County's aerospace industry gets ready to take off after Covid

Conference delegates

The WEAF South West Aerotech - Credit: Submitted

Devon's Aerospace industry is fighting  back from the impact of Covid.

The West of England Aerospace Forum, a membership trade organisation that is passionate about all aspects of aerospace and defence, has announced the South West’s first major Aerospace and Advanced Engineering networking event, post the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

The event will take place on  October 7 at Westland Centre, Yeovil, and invites as many Devon based aerospace companies as possible to attend. 

Conference flyer

All systems go for the event - Credit: Submitted


The SW Aerotech Expo will bring together keynote speakers, exhibitors, and visitors from across the aerospace and advanced engineering sectors, and its networking zones will provide many opportunities for businesses large and small to re-establish business-to-business networks. Across the event there will be many industry experts in attendance. 
WEAF’s SW Aerotech Expo will provide support for the skills and networking of SME’s creating a collaborative environment across the region and beyond, following the industry uncertainty resulted from the pandemic.
The Southwest supply chain also supports the UK’s Ministry of Defence operations, maintaining 30,000 jobs and in 2016, invested £4 billion into the local economy
Colin Turner, CEO of WEAF, said: “The Southwest region has one of the largest concentrations of aerospace and defence capabilities in Europe and is the biggest Aerospace cluster in the UK. Its local supply chain support’s 14 of the world’s leading organisations in the industry including Leonardo Helicopters, Airbus, Rolls Royce, GKN Aerospace, Safran, Babcock, Honeywell.
“We believe that the Southwest sector is ready for growth in the new zero emission technologies, and it is leading the way in sustainable aviation through WEAF members such as Vertical Aerospace. WEAF will help highlight opportunities in emerging sustainable technologies by nurturing connections between SMEs and OEMs. Don’t miss out on an exceptional opportunity to network and celebrate getting back to normality.”

Conference delegates and speaker

Aero Expo speaker in action - Credit: Submitted


The day will be separated into a several sessions, covering topics including: 
⦁    Developments in sustainable aviation.
⦁     Prospects for future UK Aviation and VTOL programs.
⦁    Digital Capabilities for SMEs.
⦁    SC21- supply chain capability enhancement.
⦁    Department of International Trade Support.
Peter Marchbank, MD of RPI UK and WEAF Board Member, said: “I’m really looking forward to getting back out into the event scene. The chance to network face-to-face has been sorely missed and it will be great to see all the new WEAF members there.

"RPI have been a member of WEAF for six years and have always found the events they organise a must-add to the diary – not only to meet key decision makers but also for advice and support with recruitment.” 

Aerotech Expo Exhibitor and long-term WEAF member, Peter Bennet, from Groveley Precision Engineering, said: “I am really looking forward to returning to some normality following a very strange 18 months. Having the ability to network with a wide range of leading companies in the aerospace and defence sectors is key to getting the message out there that we are OPEN for business.  We’ve been a member of WEAF for 16 years and have always found their events essential to building key relationships and building our business.”
Established in 2003, WEAF’s primary function is to act as the voice which champions the South West’s unsung advanced aerospace, defence and engineering cluster.
This exhibition allows for just that, it will connect both suppliers and technology providers with the Aerospace and advanced community in a face-to-face environment. This will support both the recovery and future plans of the industry.
There are limited trade stands and pre-expo dinner tickets remaining! For more information, or to register as a delegate, visit WEAF’s Eventbrite. 


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