Media Release: Major aerospace conference takes off

A MAJOR conference on the future of aerospace will examine the potential of the sector to deliver future economic growth across the UK

Aerospace is a huge global industry and Michael Moore, Secretary of State for Scotland, will talk about the UK Government’s ambitious £2 billion partnership with industry launched earlier this year, designed to capture greater share of global aerospace business for the UK.

Mr Moore will explain how the strategy Lifting Off: Implementing The Strategic Vision for UK Aerospace - aims to keep the UK at the forefront of world aerospace manufacturing, secure large numbers of high-value UK jobs and exploit rapid changes in technology to stay ahead of competitors. Fergus Ewing, Minister forEnterprise, will outline the Scottish Government’s vision for the aerospace industry’s future.

Leading aerospace companies are well-represented, with a panel discussion on the view from the industry. The panel includes Scott McLarty, vice-president UK Operations for event sponsor, Spirit AeroSystems, Alan Fraser, managing director, BAE Systems Regional Aircraft and Jim Houston, general manager, Woodward.

Another major industry player, Belfast-based Bombardier, is represented by director of design engineering and technology development, Gavin Campbell, who will talk about a key plank of the new government-industry strategy, the Aerospace Technology Institute.

The conference will be held at the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) building at Prestwickand the site’s operations director, Alastair Muir, will speak about the next generation of innovation and development in air traffic services.

Professor Richard Brown of the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Future Air-Space Transportation Technology will also look ahead to the exciting changes coming in the sector, while Murdo Morrison, editor of the highly-respected publication Flight International, will give his expert overview of the sector. Sooh Sweeney will discuss the importance of skills and training to deliver a future workforce for the sector.

The event will be chaired by business writer, Ken Symon, who has a particular interest in aviation, and opened by the Provost of South Ayrshire, Councillor Helen Moonie, who will highlight the significance of the aerospace industry, which employs close to 10,000 people in the Prestwick area.

David Lee, of event organiser TheScotsman Conferences, said: “The aim of the conference is to highlight the significance of the aerospace sector to theUKandScotland, which is often undervalued, and to look at how it might continue to prosper within the context of the new UK Aerospace Strategy – and as part of a major global industry. We will look at innovation, technology and investment as well as key areas likeResearch& Development, skills’ training and the important relationship between government and industry and how that can thrive.

“We are delighted that a major business like Spirit AeroSystems has agreed to sponsor the event and the opportunity to host the conference in NATS’ exceptional new building.”

The conference is part of a major event, Prestwick World Festival of Flight 2013, which also includes an air show, static displays, a film and book festival, drama and art exhibitions. Festival organiser Angela Wrapson said: “The Festival celebrates a century of aviation atPrestwick, linking in its great heritage with its enormous future potential. The conference is an important part of the festival, allowing government, industry, academia and other interested parties to map out a successful future for the sector in Scotland and the UK as part of the global aerospace industry.”

* A £5 donation from every conference ticket will be made to the Festival of Flight charity, The Prestwickbranch The Royal Air Forces Association

* For more information and to book see: or call on 0131 620 8212.

* Link to Festival of Flight website:

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Contact: Greig Porter
Phone: 01316208212