Aerospace Opportunities: Why You Need AS9100 to Help You Fly

AS9100 certification is a must have to enter the aerospace, defence and space sectors. The UK aerospace industry is second only to the United States. Civil aerospace turnover totalled over $45.5 billion in 2019. Ninety percent of UK aerospace production is exported. The UK has a reputation as a global centre of excellence for design, development and production of complex aircraft systems. As well as manufacturing, the UK has an extensive maintenance, repair and overhaul sector with employs over 50,000 people, turning over $195 billion. 

More than 3,000 aerospace companies operate in the UK. The industry has the largest number of SME companies in Europe. Despite continued global success of the UK aerospace industry, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a significant downturn in demand, particularly in within the civil aircraft sector. Companies who rely on aerospace for all of their business are facing significant hardships as production rates are reduces and orders cancelled. Unfortunately, some of these organisations will not survive the crisis. 

Opportunities with AS9100

The closure of these ill-fated companies does however provide opportunities for other businesses. Especially those wanting to diversify in the future. 

With vaccinations rolling out across the globe, the return of international travel looks likely over the next 12-18 months.  Boeing and Airbus will once again increase their production rates as the industry returns to normal. A backlog of orders already exists within the supply chain. Fulfilling these orders will be an increasing challenge for the UK supply chain – made worse by the pandemic.

Entering the aerospace market requires patience and investment. But there will be opportunities for those who want to diversify. Those wishing to take advantage will need to act quickly and be aware of the barriers to entry. Gaining certification to AS9100 will be key, and the first step in approaching aerospace companies as a supplier. 

For most aerospace businesses, AS9100 is an essential requirement. Most purchasing teams won\’t consider businesses without certification – even with high levels of quality, delivery performance or pricing. Even businesses who supply non-aircraft products, often find they need AS9100 before being considered. We have come across tool designers, chemical processing line manufacturers and even flight simulator companies who needed AS9100 approval to win work. 

Businesses can take advantage of opportunities arising in the aerospace sector, but they need to act quickly and prepare themselves now. Engaging with a good consultant can really help promote successful upgrading of your quality systems to the requirements of AS9100.

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