Hamburg Metropolitan Region – Aerospace

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The sector – Aerospace location of world renown

Hamburg Metropolitan Region is one of the world’s leading civilian aerospace industry locations, alongside Seattle and Toulouse. One in three employees in the German aerospace industry works in or around Hamburg. At the beginning of 2008, the sector employed 36,000 highly skilled people.

There is an accumulation of expertise here that reflects every facet of aircraft construction, aircraft maintenance and airport operations. As well as the three large concerns – Airbus Deutschland GmbH, Lufthansa Technik AG and Hamburg Airport GmbH – more than 300 small and medium-sized businesses as well as innumerable scientific and technological institutions contribute to the wealth of know-how.
Production of the wide-bodied Airbus A380 makes the North German aerospace location part of the largest-ever project in modern aeronautical industry. Employees at the Hamburg branch of Airbus have sole responsibility for development and production of the A380 cabin.

The whole Hamburg Metropolitan Region benefits from the project. The Airbus works in Stade, centre of excellence for carbon-fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) technology, and in Buxtehude, for inflight entertainment, are both heavily involved in the development and emergence of the A380.

Focal points – Aerospace excellence in the North

Members of the Hamburg metropolitan aerospace cluster have gained internationally recognised expertise, particularly in fitting out aircraft interiors. In Hamburg the A380 is fitted with its whole cabin interior. In the VIP Completion Centre, Lufthansa Technik AG fulfils clients’ most unusual requirements for cabin interiors. In addition, many supplier companies in the region have specialised in products and solutions for aircraft cabins: for example Albert Mühlenberg Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG (aircraft galleys), Dasell Cabin Interior GmbH (toilets) and ESW GmbH (trolley lift systems).

In addition, Lufthansa Technik AG, as world leader in the segment, also offers maintenance, repairs, general overhauls (MRO). The concern looks after aircraft for more than 580 international clients throughout their life cycle.

Lightweight construction technology based on carbon-fibre reinforced polymers (CFRP) is particularly important in aircraft construction. Because of the local concentration of users and suppliers, internationally oriented parties have formed an excellence network, CFK-Valley e.V., based at Stade. Out of this developed a unique pooling and dovetailing of training, research & development, further processing and applications.

Innovative standards are also being set at the airport in Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel. Here there are proving grounds, for example, to demonstrate new technologies in the operational surroundings of airport-related areas and to improve turnaround times at the airport.

Education, research and development – Training drive and aviation research

The choice of facilities for promoting young talent ranges from the dual system of vocational training through various university degree courses to qualification upgrading opportunities. In close consultation with business, universities in the region have at their disposal specific teaching and research posts.

To safeguard the manpower factor in its success, the Aviation training drive, in cooperation with partners in the aerospace cluster, developed measures tailored to actual demand and developed the commensurate educational infrastructure. The state school for production engineering and aviation technology (G15) is a vocational school for occupations in aeronautical technology that is known far beyond the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. The Aviation training drive concept received a “best practice” award from the European Commission.

A very effective research network has been built up in the Metropolitan Region, with the Hamburg-Harburg technical university (TUHH), Hamburg university of applied sciences (HAW), Helmut Schmidt University/German armed forces university (HSU), Hamburg-Finkenwerder technology centre (THF) and many other university-level institutions. The cluster also includes Brunswick technical university and the German aviation and aerospace centre (DLR).

The next generation of scientists receives specific support. Thus a chair of "cabin interior systems" was gifted to the Hamburg-Harburg technical university (TUHH). A degree course in “interior design and engineering” was created at Hamburg University of applied sciences (HAW).

Bachelor and masters degree courses in “composite materials” were set up in cooperation between the Göttingen private university and Airbus in Stade. Since January 2008 Stade has been an official location of the university. The course focuses on carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP). An integrated group of suppliers and knowledge has grown up around the Stade Airbus works: the so-called CFK Valley.

In addition to existing research institutions and the web of cooperation arrangements between universities and business, the foundation stone for a centre for applied aviation research (ZAL) was laid in 2008. This public-private partnership carries out development work, for example, on aircraft interiors and air transport systems. Spatially integrated, the Fuel Cell Lab (FCL), in which tests are being conducted on fuel cell technology as an alternative energy source in aircraft.

Business development – Hamburg aviation initiative

Networking between the individual interests in the Metropolitan Region’s aviation cluster functions perfectly – particularly thanks the Hamburg aviation initiative. Companies in the region are closing ranks, to enjoy success together. It is this kind of cooperation that is the real strength of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region, which is one of the world’s leading civilian aeronautics centres.

In June 2001, a platform was established for the exchange of ideas and information between aerospace sector companies and professional associations as well as university-level institutions and public authorities in the area. Their mutual goal is to raise the profile of the Metropolitan Region at both national und international levels as a top location for leading edge technology with high development potential and outstanding prospects for companies and employees in Germany.

The Metropolitan Region already has an unrivalled position in world markets in cabin equipment; the annual trade fair, Aircraft Interiors Expo, underlines this. An additional creative impulse for companies and research institutions is hoped for from the Hamburg aviation initiative, which in 2007 established the first international prize for innovative cabin products and concepts, the Crystal Cabin Award.

Figures – Data – Facts

Hamburg has a 100-year-old tradition in aviation.

More than 36,000 well trained and often highly specialised co-workers have found secure jobs in the sector. Up to the beginning of 2008, that meant growth of 33 per cent compared with 2000. And it is increasing, year after year.

The aircraft construction branch in southern Hamburg alone employs about 14,000 people. Airbus in Finkenwerder has a white-collar workforce of 12,000, in Stade another 1,600 and Buxtehude 360.

Hamburg Airport GmbH is the second fastest growing airport in the EU. Some 12.78m passengers arrived and departed Fuhlsbüttel in 2007. This was a 6.9 per cent rise over the previous year. The airport is still on a record-breaking course. The total number of passengers is expected to reach 13m for the first time in 2008.

Around 800 youngsters are apprenticed in core aerospace technology jobs on the Alster and Elbe. This makes Hamburg leader in Germany. Another 1,500 people were undergoing reskilling courses in technical commercial areas.

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