Andrew Douse

A trio of consortia are teaming up to send out a single message to the smaller British companies here at Farnborough.

The 'minnows' are being urged to join forces so that they can survive in an aerospace industry that is consolidating at a rapid pace in Europe and the USA.

The advice is being dealt out jointly by the West of England Aerospace Forum, the Farnborough Aerospace Consortium (FAC) and the Consortium of Lancashire Aerospace (CLA).

The three consortia recognise that major suppliers are all seeking to minimise their internal costs of supply chain management, so they are using Farnborough as a stage to spread the word.

On Thursday, the CLA hosts a ground-breaking conference that will bring together all the key aerospace supply chains in Europe for the first time.

Paul Hughes from the CLA says: "Delegates from regional aerospace consortia in the UK and Northern Ireland, along with those throughout Europe, including Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland will attend the conference.

"They will be reviewing the need for restructuring of the European aerospace industry and its likely effects on the supply chains, particularly on the small to medium sized companies."

Phil Williams from the West of England Aerospace Forum says: "We have set up a stand at Farnborough (Hall 1) which brings together more than a dozen small and medium-sized British businesses.

"On their own, they wouldn't be able to meet the cost.

"Our objective now is to get them working together and marketing themselves at Europe's leading airshow."

David Seall from the FAC says: "We have grown considerably since our launch in 1996, both in size and scope of our activities.

"With more than 200 members, we are now broadening our capability to include aspects such as airport design and computer software."

Source: Flight Daily News