The Airbus E-Fan X hybrid-electric flight demonstrator marked another milestone in its development following the purchase of an aircraft in November 2018. The Avro RJ100 is currently based at a dedicated hub at Cranfield University, where the plane will be modified by a collaborative team of industry partners. A first phase of flight testing of the un-modified aircraft is to be held in the UK later this year, and in the last few months, the project has accelerated its systems design and started wind tunnel testing at Airbus Filton as of May 2019.
Today, two percent of all human induced carbon emissions derive from global aviation and this number is set to increase. The E-Fan X project demonstrates the willingness of Airbus and the aerospace industry to meet their commitment for carbon neutral growth from 2020 and the reduction of net emissions from aviation by 50% by 2050. The future of electric and hybrid-electric commercial flight relies on demonstrators like E-Fan X, where technologies can be developed and matured quickly to meet future demands.
At the opening of the 2018 Farnborough Airshow, Business Secretary Greg Clark announced that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) would pledge £255 million to develop greener flight technologies, a share of which is now supporting E-Fan X, through the ATI-sponsored “HyFly” project.
Parliamentarians were taken on a journey to space and witnessed first-hand Airbus UK’s advanced space manufacturing capabilities, from the comfort of Portcullis House. Using virtual reality headsets, MPs were transported to a simulation of Airbus’ UK satellite cleanroom, where they were given a guided tour of the satellite being developed and tested before showing it in a geostationary orbit. Stevenage based apprentices were also on hand to discuss their work on building next generation satellite technology.
As the UK’s leading space company, Airbus’ military satellite communications keeps our Armed Forces safe and connected, while our civil space business provide satellites and systems for a range of programmes, including Earth observation, navigation and scientific missions.
Airbus welcomed over 100 guests to the National Assembly of Wales in Cardiff on 3 April, including a range of Welsh Government ministers, senior civil servants, trade union representatives, and industrial and academic partners.
This was the first reception Airbus has held at the Senedd since the formation of the new Cabinet under the recently appointment First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford AM.
The event was co-sponsored by two Assembly Members; Alyn and Deeside AM, Jack Sargeant (as seen in photo) and Newport West AM, Jayne Bryant. The Airbus sites at Broughton in North Wales and Newport in South Wales are situated in their respective constituencies.
Mr Sargeant made an address at the reception alongside the Minister for Economy and Transport and Minister for North Wales, Ken Skate AM, who both acknowledged Airbus’ achievements and presence in Wales. Mr Sargeant said:
"Locally and indeed across North Wales, Airbus is seen as the beacon for employment and apprenticeships. Members will know I’m quite often talking about the future of apprenticeships here in the Senedd. Airbus has been leading the way on this issue for years and was in fact the first UK Company to offer a higher apprenticeship with an engineering degree qualification – something we need more of here in Wales."
Airbus and SSTL finish work on revolutionary Quantum Satellite
9 January 2019
Work on the revolutionary Quantum Satellite has been completed by Airbus engineers in Portsmouth, in partnership with SSTL engineers in Guildford. The satellite will transform the way phone and broadband signals are beamed across the globe. The first of its kind, engineers will be able to reconfigure the way signals are transmitted whilst the satellite orbits the world at 36,000km. Quantum represents the satellite of the future, at the heart of the fourth industrial revolution, which will be able to adapt quickly to the constantly changing needs of consumers and smart cities.
The satellite will now be shipped to Airbus Toulouse for final assembly and testing, before it is then paired with its payload. Nicknamed ‘Chameleon’, the telecom satellite is developed as part of a partnership between Eutelsat and European Space Agency (ESA), it will operate in a geostationary orbit, about 36,000 kilometres above the surface of the Earth.
Katherine Bennett OBE gives evidence to BEIS Select Committee
28 November 2018
Katherine Bennett OBE, Senior Vice President of Airbus UK, appeared before the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee to give evidence on the impact of Brexit on the aerospace industry.
Mrs Bennett outlined that due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, Airbus is in a “holding pattern”, meaning that new investment has been put on hold. Mrs Bennett stressed that the current proposed Withdrawal Agreement is a positive step forward, and if it were to pass new investments could be looked at once again.
Furthermore, she made it clear that should a disorderly and chaotic no-deal Brexit happen, Airbus would have to consider its investment in the UK. Mrs Bennett added that it would not happen overnight, but future investments would definitely be at stake.
The panel was in unanimous agreement that while the Withdrawal Agreement will not take the UK back to business as usual, it represents positive progress and a move away from the uncertainty of a no-deal.
Tom Enders’ statement on proposed Withdrawal Agreement
15 November 2018
Tom Enders, Chief Executive of Airbus, released a statement commenting on the UK Government’s draft Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. He said:
"We have long argued that greater clarity was needed on what Brexit means for the United Kingdom and for us, as a major employer with 14,000 people, more than 100,000 in the supply chain and a turnover here of £6bn, the shape of the future longer-term relationship with the European Union is of critical importance.
The announcement of a draft Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is a welcome first step forwards but there clearly remains much work to do.
We look forward to further clarity and the removal of uncertainty as soon as possible so that Airbus, like every business in the UK, can properly plan for the future.”
