According to ADS Group’s CEO, Paul Everitt, this year’s Farnborough Airshow will see the organisation supporting its members, building successful strategies with Government, and delivering a Brexit deal that sustains the UK’s leading position in international aerospace.
This summer, the aerospace industry will gather for the Farnborough International Airshow, the 51st edition of what is now the UK’s biggest and most important trade show, again putting a global spotlight on our world-leading sector.
The 2018 Airshow sees us celebrate 70 years since the event moved to its long-term home. It has grown immensely since 1948 and today hosts 1,500 exhibitors from more than 50 countries. This year’s Airshow will be the most international show in our history, a global showcase for the UK as the world’s aviation industry comes to Farnborough to do business.
The Airshow will demonstrate the UK’s renowned strengths in innovation and emerging technologies in our Aerospace 4.0 zone, explore our fast-growing space sector, and inspire the next generation into an exciting career in engineering with thousands of young people expected to attend Futures Day. Visitors and exhibitors will benefit from the best ever facilities as our brand new permanent exhibition and conference centre, Hall 1, hosts its first Airshow. Opened earlier this year, the centre has already hosted a series of successful events and I look forward to welcoming our thousands of visitors through its doors in July.
This year’s Airshow comes at a time when the global aerospace sector is continuing to grow to meet demand for ever more technologically advanced and fuel-efficient aircraft. Last year saw another annual record in the number of aircraft delivered and we expect that this year will see that record broken once again as major manufacturers continue to set more ambitious targets, and companies in both the UK and global supply chain work hard to raise productivity to achieve these demanding goals.
Our ‘2018 Industry Facts & Figures’ published in May showed that UK aerospace has grown to an annual turnover of £35 billion in 2017, with £30 billion in exports. As the global aerospace industry grows, so too has the sector in the UK, with 39% growth recorded since 2012. This industry now directly employees 123,000 people in the UK, delivering high value jobs in every part of the country, while 3,900 apprentices show our investment in skills and the future of the sector.
The UK is playing a vital role in supporting continued global growth in aircraft production, and industrial strategy has proved to be one of our key strengths, with Government and industry working together through the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP) to continually improve our international competitiveness.
Successful initiatives include the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), launched five years ago in 2013, which is delivering an independent research programme backed by £3.9bn of joint industry and UK Government funding. The Sharing in Growth programme is helping to accelerate the growth and development of key UK supply chain companies, and the SC21 programme has established itself as a class-leader in achieving supply chain excellence.
As our sectors face the challenges posed by Brexit, participation in programmes like these is one of the most important steps a company can take to making sure it is well prepared and maximising its ability to compete in domestic and overseas markets. ADS is working to support our members across the UK aerospace sector in these markets, to build successful industrial strategies in partnership with Government, and deliver a Brexit deal that ensures a stable transition and sustains the UK’s leading position in international aerospace.
There is no doubt that as we look forward to July’s Farnborough Airshow the UK’s aerospace sector is well placed to showcase our world-leading innovation, experience and capability. It has never been more important to show that the UK is open for business and is ready to compete in the global marketplace. I look forward to welcoming the UK aerospace industry to the Airshow and hope that every exhibitor and visitor has a productive week.