Our Public Affairs team is here to represent the voice of our business to political and governmental stakeholders. It's a two-way street which we must operate effectively
Katherine Bennett, CBE Senior Vice President, Airbus
The Airbus UK Public Affairs team is based across the country, from Filton in the South-West, to Broughton in North Wales and in London. Our team is focussed on building partnerships with our external stakeholders, whilst engaging with local communities and delivering for everything and everybody in between.
The Airbus Public Affairs team work closely with Government Ministers and Parliamentary personnel, who form one of Airbus’ most important customers, and have the ability to voice and represent Airbus and matters relating to defence, space, aerospace and aviation in Parliament.
Responsibility & Sustainability
Airbus is a global company that believes in promoting responsible business practices across our value chain to support sustainable growth. The purpose is to create a better-connected, safer and more prosperous world, and Airbus in the UK champions this. Airbus adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in December 2015 as a framework to align its responsible and sustainable contributions. The Responsibility and Sustainability Charter demonstrates how Airbus intends to contribute to the requirements and needs of society and sets out how everyone at Airbus plays a part in fulfilling this purpose, guided by our values in how they work and interact with stakeholders, from customers and suppliers through to partners and shareholders.
We have made a long-term commitment to the UK as a whole, and in particular the communities in which we operate such as the surrounding Airbus sites of Filton, Broughton and Stevenage where we work with local schools and charities to support youth programmes, particularly those that promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). In the UK, R&S permeates throughout all Airbus business practices and high standards of ethical and environmental performance are integrated into all sites. For example, each week during term time, 115 employees from Airbus’ Filton site in Bristol, UK, voluntarily go into local primary schools to provide valuable support in reading and maths. Airbus sees it to be of vital importance to engage with our R&S political stakeholders in British government and act as a conduit to share ideas, best practice and understand how Airbus can meet the UK’s stringent codes of conduct for corporate citizens and businesses.
Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter
Airbus is a founding signatory of the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter and continues to spearhead its development led by Katherine Bennett CBE, Senior Vice President, Airbus in the UK, in her position as Co-Chair. Since the Charter’s launch at Farnborough Airshow in July 2018 by the Prime Minister, Theresa May, membership has grown significantly and a Council has been established to drive progress. The Charter marks the commitment of organisations across the industry who together strive to build a more balanced and fairer industry for women. The Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter currently has more than 80 signatories, and interest and commitment continues to grow.
The Airbus Foundation is placed at the heart of Airbus with focused activities in two areas: using Airbus products and services to support the global humanitarian community and helping prepare young people for the future. Since its inception in 2008, the Airbus Foundation has become an established, respected and recognised partner for the key emergency responders and disaster relief operators by providing product and service support including: air transport missions; transporting essential aid, providing helicopter flight hours; training of emergency responders; and the provision of satellite imagery for major natural disasters and crisis worldwide. In addition, its youth programmes have reached thousands of young people globally supported by passionate Airbus employees.
Airbus Flying Challenge
The multi-award-winning Airbus Foundation Flying Challenge is a global programme aimed at inspiring young people to work hard at school and build a better future for themselves through a unique programme of mentoring based on Airbus’ inspiring product portfolio and supported by passionate and motivated Airbus employees.
The programme is currently running at 16 Airbus sites, across 6 countries. Since its launch in 2012, almost 5,000 young people have participated in the programme supported by around 2,000 employee volunteer mentors. Each programme is different and tailored to individual needs and local area specificities.
In the UK, the programme is currently running at two sites; Filton in Bristol and Broughton, North Wales, and is due to be rolled-out in Stevenage in 2019. Participants, nomally 13/14 year olds from schools close to the sites, take part in 20 weekly sessions at Airbus where the students learn about and experience different aspects of flight including talks and visits to different Airbus facilities. They will also experience other diverse careers in aviation, visit other organisations and to top it all they complete the programme with a flying lesson.
By the time they graduate, participants will have undertaken a wide range of specialist experiences, worked with committed employee mentors, completed a skills portfolio, worked towards a nationally recognised qualification and an Industrial Cadets Gold Award. The aim is for them to develop confidence, self-esteem and a belief in themselves that will motivate them to continue with, and succeed in their education.
Airbus Little Engineer
The Airbus Little Engineer (ALE) is a global Airbus Foundation programme running in the UK. This engaging robotics challenge allows students, normally aged between 11 and 15, to get hands-on STEM experience and delve into computer coding supported by Airbus Employees. The programme is a fanstic way to get children interested in the topic of space travel and aerospace engineering and the excitement of STEM. There are two versions of the ALE workshop – one on the topic of space and one A380 – Airbus’ largest four-engine, double-decker jet airliner.
Airbus Foundation Discovery Space Digital Platform
The Discovery Space is a digital space where young people throughout the world can understand science through aerospace. It is also a platform for teachers and parents to find tools that help them engage students with Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) topics in a safe and trusted virtual environment. It is an inspiring digital portal for aerospace exploration which brings science and technology to life!
If like us, you want to inspire the next generation into the fields of STEM, the Airbus Foundation Discovery Space is the perfect place for you to find content and support. This exciting platform gives students the opportunity to engineer tomorrow’s future, by designing your own moon camp through 3D design software Tinkerkad and Fusion 360.
Following last year's successful series of contents discussing space and the moon, Airbus Foundation Discovery Space launched new contents that explains the basics of flight, from birds and balloons through to the latest technologies and features in flight today, in collaboration with the European Space agency, in partnership with Autodesk.
Airbus Foundation Discovery Space Stevenage STEM Centre
The Airbus Foundation Discovery Space (AFDS) is unique space, based in Stevenage, aimed at inspiring young people in STEM primarily focused on Airbus’ inspirational space portfolio. Located at the Airbus site at Stevenage, it provides a range of fun and engaging lesson plans, workshops and hands on-exhibits where young people can explore and learn about basic principles of science. In addition, the Centre provides unique access to the ‘Mars Yard’ where young people can see real engineers working on a real engineering project to launch the ExoMars Rover planned in 2020. The Centre is run by the North Hertfordshire College and received significant funding from the Hertfordshire LEP and the UK Space agency as well as Airbus and the Airbus Foundation.
Opened in January 2017, by European Space Agency Astronaut, Tim Peake CMG, the Centre has already attracted thousands young people from local schools and community groups plus others from further afield, with a good mix of male and female students of mixed abilities. The Centre also attracts a large number of home-schooled children providing a great way to deliver hands-on experience, interaction and inspiration in STEM for this particular group.
In line with the wider agenda to engage more girls in STEM, and in particular in aerospace, the Centre focuses on engaging activities for girls and has received visits from a number of girls schools including Bedford Girls School who participated in a workshop focused on the Mars Rover and built a satellite simulation, and Bishop Hatfield who developed their understanding of robotics through the ‘Robotics Challenge’.