by IntraWest, which is best known for developing resort properties.
Alpine Helicopters is owned 20 per cent by IntraWest and 80 per cent by management.
While in the Okanagan Friday, Premier Clark also visited Britco in Penticton for the announcement that the company's Langley headquarters and Penticton plant will make $100 million worth of modular housing for Devon Energy workers in northern Alberta.
She finished up the day socializing at Okanagan College's 50th-anniversary party at the Kelowna campus.
Clark also will be the guest speaker at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting Monday in Kelowna.