Airbus reports Third Quarter 2018 Results
Airbus has reported its Quarter 3 (9 month) 2018 results. Below is a summary of the key points and a link to the full press release.
Airbus reports Half-Year Results
26 July 2018
Airbus has reported its Half Year results for 2018. Below is a summary of the main points and a link to the press release where full details can be found.
Airbus Foundation responds to the Indonesian earthquake and flooding in India
16 October 2018
Airbus’ A400M aircraft landed in the flooded Indonesian Jakarta on 4th October, to help support the coordination of the devastated town, following the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. The A400M delivered relief materials to the city of Palu to support the needs of the victims. This response was a collaboration of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), the Indonesian Government and the Airbus Foundation. In addition, the Foundation contributed 45 flight hours with a H125 helicopter, as well as supporting Medecins sans Frontières (MSF) by enabling them to contract with an H155 operator to assist with relief efforts.
In August 2018, in response to communities reeling under the impact of Kerala floods, one of the worst disasters that the state has faced in close to a hundred years, Airbus undertook the largest helicopter mission the Foundation has ever completed. Over 50 flight hours were funded for the Indian Red Cross to support their logistics activities. Essential relief materials including medicine, water purifiers, clothes and tents, were transported to the most affected districts.
Happy 10th Birthday to the Airbus Foundation!
30 August 2018
On 30th August 2018, the Airbus Foundation celebrated its 10th birthday. Placed at the heart of Airbus, the Foundation is committed to bringing together the products and people of Airbus to support the global humanitarian first-responder community and inspire the next generation as they prepare to embrace their future.
Since its launch in 2008, the Airbus Foundation has coordinated 66 humanitarian flights, delivering over 827 tonnes of aid to over 27 countries. In addition, during the very first hours of a crisis, Airbus Helicopters is able to save people from harmful situations as well as support on ground rescuers to assess emergency situations. Since 2012 495 helicopter flight hours have been chartered in 15 countries.
Airbus provides update on impact of Brexit No Deal/Deal scenarios
21 June 2018
Airbus has today published a risk assessment outlining the urgent risks to its business arising from the UK exiting the European Union without a withdrawal agreement.
It states that the UK exiting the EU next year without a deal – therefore leaving both the single market and customs union immediately and without any agreed transition – would lead to severe disruption and interruption of UK production. This scenario would force Airbus to reconsider its investments in the UK, and its long-term footprint in the country, severely undermining UK efforts to keep a competitive and innovative aerospace industry, developing high value jobs and competences.
Airbus reports First Quarter 2018 Results
27 April 2018
Airbus reported its Quarter 1 2018 results. Below is a summary of the key points and a link to the full press release.
Airbus CEO issues warning over Brexit uncertainty
10 April 2018
Tom Enders, Airbus CEO, has written an article in the Financial Times warning that persistent Brexit uncertainty threatens the UK aviation industry. Although Enders highlighted concerns over the lack of clarity on the Customs Union, hard borders and regulatory divergence, he stated that he wishes the UK "to remain a home nation for Airbus".
Airbus COO comments on GKN takeover bid
15 March 2018
Tom Williams, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, gave the following statement, which appeared in the Financial Times, in relation to the GKN takeover bid:
“Airbus fully supports industry development and consolidation through M&A activities. However, the nature of our industry is one that requires a commitment to long-term investment and strategic vision. The industry does not lend itself to shorter term financial investment which naturally reduces R&D budgets and limits vital innovation. It would be practically impossible for us to give any new work to GKN under such ownership model when we don’t know who will be the long term investor."
Airbus #PressForProgress on Gender Equality
08 March 2018
On International Women’s Day Airbus reaffirmed its commitment to gender equality by signing the United Nation’s Women’s Empowerment Principles. Airbus CEO Tom Enders said: “I am committed to ensuring that, at Airbus, we encourage equality and empower women, by recognizing and promoting their strengths and added value. This is the way to leap forward and succeed together.” Read more about Airbus’s Commitment to this using the link below:
During the week which celebrated International Women’s Day, Airbus Public Affairs Manager, Helen Swift, was a guest speaker at a Welsh Assembly event: ‘Mind the Gap - how can Wales lead the way on equal pay?’ Organised by Assembly Member Hannah Blythyn. At the event, Helen told the audience about the Airbus belief in empowering women, promoting equal opportunity and supporting greater diversity, which needs particular focus in the manufacturing and engineering sector which is a historically higher number of male employees.
We’re not yet there yet, but positive actions and events like this help us get one step closer to true gender equality.
Airbus reports full-year results
15 February 2018
Airbus reported its full year results for 2017 and provided an outlook for 2018.
Here is a summary of the key points, with a link to the full press release below.
Emirates firms up order for up to 36 additional A380s
11 February 2018
Emirates and Airbus firmed up an earlier Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and signed a contract for 20 additional A380s with a further 16 options to be confirmed at a later date. The total agreement for 36 aircraft is valued at US$16 billion based on the latest list prices. Deliveries are to start as early as 2020.
Airbus Commercial Aircraft delivers record performance
15 January 2018
Airbus’ Commercial Aircraft deliveries in 2017 were up for the 15th year in a row, reaching a new company record of 718 aircraft delivered to 85 customers. Furthermore, to cap this resounding annual production achievement, Airbus achieved 1,109 net orders from 44 customers, resulting in Airbus’ overall backlog standing at 7,265 aircraft valued at US$1.059 trillion at list prices at the end of 2017.
