Abu Dhabi 2017 | AEROSPACE | B2B

The space industry in the UAE will be a key driver of the future knowledge economy, and continued focus on developing capacities and technology is key.

Ismail Ali Mohammed Abdulla
Deputy CEO
Strata Manufacturing
Abdul Khaliq Saeed
Turbine Services and Solutions (TS&S)

What have been the company's achievements in the aerospace sector in recent years?

Ismail Ali Mohammed Abdulla In 2008 and 2009, when we devised the plans for Strata, we established a technology road map to determine the programs we would like to be a part of in the coming decade. We started with a program for flat pack ferrying on the A380 and knew that by 2016 we wanted to diversify and be involved with a variety of programs and services. Working closely with our customers, we established strategic partners with Airbus and Boeing to support Strata's steady expansion. A decade later, we have raised the number to 10 production lines, eight of them locally produced in our facility of Al Ain and two outsourced externally through our company based in Italy. Today's aerospace industry is globalized, which forces us to think beyond traditional boundaries. We currently manufacture commercial aircrafts such as the A330, A350, A380, 7A7, and 777. For Phase II, we will begin building the Airbus A320, a horizontal tail aircraft. This leapfrog expansion is a central aspect of our technological road map.

Abdul Khaliq Saeed In 2015 TS&S made the strategic decision to merge its aerospace and industrial businesses. TS&S businesses are now integrated under a single management structure focused on aerospace and industrial segments. The integration has forged a more efficient business model and organizational structure, while optimizing potential synergies. With a single decision-making and governance framework under one board, as well as unified financial reporting, business planning, and asset management oversight, TS&S is ideally placed to capitalize on future opportunities. With GE, TS&S Aero are bringing next-generation engine maintenance and manufacturing to the UAE. TS&S will create a regional, state-of-the-art GEnx engine maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility within the Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park as a joint venture between TS&S and GE, expanding the current GEnx capabilities. GE will also establish a dedicated GEnx parts logistics center to service the JV as well as regional GEnx operators. As it stands, TS&S Aero is the only independent shop in the region, and in November 2016 TS&S announced its 100th V2500 induction. In early 2015, Rolls-Royce Trent 700 full overhaul capability was achieved. TS&S Aero is the only independent MRO shop in the world.

What are the opportunities for Nibras Park as a regional aerospace hub?

IAMA The project to create Al Nibras Aeropark was set in motion in 2012 as a joint initiative between Abu Dhabi Airports Company and Mubadala. Nibras is a project fully dedicated to the development of a local aerospace industry, as stipulated in Abu Dhabi Vision 2030. In January 2017, Phase I of Nibras was fully completed and leased at a 60% of its capacity. The aeropark currently hosts the Advanced Military Maintenance Repair & Overhaul Center (AMMROC) and the Abu-Dhabi Autonomous System Investments (ADASI), among others. We currently have ambitious plans to establish a material manufacturing and an engine manufacturing business, and to attract more anchor tenants into Nibras to make a fully fledged ecosystem. The growth of our industry depends on four major factors: being able to bring and win technologically advanced work packages; building on the human capital that we have and investing more in our people; building a local supply chain; and an engaging and foreseeing growth strategy. In 2015, we established a dedicated research and development department and now we have announced a 3D manufacturing project with Etihad and Siemens. Our aim is to establish these projects as a pilot project to start manufacturing parts for commercial aerospace through additive manufacturing like 3D printing. This is a new era for Strata and manufacturing locally and globally.

AKS Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park aims to support the expansion of a viable aviation cluster in Abu Dhabi, supporting the government's vision to diversify the economy, create new industries, and generate skilled jobs. Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park will provide the infrastructure for the targeted innovation Mubadala is seeking in the aerospace sector, both on the repair side as well as the manufacturing side. TS&S Aerospace with its rich experience in engine repair and the capabilities will be able to grow with the new engine repair technologies and smoothly introduce the manufacturing capability. Nibras' strategy is based on leveraging Mubadala's existing portfolio, and attracting other international aerospace organizations to develop new opportunities that are knowledge and energy intensive with education, training, and R&D at the forefront of its global endeavors. In addition to TS&S, Nibras' existing tenant list includes Strata, the Advanced Military Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Centre (AMMROC), Horizon International Flight Academy, Etihad Flight College, and other companies.