The UK aerospace sector experienced a surprisingly solid start to 2017. Scratch that. Soaring figures show it actually experienced an excellent first quarter, especially compared with the same period in 2016.
According to City A.M., the value of aircraft deliveries to the UK reached an unprecedented £6.5bn in the first quarter of 2017, up £1bn from the first quarter of 2016. Orders have risen over 40% for the first quarter year-on-year, and delivery rates are 15% higher than five years ago.
Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of ADS, the trade Organisation for companies in the UK aerospace, defence, security and space sectors, believes this growth is because: “Global demand is driving production rates higher and UK expertise is delivering essential components and technologies.”
Having seen this growth first-hand, we certainly agree with Paul. With some of the world’s biggest aerospace manufacturers based here, in addition to around 280 other dedicated aerospace companies, and an unrivalled supply chain, the UK is helping to lead the way – both in terms of output and technological development.
Things may get even better as space tourism begins to take off. A report by Santander and manufacturing organisation EEF claims demand for high-tech parts for spacecraft and rockets will continue to fuel the sector’s rise.
While space tourism is currently in its infancy, it represents a growing market and opportunity for the UK aerospace industry and its supply chain. And although there may be risks ahead as we enter a brave new world, the sector is well positioned to harness upcoming challenges and position itself as a global powerhouse in the long term – whether that’s in this world or another.