Airbus has run the conservation programme with the North Wales Wildlife Trust since 2011 and more than 40 mini orchards have been planted at schools across Northeast Wales and Cheshire. This year, Airbus visited six more local primary schools to plant orchards and teach about maintaining local habitats.
The NWWT’s Iwan Edwards, who runs the programme at the schools, said: “This project continues to build on the fantastic work we’ve done with Airbus over the last nine years. We’re fast approaching working with 60 schools which is a wonderful legacy not only for the children in these schools but nature in general.”
Phil McGraa, Community Relations Manager at Airbus, said: “Orchards are an important part of the Welsh landscape – not only do they provide tasty fruit which can be consumed but they offer a refuge for wildlife and create an environment that is rich in biodiversity.”
Laura Cartwight, a teacher at Ysgol Derwenfa, Leeswood, one of the schools visited this year, said: “We’re trying to develop our outdoor area so it means a lot that the children have the chance to learn how to care for it correctly.”
The other five schools visited by the Orchard Project team this year were Ysgol Derwen primary, Wood Memorial primary school, Ysgol Pen Barras, Ruthin, Drury Lane primary and Mountain Lane county primary.
The early Christmas present of non-perishable food items, such as tinned goods, dried pasta and biscuits, was handed over to Airbus Filton’s charity partner Help Bristol’s Homeless. The initiative, organised jointly with trade union Unite, encouraged Airbus employees to drop off items at five food-collection points across the Filton site. Unite also redeemed vouchers with supermarket Iceland to make a donation of breakfast items.
Chris Young, Deputy Convenor for Unite at Airbus Filton, said: “We wanted to make a contribution to Help Bristol’s Homeless in support of their Christmas Appeal. The employees here at Filton have made a terrific difference and I’m grateful for their contribution.”
Caroline Jenkinson, Change Platform Agent at Airbus, said: “It’s heartbreaking to see people sleeping rough in the cold in today’s day and age. Help Bristol’s Homeless were a natural choice being one of our five partner charities and I can only hope it will help some people this Christmas.”
The aviation lounge at Hawarden Aerodrome was transformed into a Christmas wonderland for the occasion, complete with reindeer and elves. Thirteen families boarded the Loganair ERJ 145 aircraft with Santa for the one-hour flight along the North Wales coast and over Snowdonia before returning to Hawarden.
Mum Kate Long, who was on the flight with husband Glen Lewis and daughters, Clara, two, and baby Katie, said: “It’s been magical and lovely to see their little faces light up. The reindeer and the departure lounge were brilliant. There has been so much thought gone into the day, from the glitter tattoos and the games. It’s been really nice.”
The family, from Lancashire, were nominated by Airbus Charity Partner Clatterbridge Cancer Charity where mum Kate has been a patient after learning last year that her cancer had heartbreakingly returned 10 years after being given the all clear.
Phil McGraa, Airbus Community Relations Manager, said: “It was magnificent to see the smiles on everyone’s faces, watching the children play games and sing Christmas songs on the flight. All the volunteers who gave up their Sunday thoroughly enjoyed the day just as much as the very deserving families on the flight. It was a very special day.”
The event was organised with aircraft charter firm Air Partner and airline Loganair, as well as Airbus Broughton’s five charity partners – Claire House Children’s Hospice, Clatterbridge Cancer Charity, Nightingale House Hospice, North East Wales Search and Rescue, and Wales Air Ambulance.
Europe’s biggest plane-maker held its annual Apprentice Open Day on Saturday 30th November at its North Factory in Broughton, Flintshire, where it assembles composite wings for its ground-breaking A350XWB airliner.
Airbus in the UK has taken on record numbers of apprentices and graduates in recent years and hopes to take on even more in 2020 as it continues to meet demand from its growing number of airline customers.
Airbus’ Employment Marketing Manager in the UK, Kath Edwards, said: “Our Apprentice Open Day is a great opportunity for anyone seeking or thinking about an apprenticeship to find out more about opportunities at Airbus. Visitors can speak to representatives from our Early Careers Management team, Airbus employees and our education partners, as well as to current apprentices, to find out all they need to know about the different apprenticeships on offer from degree to craft level."
The company offers two types of apprenticeships – degree apprenticeships where successful applicants have their university tuition fees paid on top of earning a competitive salary, and craft apprenticeships, where individuals work for the company while gaining a National Diploma qualification at college. Apprenticeships are available at both the Airbus Filton and Broughton sites.
Gavin Jones, Head of the Early Careers team in the UK, said: “As a global leader in the aerospace industry, remaining competitive and attracting the best young talent from the UK is a major priority. Our open day is a great opportunity for young people to learn about our benchmark apprenticeship programmes and the career paths they support.”
The state-of-the-art facility on the Airbus site in Broughton will be a catalyst for growth and jobs and provide businesses with a new level of research and development opportunities. It was officially opened by Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford and Economy and North Wales Minister Ken Skates.
Managed by the University of Sheffield AMRC, Airbus is AMRC Cymru’s first tenant and will use the facility to develop its next generation wing technologies known as ‘Wing of Tomorrow’, part of a global Airbus investment in research and innovation.
