Australia should have a greater slice of the global aerospace market and a new body is set to give local manufacturers a hand finding their place in the $50 billion industry.
The META National Commercial Aerospace Hub brings together manufacturing businesses and researchers, along with Aviation/Aerospace Australia and will hope to increase Australia’s share of the $50 billion global industry for metal aviation components from $200 million currently.
While the two big commercial aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus are undoubtedly important, as are the major makers of military aircraft such as Lockheed Martin, Aviation/Aerospace Australia deputy chairman Paul Fox says emerging programs such as COMAC in China also offer opportunities.
Fox, who will be the industry facilitator of the hub, says Australian manufacturers have the right skills, abilities and regulatory standards to capitalise on the aviation sector.
“Our manufacturers have a strong ability to innovate, solve complex problems and provide solutions for this burgeoning market,” Fox said.
Australia had about 800 companies in the aerospace sector generating annual turnover of about $4 billion, figures presented at the launch of the hub at the CAPA Australia Pacific aviation summit in Sydney on Thursday showed.
META managing director Zoran Angelkovski said the hub would help companies identify opportunities within the global aviation supply chain.
“The hub is not a talkfest,” Angelkovski said at the launch.
META was a network of manufacturers and researches working together to help firms become more globally competitive.
Angelkovski said although Australia had high-cost base, it was no barrier to success on the global stage, pointing to the likes of German and Switzerland who had found their place in the global aerospace industry.
Moreover, a collaborative forum or platform for manufacturers to find the right opportunities in the aviation sector may help open new jobs for skilled workers in Australia’s declining car-making sector.
Or it could help some firms diversify, as custom cables and harness assemblies maker Cablex has done.
“We already work across the defence, rail, telecommunications, aviation industries – so commercial aerospace is a natural progression for us,” Cablex chief operating officer Heidi Krebs said.