Isle of Man News - POSTED Wed 03-08-2011

Latest Aerospace Cluster Forum Attracts High Calibre Speakers

by Anna Hemy

Representatives of the Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster (IOMAC) recently held their 14th Forum, with a variety of high calibre speakers updating them on latest industry developments.

Martin Wright, CEO of the North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA) of which the Cluster forms a part, kicked off proceedings with an overview of issues affecting the NWAA. His colleague, Malachy O’Connor then provided a demonstration of NWAA’s Global Benchmarking Model which will help member firms plan their supply chain relationship strategy more effectively.

Specialist consultant, Clive Lewis, then offered his views on the next 20 years in the aerospace sector and how growth is expected to be significant especially in Asia and in particular, China. Up until 2029 it is expected that $1600Bn worth of orders for new commercial aircraft are expected from this region alone.

David Vellupillai, Marketing Director, Corporate Jets, for Airbus, reinforced this by highlighting Airbus’s expected order book for the next few years. David had taken time out from a holiday to present at the event.

NASA astronaut Nicole Stott also took time out from her holiday to provide a fascinating insight into the final mission of the Space Shuttle, Discovery. As a graduate of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the USA she was well placed to converse with delegates on the more technical aspects of the Shuttle’s mission and capabilities.

Minister for Economic Development, Allan Bell MHK, commented: “I’m delighted to see that the Forums are continuing to attract such high quality speakers. The Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster has been one of our success stories over the past few years and my Department is focussed on continually developing this area of the economy. Coupled with our existing global blue-chip client base, it means we should be well-placed to help service the expected significant growth in commercial aircraft over the next few years.”

Department member with responsibility for manufacturing, Alex Downie OBE MLC commented: “July was a busy month for aerospace-related activity with the Cluster Forum occurring the same week as the very successful aviation conference where the Aerospace Cluster was highlighted as a great example of how the department works in tandem with industry to drive business to the Island.”

Adrian Moore, Chair of IOMAC, added: “We see real value from holding these quarterly forums and they continue to be effective in ensuring that Cluster Members are kept right up to date with what is going on in their industry, as well as providing an opportunity for members to meet.”


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