Outside the ancient Roman town of Evora in Portugal, a factory is nearing competion which could be the catalyst for the country's small band of aerospace companies to become a proper industrial cluster - a smaller version of their near neighbours in Seville in Spain.
Embraer's plant will be the airframer's first overseas manufacturing plant proper (it assembles aircraft in China and Florida), although it does partly-own the OGMA MRO and sub-assembly facility in Lisbon. The Brazilian company does not have the global manufacturing footprint of its rival Bombardier, which, thanks partly to acquisitions over the decades, has factories as far apart as Mexico, Montreal, Witchita and Northern Ireland.
I visited Evora and Lisbon this week and spoke to both Embraer and many of Portugal's aerospace companies about their hopes for creating a supply chain within Portugal for the first time. Our Portugal special will appear in our first issue of 2012, out on 10 January.