Airbus Senior Vice President Paul McKinlay, head of the company’s Broughton Plant, said: “We’re delighted to be the first major business tenant of AMRC Cymru. The facility is world-class and the perfect home for our most significant research and technology programme, Wing of Tomorrow. The programme will inform the next generation of wings so when we launch a new aircraft programme, we’ll have the technologies and systems ready to design and build the wings at the rate we need them. The fact the Welsh Government chose this area to invest in such innovation underlines the value of the business in the region and we look forward to seeing the development of cutting-edge technologies in a range of industries as a result.”
AMRC Cymru was designed and project managed by Arup and the construction was carried out by Galliford Try.
Airbus in Filton has a rich history of designing wings for the aerospace giant’s commercial aircraft and building wings for its A400M airlifter but it’s a new set of wings that have created a real buzz among staff at its Bristol site.
The company’s estate management team (FMRE) introduced two bee colonies to provide ecological support to areas of the site transitioning from industrial to wild-meadow land. And the bees did Airbus proud - producing 100 jars of Bristolian honey at their first attempt. Darren Jones, Head of Airbus FMRE at Filton and Newport, said: “Bees are vital to our environment; without them our global food supplies would be affected. Honey bees used to pollinate 70% of the UK’s flora but now only service about half of that, due to their gradual decline. Our Filton bees settled in immediately in April, and have thrived ever since; evidenced by producing excess honey within six months of landing.”
The bees’ first batch of honey has been auctioned off to Airbus staff and has raised £532 for the company’s five partner charities - St Peter’s Hospice, Severn Freewheelers, Jessie May Children’s Hospice, Headway Bristol and Help Bristol’s Homeless, the last of which also received five jars of honey to serve up to those who use their services directly.
Rob Earnshaw from Help Bristol's Homeless said: "I’m the chef here at Help Bristol's Homeless at Spring Street Village and it is very kind of Airbus to have brought us five jars of their home-grown honey. It's a nice surprise and I’m sure the people we support will thoroughly enjoy it.”
The bees are based on development land in Filton and were brought on to the site after seeking professional advice.
Lucy King, a Technical Data Apprentice at Airbus’ site in Filton, won The Royal Navy Award for Advanced Apprentice of the Year 2019 at a ceremony held at Cadbury House in Yatton, Somerset.
Lucy said: “I am very proud to have won Regional Advance Apprentice of the year for the South West. I take pride in my work and supporting others. I enjoy being part of a positive working environment at Airbus and being a role model for the other apprentices. This award is my greatest achievement to date, it highlights different activities I have been involved in, in terms of academic, onsite training and promoting STEM.”
The Awards are in their 16th year and celebrate the achievements of apprentices from a range of sectors. Lucy was shortlisted along with four other entrants in the South West and then selected as the winner by a judging panel. She is one of 74 finalists across five categories for apprentices at the national awards ceremony. The final will see a national judging panel select one national winner and two highly commended finalists in each category.
Gavin Williamson MP, Education Secretary, said: “Apprenticeships change lives, improve businesses and support local communities, so it’s great to see such a diverse range of employers and apprentices being recognised for their great work.”
Lucy has been the first Technical Data Apprentice in Filton and this role has seen her offer technical support to customers and suppliers of the aerospace company. She has volunteered in mentoring schemes such as Airbus’ Flying Challenge, which is a scheme designed to inspire local school children and help them develop life skills, and introduced new digital ways of working to help monitor apprentice wellbeing.
Joe Neath, Head of Early Careers at Airbus, said: “I am delighted Lucy’s hard work at Airbus has been recognised in this way. Lucy is always looking to improve, whether it be herself or the processes around her. The aerospace sector has a need for highly skilled and qualified specialists. Airbus apprentices working over a number of different areas are the perfect solution to meet this demand and help design and build the aircraft of the future.”
Ryan Holland, an Airbus Engineering Undergraduate Apprentice was also highly commended in the South West in The Nuclear Decommissioning Site Licence Companies Award for Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year 2019.
Clatterbridge Cancer Charity’s scale Lego model of their under construction hospital has visited Airbus Broughton from 23 September to 7 October and has been accessible to the public. Visitors to the model that has been housed in a clear shipping container outside the Broughton Wings Sports and Social club, and further into the site, have had an opportunity to buy a brick for as little as £1. The cancer charity are hoping to raise £500,000 overall from the construction of the scale model and are also in a race to completion with the actual hospital in Liverpool. The scale model of Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s hospital will be one of the largest Lego structures in the UK when complete and will be displayed in the new hospital to mark the contributions of those that funded the new building.
Ian Ogilvie, Development Manager, Clatterbridge Cancer Charity said: “It’s fantastic that we are able to host The Big LEGO Brick Hospital at Airbus’ site in Broughton and give their employees an opportunity to contribute to the building of a Lego brick replica of Liverpool's first specialist cancer hospital. It’s an ambitious project, but we are sure our dedicated supporters and the people of the region will support us with enthusiasm and generosity.”
Clatterbridge Cancer Charity are one of Airbus’ five charity partners in Broughton, as part of the company’s Charity Challenge, and they were selected by an employee vote at the Flintshire site.
