Next time you get on an aeroplane – have a think. There’s a good chance that a part of it was made in Northern Ireland. Now those chances are about to get even better!
At the recent Farnborough Air Show in Hampshire, it was announced that five of Northern Ireland’s biggest aerospace companies are joining forces to operate under a single brand – Causeway Aero.
Moyola Precision Engineering, Denroy Plastics, BASE (design), Dontaur Precision Engineering and Hutchinson Aerotech all operate separately and already form part of the supply chains for aerospace giants Bombardier and Airbus.
The birth of Causeway Aero see’s all of their expertise brought together in order to pursue larger and more complexed orders in the international market.
The move already looks to have paid off according to John Rainey from Causeway Aero.
“We are delighted with the interest and engagement of new and potential customers to date.
“As a result of a National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme Research & Development grant offered by Invest Northern Ireland, we are working to deliver new aircraft galley technology to one of Europe’s leading aerospace interior companies.” John Rainey, Causeway Aero.
Northern Ireland is currently Europe’s eighth largest aerospace region in terms of revenue, something that Economy minister, Simon Hamilton thinks this move will help improve.
“Northern Ireland is a global leader in aerospace technology with every major commercial aircraft programme depending on structures, components and expert services from our local supply base.”
“This exciting new venture aligns with the Northern Ireland Aerospace Partnering for Growth Strategy, where local companies committed to doubling the size of the aerospace sector to £2 billion sales annually and increasing employment from 8,000 to 12,000 by 2024,” said Mr Hamilton.
There are around 60 other companies in Northern Ireland producing parts and supplying services for the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers.
One of the biggest jobs they’ve been involved in recently has been the production of the wings for Bombardier’s new C–series range which made it’s first passenger flight on 15 July 2016 at the Farnborough Air Show.
The Canadian company has been operating in Northern Ireland since it’s takeover of Short Brothers aircraft manufacturing company in 1989.
The news will be a boost to Bombardier who employ around 4,000 workers across four sites in Northern Ireland – east Belfast, Newtownabbey, Newtownards and Dunmurry.