Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, made Australia its largest base outside the US
Celebrating its 90th anniversary in Australia in 2017, Boeing has invested approximately A$1 billion in its Australian operations over the years. In the last three years, Boeing has invested in manufacturing upgrades at its Fishermans Bend facility in Melbourne, as well as new facilities for its defence team headquartered in Brisbane.
Boeing has more than 3,000 employees across 27 sites in Australia who work across a wide range of aerospace, commercial aviation, defence, logistics, training and navigation businesses.
Its Fishermans Bend facility is home to Boeing Aerostructures Australia (BAA), where a 1,200-strong workforce designs, tests, certifies and manufactures structural composite components for the company’s commercial airplanes, including 737, 747, 777 and 787. Boeing Research & Technology – Australia is co-located at the facility and works closely with BAA, Australian research partners and universities as well as Boeing in the US to develop innovations and technology.
One such innovation is ‘resin infusion’, a unique carbon fibre production technology used in the manufacture of the ‘moveable trailing edge’ control surfaces of the 787 at Fishermans Bend. The weight and efficiency savings from this technology contribute to increased fuel savings on each aircraft.
In July, Boeing and the Queensland Government announced an agreement to fund and develop new ways for remotely piloted aircraft systems to be used by major industries in the state. Boeing subsidiary Insitu Pacific, Shell/QGC, Telstra and local small and medium-sized enterprises will support the initiative, which will result in an improved airspace situational awareness prototype along with enhanced data analytics tools.
These advancements are made possible by Boeing’s long-term view of its global business and how investments in the Australian market support its strategic objectives, as well as the objectives of the Australian Government, such as STEM education, advanced manufacturing, and growing the nation’s aerospace capabilities. The company partners with the local community; Australian industry including small and medium-sized enterprises; local universities including UQ, QUT and RMIT; the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and others to drive innovation in aerospace systems design, development and manufacturing.
In 2015, Boeing Aerostructures Australia was selected as one of four Australian companies to be part of the Australian Trusted Trader program to simplify trade for exporters.
Boeing is also a strong supporter of Australian suppliers looking to expand internationally. For example, in May 2016, Boeing announced it had renewed its agreement with the Commonwealth to continue providing Australian industry with global supply chain opportunities, after awarding approximately AU$350 million in contracts since 2007.
Companies like Lovitt Technologies, have worked with Boeing for over 20 years as a supplier. Bruce Ramsay, Lovitt's Manufacturing Director says: "Working with Boeing has given Lovitt the opportunity to grow from an automotive tooling supplier into a globally competitive aerospace component manufacturer."
Boeing remains an important part of the aerospace and business fabric of Australia.