Donna Harrison, Airbus Supply Chain Business Improvement Manager, said: “I am really pleased that Airbus is supporting one of the five charity partners for Charity Challenge by hosting Clatterbridge Cancer Charity’s scale hospital. Having the model here has given us an opportunity to raise awareness about the excellent work that takes place at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.”
A respite day for children and adults living with profound disabilities and life-limiting conditions saw 20 children and 14 adults from Bristol and the surrounding regions spend a day at Bristol Airport as part of an aviation-themed Air Smiles Day on Saturday 21 September. The Air Smiles Day was run by Airbus, UK aviation charity fly2help and Bristol Airport. Airbus invited 9 families from its Charity Partners to take part and families from St Peter’s Hospice, Headway Bristol and Severn Freewheelers were in attendance. An attendee that had received support from St Peters Hospice said: “It was absolutely lovely to see the children smiling, happy and enjoying themselves. They’ve had so much fun and experienced things they wouldn’t usually get to. Just knowing that they’ve had a day planned that they would enjoy and not having to think about it. It has given them something that they will always remember.”
The aviation-themed day is crafted around a flight experience in a light aircraft and for some of the young attendees this will have been their first flight in an aircraft and a thrilling experience. Members of the group included bereaved children, people living with brain injuries and children with sight-loss. The flight lasted 25 minutes and made use of three aircraft: a Socata TBM, PA-32 Saratoga and Cessna 182. The attendees took part in demonstrations from Police emergency response services, spent time with Airbus graduates where they learned more about the mechanics of flight and for those willing, had their face painted. Attendees had the opportunity to try out augmented reality facilities used in aircraft design.
Georgina Godfree, Programme Delivery Co-ordinator for fly2help said: “For over a decade, we’ve been working to create life-changing experiences for people living with illness, disability and various forms of life-trauma. The Air Smiles Day enables families to create shared, everlasting memories via the wonder of flight, for some time away from their daily struggles. We’re delighted to continue our partnership with Airbus and Bristol Airport, creating Air Smiles for families from their local area – changing lives, one flight at a time.”
Jacqui Mills, Public and Community Relations Manager at Bristol Airport, said: “The Air Smiles Day is such a special day, it is a true collaboration of aviation partners working together to inspire young people. It’s a fun filled day which Bristol Airport is proud to support and help these young people forget their worries for one day and make magical memories that will last a lifetime.”
Hannah Hammond, Community Relations Officer for Airbus said: “Airbus is really proud to be part of this special day. It has been fantastic to share the inspiring power of aviation. It’s our privilege to help create some wonderful memories for the children and their families.”
New graduates and apprentices joined the aerospace giant at their site in Filton on 9th and 16th September respectively. They will be working in a variety of roles that will see them contribute to the design and maintenance for Airbus’ fleet of commercial aircraft. The new intake across Airbus’ Broughton and Filton sites in the UK is 10% more employees than 2018’s round of recruitment.
Gavin Jones, Head of Early Careers at Airbus in the UK, said: “An apprenticeship at Airbus offers paid, on-the-job training, while allowing people to continue their education to either national diploma or university degree level. The value of our apprenticeship and graduate programmes speak for themselves, with so many going on to extremely successful careers in aerospace and aviation. Indeed, many of Airbus' current senior managers started their careers through our apprenticeship scheme."
The complex nature of the aerospace industry has created a huge demand for skilled and qualified specialists in the UK and, in turn, has resulted in a competitive application process to obtain the graduate and apprentice roles that are available in Bristol.
Anna Gordun, 21, an Engineering Undergraduate at Filton, said: “I am originally from Spain and when I was 10 I visited Airbus’ Final Assembly Line in Toulouse and I thought it was amazing. When I finished High School I did not know what to study but that strong memory of Airbus motivated me to study aerospace engineering.”
The 46 new graduates in Filton will be working in both engineering roles, including landing gear and fuel systems, as well as support services, such as human resources. The 37 new apprentices will be working in procurement, supply chain and engineering roles. Among this new cohort are Plant apprenticeships, building and equipping the wings of the A400M military support plane.
One-hundred-and-fifty-five craft and undergraduate apprentices, along with 16 further graduates, have joined the aerospace company’s site in Broughton, North Wales, this week.
Trevor Higgs, Head of Landing Gear Centre of Competence at Filton and Head of Engineering UK, said: “We offer excellent apprenticeship opportunities in Filton for those wanting a paid-for engineering degree, while gaining invaluable work experience that can lead to a rewarding career. We offer the opportunity to join this big family and be proud to be part of it. It's not just about Airbus in the UK; we're part of a global company and that's not just Europe and not just commercial jets. We're more connected now. We have more transnational working and better integration and although we have our own identity, we also have the wider Airbus identity and we should continue to evolve that identity.”
Jamie Harding, 16, a Craft Apprentice at Filton from Bradley Stoke, said: “I applied for my apprenticeship due to the amount of doors it would open for me at Airbus and in aerospace. I have always been interested in flying and space and am keen to learn more about how much goes into the manufacture of aircraft.”
A group of 20 promising Bristol Metropolitan Academy students have successfully graduated from the third cohort of the Airbus Foundation’ Flying Challenge programme.
