The new chief executive of the Farnborough Aerospace Consortium (FAC) has set out his vision for the trade body as it helps members recover post-COVID.
Alan Fisher is a 35-year veteran of the sector and has taken over from his long-standing predecessor David Barnes.
The consortium is one of the oldest aerospace and defence trade body in the UK and is centred in the south and south-east where the heart of the industry is based.
Its members, which come from across the country and abroad, benefit in a number of practical ways.
Mr Fisher said: “Our industry was one of the hardest hit by COVID but it shows the value of FAC that we actually increased our membership during the pandemic. As we emerge globally from the lockdowns and other restrictions our aim is to do our bit to ensure this region and country remains in a leading position.
“Our members include some of the largest companies in the sector, but most are small and medium size enterprises.
“At our conference before Christmas, zero-carbon flight was something everyone was talking about and the technology to achieve this is what many businesses are working towards. We will continue to liaise with the government about its ‘fly-zero’ strategy and fight for funding for our members and identify new funding streams. Delivering the government’s aerospace and defence strategy is also something that we will be focusing on.
“Although we had many online networking events during the pandemic we will be holding more physical events at which people can meet in person. Attendance at more shows will also be important as we go forward – the biggest of course being the Farnborough Air Show which is scheduled for July. We will have a large stand along with many of our members and this event will be an indicator of how the international aerospace recovery is going. Other air, manufacturing and technology shows and expos will be important through the year and we’ll have a presence at them.
“Another focus will be forging new links with other trade bodies here and abroad, particularly in Europe and the US.
“Improved productivity and increased skills are things I particularly want to focus on, especially future skills that the sector and the country will require.
“Everything we aim to do will be built on the foundations of my predecessor David Barnes and we have a great team and are in a superb position to grow and add more value to our members.”