Well, the dust has settled and the figures are in. The Farnborough International Airshow 2010 – the world’s largest trade event for the aerospace sector – saw $47 billion of business announced, 120,000 trade visitors and 108,000 public visitors.
The aerospace industry needs a showcase like this to demonstrate the giant leaps it is making in environmental and commercial fields on behalf of UK plc.
Boeing boasts the Dreamliner is its most fuel-efficient airliner, and the world’s first major airliner to use composite materials for the majority of its construction. Airbus also reports that the A380 is actually one of the quietest long-range aircraft in the world, despite its size, and has a very low fuel consumption. Plus, because of its sheer size, it can potentially carry more passengers and thus carry out less journeys.
The aerospace giants know they must do their bit for the environment, and make it known to the world that this is being done, and they need to showcase the technology in order to achieve this in the first place. It is then that it is possible to communicate the groundbreaking steps being taken in terms of the environment.
For an industry that has previously been under-marketed in relation to its importance – the UK’s is the leading aerospace industry in Europe and second to the US globally – it deserves support from its own community at a time when it is also under review as part of defence spending cuts.
The facts and figures speak for themselves: More than 2,600 high-value manufacturers and other companies providing jobs for more than 100,000 employees, revenue up 5.4 per cent over the last year to £11.6 billion and exports responsible for 70 per cent of turnover. All this against the backdrop of a world recession.
For anyone who still thinks ‘manufacturing is dead’ I would invite them to Lancashire to take a look at the hundreds of businesses working to support the likes of BAE Systems and Rolls Royce, who in turn employ thousands.
At Freshfield, we are proud to provide the public relations function for the North West Aerospace Alliance, the largest organisation of its kind in Europe representing hundreds of member companies in the supply chain, contributing over £6 billion pound to the UK economy in total. Surely the NWAA – and the wider advanced manufacturing industry which makes up the aviation sector – deserves marketing properly as we strive to emerge out of recession.
The benefits of the marketing of Farnborough are borne out by the investments and commitments made. This not only helps to showcase the industry to the UK and overseas investors but also to those young people with the skills who are so important to the future and will sustain the industry at a time of great need.
Long live marketing, and long live Farnborough.