Pupils aged 13 to 14, were offered a chance to receive a thrilling experience of the aerospace industry by Airbus’ largest youth mentoring programme. During 20 weekly sessions, the Bristol students had the opportunity to work with Airbus mentors to develop their own skills portfolio and strive towards achieving nationally recognised qualifications. Within their work at Airbus Filton, they learned about the engineering of aircraft and flight whilst taking on the challenge of building and flying their own drones.
As a reward for their efforts, the students had the chance to take to the skies for a flying lesson where they were even handed the controls of the aircraft. At the graduation ceremony, Jamie Smitheram was commended for his outstanding work by Filton’s Head of Plant, Chris Grier, and was offered the opportunity of a week’s work experience at Airbus.
Bristol born Airbus Test Pilot, Malcom Ridley, who was the special guest speaker at the graduation said that the ‘design, manufacture and maintenance’ of the ‘next golden age of aerospace’ will be perfected by pupils in the outgoing and future cohorts to come as they are the future of aviation.
Attending the ceremony, the Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Bristol, Cllr Jos Clark, met with the students. Commenting on their achievements she said, ‘They have obtained such great life skills from this and the overall benefit to the young people is extraordinary. You can really see how excited the new cohort are to be given this opportunity’.
Airbus welcomed Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport to its site in Filton where he had the opportunity to meet some of our talented apprentices and graduates during a recent visit to the region.
The Minister was given an insight into the site’s operations which was followed by a tour of the Wing Integration Centre and the A400M Wing Manufacturing facility where he met employees and learnt more about the highly skilled work they perform.
The Airbus Cyber Innovation Hub conducts leading cyber security research in areas such as artificial intelligence, industrial control systems, human factors and safety critical systems. It is home to research incubators and accelerators, as well as CyberLab, a cyber-research initiative jointly funded by Airbus and the Welsh Government.
The collaboration and funding from the Welsh Government and Airbus will provide up to £8 million to support the programme of activity and research in a laboratory environment to develop fundamental cyber security research for key industrial requirements in advanced manufacturing organisations.
Airbus is a global leader in cyber innovation and research, and academic research units have been set up in partnerships with top universities through the Hub.
To mark the opening of the facility, Ken Skates AM, the Minister for Economy and Transport and Minister for North Wales, was guest of honour at an event at the Newport site. Dr Pascal Andrei, Airbus Senior Vice President and global Chief Security Officer; Katherine Bennett CBE, Airbus Senior Vice President for the UK; and Prof Kevin Jones, who leads the Hub, also spoke at the event.
Airbus announces new charity partners
4 June 2019
Ten new charity partners have been announced after Airbus employees across both Filton and Broughton sites voted for the new charities from more than 100 nominations. The charities have been selected by staff this year for a 12-month partnership - with five charities representing the Broughton site in North Wales, and five more for the company's Filton site near Bristol. Employees were introduced to the new charity partners at a successful 'Meet the Partners' event.
The Broughton charities are Claire House Children’s Hospice, Wales Air Ambulance, Clatterbridge Cancer Charity, North East Wales Search and Rescue, and Nightingale House Hospice. The five Filton charities are Jesse May Children’s Hospice at Home, Help Bristol’s Homeless, Headway Bristol, Severn Freewheelers and St Peter’s Hospice.
Jasper Thompson, Founder of Help for Bristol’s Homeless, said: “This is fantastic news and has come at a very crucial stage in the creation of ‘The Village at Spring Street’. It is so great to know that there is so much support for the work being done for Bristol’s homeless. A big thank you to everyone at Airbus for helping make this happen.”
Meanwhile, Lynne Garlick, Fundraising Manager for Wales Air Ambulance North Wales, added: “On behalf of everybody at the charity, thank you to all staff at Airbus in Broughton for your support. This partnership will help maintain our vital lifesaving services. Our friends at Airbus can rest assured that their support will benefit many people across North Walesin their greatest hour of need.”
Paul McKinlay, Airbus Senior Vice-President and Head of Broughton Plant, said: “Our contribution to the wider community through our charity partnerships is something we are proud of at Airbus.” Airbus employees will be working closely with the charities, raising funds and volunteering until April 2020.
Saving lives with the British Heart Foundation
Filton and Broughton
Airbus UK’s charity partnership with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has come to an impressive end after being shortlisted for a major national award having saved TWO lives. The two-year relationship with BHF not only raised £188,000 for the charity, but also gave rise to more than 4,300 Airbus employees at our Filton and Broughton sites being trained in CPR. As a direct result of that training, three people who suffered cardiac arrests received urgent help from Airbus staff trained in CPR, leading to the initiative being shortlisted in the employee engagement category of the 2019 Business Charity Awards.
Mark Stewart, General Manager and Airbus UK HR Director, said: “When we set out on this journey, working with the BHF, our aim was not only to raise as much money as we could, but to increase awareness within our Airbus sites and wider communities of how to save a life by performing CPR. We know from some real-life events that we not only achieved this ambition but actually helped some of our employees save a family member’s or work colleague’s life. There can be no more testimony to the success of our partnership with BHF than knowing we helped save a life.” Airbus’ new charity partnerships for Filton and Broughton consist of ten local charities with which employees will be raising funds and volunteering for until April 2020.
