Mexico’s economic rebound lift its aerospace industry to a new high

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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mexico’s economic landscape is experiencing a remarkable resurgence, and it’s the manufacturing sector, particularly the aerospace industry, that’s reaping the rewards of disrupted global supply chains.

The aerospace sector, a relatively new player in Mexico with only 18 years under its belt, is witnessing unprecedented growth. In 2022, the industry employed approximately 60,000 workers and exported an impressive $8 billion worth of goods. This milestone signifies a significant step forward in the recovery of an industry that was severely impacted by the pandemic, causing nearly half of the world’s aviation fleet to remain grounded.

What makes Mexico a magnet for aerospace development isn’t solely its skilled workforce, although it is of exceptional quality. The industry’s resounding success has drawn the attention of major global firms, enticing them to invest in engineering, design, development, and research projects on Mexican soil.

Carlos Robles, the president of the Mexican Federation of the Aerospace Industry (FEMIA), underlines the pivotal role played by Bombardier, which arrived in Mexico in 2006. Bombardier’s strategic approach focused on creating a network of suppliers and nurturing local talent to bolster its operations. This initiative bore fruit as it developed relationships with 10 to 12 suppliers, positioning Mexico as an attractive hub for global companies due to its logistical advantages and a highly efficient Mexican workforce.

This positive momentum has given rise to the Aeronautical University in Querétaro (UNAQ) and similar specialized aerospace engineering programs in educational institutions nationwide, including universities and technical schools. Over time, the snowball effect has led to more companies, greater investments, increased production volumes, job creation, and an elevation to the status of the 12th largest global exporter. FEMIA’s vision is to push Mexico into the top 10 aerospace exporters worldwide, further enticing companies to explore opportunities within the space sector.

Mexican aerospace products are renowned for their high value and complexity. From intricate turbine components to structural elements like doors, along with electronics, avionics, composite materials, and precision machined parts, the quality is unquestionable. These attributes, combined with cost efficiency, innovation in continuous process improvement, streamlined logistics, and a wealth of skilled personnel, render Mexico a formidable player in the global aerospace market, particularly in a post-pandemic era marked by supply chain adaptations.

Carlos Robles reports a growing interest among companies in establishing themselves in Mexico, with nearshoring in the aerospace sector taking shape across three distinct areas. The first encompasses companies seeking to set up operations in the country. The second involves companies expanding their manufacturing capacity or implementing new processes in their Mexican plants, with Bombardier and Safran being notable examples. The final area sees firms without a current Mexican presence looking to establish a foothold or develop supply chains within the country.

FEMIA, under Robles’ leadership, is actively working to expedite these processes, creating a supportive environment for these trends, which are having a profoundly positive impact on the aerospace industry.

With over 360 active companies in Mexico’s aerospace sector, one question frequently arises: when will Mexico produce its aircraft? The answer might lie in Horizontec, a company in Guanajuato, which is manufacturing the Halcón II, a 100% Mexican aircraft. This two-seat light sport aircraft (LSA) serves flight schools, security, and recreational purposes, and it’s only a matter of time before a fully Mexican commercial aircraft manufacturer emerges, a testament to Mexico’s thriving aerospace ambitions.

The aerospace sector’s journey to success is marked by resilience, adaptability, and innovation, showcasing Mexico’s capabilities on the global stage. As the industry continues its ascent, Mexico is poised for an even brighter future, taking center stage in the global aerospace landscape.

(Source: Dinorah Becerril | Mexico News Daily)

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