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Farnborough: Aerospace helping with coronavirus fight

By Dan Teuton
24 April 2020

The aerospace sector has swung into action to help the country fight coronavirus, proving its worth to the nation, according to the Farnborough Aerospace Consortium (FAC).

Its members and others in the sector and its supply chain have utilised their skills and knowledge in an effort of collaboration not seen since the war.

Designers, engineers and other experts have re-deployed their computers, software, workshops and factories to make what was required following official government appeals.

However, the FAC is warning that the sector is facing an uncertain future because the aerospace industry was one of the first and hardest hit – and this will impact on everybody.

David Barnes, chief executive of FAC, said: “People read the headlines about airlines being in difficulty, but often don’t understand the knock-on effects.

“Our aerospace industry is centered in the south and south-east and it provides work and jobs for thousands of businesses, many small and medium sized enterprises.

“These business are an important part of their local economies, employing many people who are highly skilled and trained in their fields.

“The aerospace sector has proven its worth to the country in this crisis, as I was always confident it would. It has unquestionably been shown to be a national asset.

“Now is the time for the government to consider additional help for the sector, in order to assist these important businesses and their staff.

“It must also not be forgotten that many of our members are continuing to work in order to provide other essential items unrelated to the coronavirus.

“These businesses have had to re-organise to stay within guidelines, but have managed to keep production going.

“Design, innovation and manufacture are crucial for the economy’s recovery and their future has to be secured.”

Among FAC members are STI, which joined the VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium, to help provide medical staff with enough specialist equipment.

FAC has backed and donated to Scrubs-4 NHS, which has already shot past its target of raising £10,000.

And another member, Farnborough College of Technology, has provided material and financial support for PPE.

Also, Barnbrook Systems and FliteTrack have been involved in the production of important components.

Many other members have thrown themselves into the fight against coronavirus which has led to the biggest impact on the nation’s economy since the war.

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