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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

The sky’s the limit for UK aerospace and defence

01 January, 2015
New research conducted by Invest in Hampshire reveals that 93% of aerospace professionals expect the UK’s aerospace and defence industry to increase its current 20% share of the EU market within the next five years. Of those surveyed, more than half (58%) expected this growth to be by 5% or more.

According to the study by Invest in Hampshire, over a quarter (27%) of aerospace professionals felt the UK’s wealth of skills would be the biggest driver of industry growth. Strategic vision for aviation growth at national and regional levels (23%) and capital available for investment (22%) were also ranked as essential factors for increasing market share. A further 15% of those asked felt government support, such as enterprise zones would be a key catalyst for driving market share and 13% said the same about private sector innovation.


The research was conducted amongst 64 aerospace professionals at the Farnborough Airshow 2014, with additional information taken from ADS Group.


Key statistics:

  • 19% of the aerospace professionals asked ranked China as the country as offering the greatest growth opportunities for aerospace and aviation related exports from the UK within the next five years

  • This was closely followed by India, Brazil and the US

  • 93% of aerospace professionals predict a significant rise in UK’s share of the EU market

  • Skills and strategic vision expected to be the biggest accelerators of growth

According to the study, the UK currently boasts 2600 aerospace companies across all regions, with over 100,000 people directly employed in the industry.


Almost a fifth (19%) of the aerospace professionals asked ranked China as the country as offering the greatest growth opportunities for aerospace and aviation related exports from the UK within the next five years. This was closely followed by India (17%) - potentially due the rapid growth of the Chinese and Indian aviation industries in recent years. Brazil (7%), the US (7%) and France (4%) complete the top five.


Rob Watson, on behalf of Farnborough Aerospace Growth Forum, comments: “The findings highlight widespread confidence in the potential for the industry to continue its strong growth pattern.  The sector has been one of the fastest growing in the UK economy over the last five years and has contributed greatly to local economies and employment. This growth is sure to continue with strong global export demand and a sustained requirement for civil and commercial and defence aircraft. The newly established Farnborough Aerospace Growth Forum will help facilitate such expansion, with access to resources that can help companies to grow via financial support, industry advice and export guidance across the world.”

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