F1 in Schools UK National Final hosted at Airbus Broughton A380 Factory
11 March 2019
In the week commencing the 11 March, the F1 in Schools UK 2019 National Finals was held in the West Factory at Airbus Broughton, where the wings for the A380 aircraft are currently manufactured.
F1 in Schools is an international science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) competition for school children aged from 9 to 19. The F1 in Schools objective is to help change the perceptions of science, technology, engineering and maths by creating a fun and exciting learning environment for young people to develop an informed view about careers in engineering, Formula 1, science, marketing and technology. Airbus has previously been a keen sponsor of the competition as a supporter of inspiring students and promoting careers within STEM.
A total of 48 teams made up of F1 enthusiasts from schools across the country competed to be crowned the F1 in Schools UK National Champion at Airbus Broughton.
The 48 teams were the group winners from the regional finals. They gathered at the Airbus A380 factory to race their bespoke designed, miniature Formula 1 cars which they manufacture using computer-aided design software to collaborate, design and manufacture compressed air powered cars.
The students also had to present business plans and display their engineering designs to a panel of industry and engineering experts. The National Champions, as saw on stage in the image above, were a group called Red Britannia – these will go forward to the World Finals later on this year.
Eyes to the skies as BelugaXL lands for the first time on British turf
14 February 2019
The first BelugaXL aircraft made its maiden visit to the UK on Thursday 14 February. Following a fly-past over the Airbus Filton site, near Bristol, and the River Severn Bridge, the BelugaXL made its way to North Wales where it made its first landing on UK soil at the Airbus site in Broughton.The aircraft was welcomed by a number of guests at Airbus in Broughton, including employees, local school students, residents and local community groups. Following the event, a student from Hawarden Village Church School said, “I thought it was great and even better because it was a once in a life time experience. I’m really grateful!”
A total of six BelugaXL’s will enter into full service in 2025 to replace the five existing A300-600ST fleet of Beluga airlifters, but this flight marks the first time the BelugaXL has been to the UK as part of its 12-month rigorous flight testing programme which includes a visit to each of the key sites, including Broughton, to test the local infrastructure.
The BelugaXL is the future of air transportation for Airbus to support the ramp-up of A350 XWB and other production rate increases. With an extra 30% transport capacity, the XL can carry two A350 XWB wings at one time, whereas the current Beluga can only hold one. The XL, which like its ST predecessor, will transport aircraft parts, including wings made in Broughton, across Airbus’ European sites in France, Spain and Germany.
Rt Hon Gavin Williamson, Defence Secretary, visits A400M site in Filton
7 February 2019
Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP, Secretary of State for Defense, and Jack Lopresti, MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke, recently visited our Airbus site in Filton. The Minister received key business updates from senior Airbus representatives, before being given the opportunity to see the A400M Wing Manufacturing Facility.
Throughout his tour, the Minister had the opportunity to meet with employees and see the world leading wing manufacturing that Airbus take such pride in. During this visit, the Minister was able to see how and why the RAF’s 22 A400M ‘Atlas’ aircraft are the most advanced, proven and certified airlifters available.
University named to run research facility in Broughton
13 December 2018
The Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute (AMRI) is starting to take shape on the Broughton site as construction is well underway with groundwork complete and steelwork being installed. The Welsh Government has announced this week that the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) will manage the AMRI.
The £20m Welsh Government facility, which has the working title AMRI, is being built to increase productivity, commercialisation, innovation and skills development across a range of sectors, including aerospace and automotive. The aim is to take business support to the next level in order to encourage and increase productive collaboration between industry, academic partners and entrepreneurs, with Airbus already announced as the first tenant. While the site will be located in North Wales, use of the facility will not be limited to companies in the region and will operate on an open access principle with businesses and academic institutions from inside and outside of Wales able to engage in activity in the facility.
Paul McKinlay, Airbus Senior Vice President and Head of Broughton Plant, said: “Airbus has a longstanding relationship with the AMRC; we have worked in partnership on many ventures and we’re delighted our relationship will continue to grow in this latest initiative. With their strong skills and expertise in fields such as innovation, advanced manufacturing and digitalisation, they are the perfect organisation to manage Wales’ most exciting new facility”.
Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills meets apprentices in Filton
22 November 2018
Anne Milton MP, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, came to visit our site in Filton to meet with our apprentices and graduates. The Minister led an engaging discussion on the Apprenticeship Levy, before meeting with degree apprentices to talk over the different projects that they had been working on.
The Minister then had the opportunity to have a tour of the A400M Wing Manufacturing Facility, led by one of our graduates.
This visit gave the Minister an opportunity to see first-hand how the Apprenticeship Levy has helped Airbus and our supply-chain offer even greater opportunities to young people across the country.
Broughton celebrates a successful first year of Flying Challenge
25 October 2018
20 students from Ysgol Treffynnon in Holywell have graduated from the first ever UK Airbus Foundation Flying Challenge 2018 in Broughton, North Wales.
Racing driver Nicolas Hamilton, younger brother of Formula 1 champion Lewis, was guest of honour at the graduation ceremony. Nicolas, who has cerebral palsy, is the first disabled driver ever to have competed in the British Touring Car Championships. The 26-year-old joined proud parents, teachers and mentors to celebrate the achievements of the 20 high-flying school pupils.
