Companies come together to forge aircraft parts alliance
Five Northern Ireland companies are to collaborate in the design and manufacture of cutting-edge aircraft parts.
Causeway Aero will bring together BASE, Denroy Plastics, Moyola Precision Engineering, Dontaur Precision Engineering and Hutchinson Aerotech under one brand to offer full design and manufacturing for international aerospace companies.
Local firms across the country have committed to doubling the size of the industry to £2 billion sales each year and increasing employment to 12,000 in less than a decade.
Economy Minister Simon Hamilton said: "Northern Ireland is a global leader in aerospace technology with every major commercial aircraft programme depending on structures, components and expert services from our local supply base.
"Causeway Aero brings together the combined skills, capabilities and experience of a number of our local aerospace businesses to pursue larger and more complex work packages in the global aerospace industry."
The five companies are highly successful manufacturers and engineers with world-class expertise in their own specialisms, including sheet metal fabrication, design, tooling, precision engineering and plastics moulding.
Representing Causeway Aero, Denroy group chairman John Rainey said: "The network has been working together for the past 16 months to identify opportunities to add value to potential supply chain partnerships with major aerospace companies by demonstrating how we can help reduce costs and improve flexibility and delivery.
"We are delighted with the interest and engagement of new and potential customers to date."
As a result of a National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) research and development grant offered by Invest Northern Ireland, they are working to deliver new aircraft galley technology to one of Europe's leading aerospace interior companies.
Causeway Aero was offered more than £95,000 in grant funding.
There are 60 firms in Northern Ireland whose manufacturing and systems already produce structures, components and services for nearly every commercial aircraft programme in the world.
Around a third of all airliner seats are made in Northern Ireland and the area is a global leader in survival technology.
Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers said: "Northern Ireland firms are well placed to make the most of the transformation under way in the international aerospace market.
"The UK Government, together with Invest NI, is committed to supporting them however we can."