On June 15 the United Arab Emirates took an important step towards the development of a major aerospace centre, with the signing of an agreement between the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) and the Bavarian aerospace cluster bavAIRia. The agreement sets the foundation to develop what the two parties call: “a mutually beneficial aerospace partnership between both regions.” The deal was signed by HE Fahed Al Shamesi on behalf of Khalifa Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Chairman of ADAC, and Dr Martin Haunschild, President of bavAIRia, in presence the Bavarian Minister for Economic Affairs, Infrastructure and Technology Katja Hassel at a special ceremony held at Le Bourget Airport during the Paris Air Show.
The twin cluster agreement will support the development of Al Ain Aerospace cluster located adjacent to Al Ain International Airport. Central to the twin cluster agreement concept are its so-called joint teams. These have been established to explore joint business opportunities within key areas of common interest including technology fields such as aero engines, aero structures, VIP interiors, satellite navigation applications, education and training. For each of these technology fields, a joint team has already been or will be established and consist of the respective leading Bavarian aerospace companies as well as organisations of the United Arab Emirates. The Joint team for the aero engine MRO & small parts manufacturing sector includes companies such as Atena, Aerotech Peissenberg, FAG Aerospace and MTU Aero Engines, while that for aerostructures includes MT Aerospace, RUAG Aerospace and SGL Carbon. The agreement will also be supported by a joint ADAC-bavAIRia steering committee to facilitate the flow of knowledge and investment across the two regions.
HE Khalifa Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Chairman of ADAC, said:
“The signing of the twin ship agreement with the Bavarian Aerospace cluster is a monumental step forward for both the free state of Bavaria and for the UAE. German aerospace companies want to expand their global presence and reduce their manufacturing costs, increase their profitability and compete in the global economy. On the other hand, Al Ain aerospace industry is at its infancy, the costs are low and the business environment is globalised and well funded.
“We hope that through this historic twin cluster agreement, we not only help us to achieve our strategic goals, but allow the companies of Bavaria to expand their international presence and successfully compete in the global economy.
“Given the small size of our population and the standard of living in the UAE, it becomes clear that our diversification strategy must cover high value-add, science and technology based sectors such as aerospace manufacturing. Add to that the fact that we hold one of the largest aircraft procurement programs in the world, it is no wonder that the government has identified the aerospace sector as one of its strategic investment targets.”
Together with the Government of Abu Dhabi, ADAC has committed to what it describes as: “key economic enablers” to support the development at Al Ain. These are stated to include the control of inflation and base cost within the cluster, to provide a moderate cost of doing business with long-term predictability; the provision of a competitive and efficient business and legislative environment that allows for full foreign ownership, and the freedom of labour movement.