Throughout the challenge, the students have learnt about flight and careers in aviation, worked with Airbus employee mentors, and gained first-hand experience in the aerospace industry. Last month, they each took to the skies for a flying lesson where they were handed the controls of a Piper Cherokee light aircraft. The cohort also achieved a nationally recognised qualification for their efforts, which they recieved at the graduation ceremony.
Phil McGraa, Community Relations Manager at Airbus in Broughton, said: “It is amazing to see how much the students have developed over their year on the programme. They have more confidence, gained valuable workplace skills and have stronger aspirations to succeed in the future.”
Minister for Defence Procurement hosts Defence Suppliers Forum at Airbus
17 May 2018
Guto Bebb, Minister for Defence Procurement, came to visit our site in Filton on 17th May, along with prime contractors, international companies and SMEs in the defence sector. The Minister hosted the Defence Suppliers Forum, an excellent opportunity for suppliers to directly discuss their concerns with the Minister himself, including their experiences in the supply chain and the Modernising Defence Programme.
The members of the Defence Suppliers Forum then got the opportunity to have a tour of the A400M Wing Manufacturing Facility. This was a great chance for defence suppliers to see first-hand part of the manufacturing process for the great A400M military aircraft that takes place in the South West. Local MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke, Jack Lopresti, was also in attendance.
Congratulations to Broughton's Community Awards winners
01 May 2018
A record-breaking 123 charities and community projects were nominated for this year's Airbus Community Awards in Broughton, which were then judged and shortlisted to a final ten by employees from Airbus and The Leader.
More than 10,000 printed tokens and online votes were received for the ten finalists.
Congratulations to Filton's Community Awards winners
17 April 2018
The voting system in the Bristol Post saw the 45 nominated groups whittled down to 10 winners.
8 weeks and 827,933 votes later, on Wednesday 11 April the Airbus Community Awards 2018 winners were announced at an awards ceremony at Filton, with each of the 10 groups winning a share of £10,000.
Mike Vernon, General Manager of the organisation who won the biggest share of the prize, Kingswood Community Transport said: "We are totally over the moon to win the top prize. We couldn't believe it when our name was called out. I'd like to say a huge 'thank you' to everyone who supported us by collecting the tokens."
Airbus kicks off RAF100 celebrations
17 April 2018
As part of this year's commemorations of 100 years of the RAF, Airbus Broughton hosted a special celebratory football match between Airbus UK Broughton FC and the RAF senior team.
The RAF team ran out 4-0 winners on Tuesday night, as the crowd were entertained by the band of the City of Chester Air Cadets and the appearnance of the Beluga transporter aircraft at half-time.
Hawarden Air Cadets provided the guard of honour for the teams, whilst the mascots from Airbus Youth Academy and Broughton Super Saints played a mini tournament before the game.
Senior officers from RAF bases across North Wales attended on the night, along with guests from the Welsh FA.
Airbus Community Relations Manager, Phil McGraa said: "Airbus is very proud to be a major sponsor and this was a fantastic event to showcase Broughton as part of the year-long celebrations for RAF100. I'd like to thanks everyone who came along on the night and helped us to raise money for the RAF100 Appeal,"
Airbus UK Broughton FC Chairman Michael Mayfield said: "We are very please to be part of this year's RAF100 Anniversary, inspiring future generations by telling the RAF's unique story to the nation and beyond. We're delighted to acknowledge the work of the RAF past and present and proud to congratulate the RAF on its 100th Anniversary."
Broughton and the airfield at Hawarden have a strong bond with the RAF since the factory was first built in 1939. During and after the War, the site was an active RAF base, RAF Hawarden, and in 1943 many staff were involved in building the Wellington bomber in just over 24 hours.
Airbus Broughton provides the backdrop for ‘Road to Brexit’ speech
26 February 2018
Airbus Broughton’s Visitor Centre was the venue for the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Cabinet Office Minister, the Rt. Hon Dr David Lidington CBE MPs ‘Road to Brexit’ speech. Joined by the Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns and Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell, he addressed an audience of local business representatives, national media and Airbus employees. With responsibility for the consequences of Brexit on devolution and the devolved countries, the Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster focused his speech on this issue.
At the beginning of his speech the Cabinet Office Minister referenced Airbus saying:
“It is a pleasure to be with you all this afternoon in Broughton and I want to thank Airbus for their hospitality today.”"
Broughton and the airfield at Hawarden have a strong bond with the RAF since the factory was first built in 1939. During and after the War, the site was an active RAF base, RAF Hawarden, and in 1943 many staff were involved in building the Wellington bomber in just over 24 hours.
A321neo takes centre stage during Day 3 of the Farnborough Airshow
Prime Minister, Theresa May, opened the Farnborough Airshow by showing her support for the newly-branded A220 aircraft. The Prime Minister met with Airbus and Bombardier apprentices from across the UK, before watching the Red Arrows from the steps of the A220.
Ms May then announced that a new Aerospace Sector Deal will be created to further support the UK’s status as a world leader in aerospace, and announced the launch of the Combat Air Strategy. As part of the UK Governments program of support the PM also announced investment worth £343m for innovative R&D projects to support development of new technology in the UK.