Christchurch aims to be at the centre of New Zealand’s burgeoning aerospace sector by 2025, according to the city’s aerospace strategic plan.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to develop the plan which sets out goals and actions for how the city will become a world recognised aerospace hub.
MBIE's general manager of science innovation and international Dr Peter Crabtree says New Zealand is fast becoming a hub for aerospace innovation and the plan was commissioned to provide Christchurch’s aerospace sector with a solid basis for industry development.
"Christchurch is making a significant contribution to the growth of New Zealand’s aerospace sector.
“MBIE is proactively supporting this growth because of the high value jobs it creates, the international investment it attracts, and the many ways in which advancements in aerospace technology have the potential to improve peoples lives,” he said.
The five-year plan sets out nine goals and associated actions for the city’s aerospace sector, based around four themes:
- Knowledge sharing
- Innovation and test-bed capabilities
- Pathways to attract and expand businesses
- Education and training
Actions under each of these themes include working with the University of Canterbury to extend the use of existing testing facilities, identifying locations in Canterbury for further test facilities, creating a prospectus for aerospace start-ups to enable efficient uptake of the city’s resources, regulatory pre-approval of flight zones, financial incentives for aerospace businesses and scholarship and education programmes.
“Aerospace is a future ‘supernode’ for Christchurch – one of our existing strategic growth areas where we are building more talent, attracting and importantly retaining, high-value industry."Richard Sandford ChristchurchNZ General Manager Innovation & Business Growth
Richard Sandford, General Manager Innovation & Business Growth at ChristchurchNZ said growing Christchurch’s aerospace sector is a natural fit and an important economic driver for the city.
“Aerospace is a future ‘supernode’ for Christchurch – one of our existing strategic growth areas where we are building more talent, attracting and importantly retaining, high-value industry.
“Our recently completed New Zealand Aerospace Challenge, powered by global giant Airbus, showcased the world-leading innovation that is being developed here and attracting attention across the globe,” said Sandford.
The plan acknowledges the already strong and well-connected sector, brought together by the Christchurch Aerospace Centre. The Centre sees 200+ industry members meeting regularly to network and share the latest innovations in the sector.
“The city contains the essential elements for success in the aerospace industry, we have a well-connected sector that spans the breadth of the production process from development and design, testing, prototyping and assembly through to launch and data analytics."Mark Rocket, Chair of the Christchurch Aerospace Centre
Mark Rocket, Chair of the Christchurch Aerospace Centre has been involved in the instigation of the plan and believes Christchurch is well-placed to deliver on the ambitious goals for 2025.
“The city contains the essential elements for success in the aerospace industry, we have a well-connected sector that spans the breadth of the production process from development and design, testing, prototyping and assembly through to launch and data analytics. Christchurch is currently a major international gateway to the Antarctic and there's an exciting future pathway ahead where Christchurch could also be a gateway to space,” said Rocket.
Delivery of the plan will take an ‘all of city’ approach says Sandford.
“We are already connecting with our aerospace businesses, stakeholders and industry partners to work alongside us to make this plan a reality. Together we all have a vested interest in creating jobs, boosting productivity and fostering innovation to help raise economic well being of the city ” Sandford said.