Growth in manufacturing and aerospace employment in Mexico give birth to the country’s first aerospace fair.
The first Mexican Aerospace Fair took place took place in Mexico’s Federal District from April 22 to April 25, 2015 on the site of the country’s Military Air Station No. 1. The facility is Mexico’s main airbase, and is the location of the nation’s longest aviation runway.
At the kick off of the event, president, Enrique Peña Nieto, noted that aerospace employment in Mexico has grown by a factor of three over the course of the last eight years. Whereas, approximately, three hundred aerospace industry companies employ a total of forty-five thousand direct laborers, industry analysts project that by 2020, aerospace employment in Mexico will reach the one hundred and ten thousand worker mark. This growth will be largely due to Mexico’s advantageous cost structure, and the country’s increasing ability to educate workers to meet the challenges that are characteristic of manufacturing that demands a high level of quality.
During the Mexican Aerospace Fair 2015, Peña Nieto also made reference to the growing importance of the aerospace industry in terms of national exports. According to Mexican government figures, aerospace manufactures valued at a total of approximately US $6.3 billion were shipped from the country in 2014 to the rest of the world. As might be expected, the largest importer of Mexican produced aerospace parts is the United States of America. Mexico is now the sixth most important aerospace supplier to the US, ahead of countries like Brazil, China, Italy and Israel. As a point of comparison, the total Mexican export figure for this class of goods was 26.3% less in US dollar terms during the year 2012
Some Mexican aerospace experts such as the rector of the National Aerospace University of Queretaro (UNAQ), Jorge Gutierrez de Velasco, credit much of the aerospace industry’s growth in Mexico as a result of the attention that has been brought to the country through massive amounts of foreign direct investment that has fueled the growth in the nation’s automotive sector over the last several decades. Confidence in Mexico’s ability to produce quality automobiles has helped to engender the same trust vis a vis aerospace manufacturing. Aerospace employment in Mexico is supported by technical programs of study at UNAQ, as well as those offered by a growing number of institutions of higher learning across the country.
Although aerospace activity in Mexico is broken down into a bit more than seventy-two percent in the realm of manufacturing, thirteen percent in engineering and design function, eleven percent in maintenance and repair operations and four percent in miscellaneous activities, the country opened a new chapter in its integration into the global aerospace community when European aerospace giant, Airbus, announced that it would build its first training center for pilots in Latin America in Mexico City at the International Center for Airport and Auxiliary Services (CIASA) in Mexico City. The training center will be operational some time during the current year. Among the equipment to be employed in the training of pilots from Latin American countries at the center will be all of the equipment required to prepare students to fly short to medium range, twin engine passenger jets such as the widely used A320.