Scotland's aerospace industry is to get its own lobbying voice for the first time. The Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) is setting up a Scottish office to represent the 140 companies north of the border in the aerospace and defence sectors.

Scotland is the only key aerospace region in the UK without its own industry grouping. Other areas, such as the north-west, west, Midlands and south-east of England, as well as Northern Ireland, have established their own associations, independent of the SBAC. An attempt four years ago to set up a trade body – the Scottish Aerospace Consortium – foundered.

However, the fact that Scotland has its own devolved government with its own industrial policy has prompted the London-based SBAC to fill the gap. It is recruiting a director to build relations with the Scottish parliament and economic development agency Scottish Enterprise, and provide services to member companies.

SBAC director general Dr Sally Howes says: "Scotland is at the heart of the aerospace and defence industries. It has a highly skilled workforce, excellent research teams and has a record of attracting major international investments. SBAC Scotland will support local companies and help them to compete even more effectively in an increasingly global marketplace."

Scotland's aerospace businesses – which include BAE Avionics, Goodrich, Raytheon, Rolls-Royce and Thales – are mostly located in the industrial central belt and employ 30,000 people. Aberdeen is also a centre for North Sea oil helicopter transport operations.

Source: Flight International