Christchurch will aim to be New Zealand’s aerospace hub by 2025 under a new strategic plan.
Commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), the plan details the goals and steps required for the city to become an internationally recognised aerospace centre.
MBIE General Manager, Science, Innovation and International, Peter Crabtree says New Zealand is fast becoming a base for aerospace innovation.
Dr Crabtree says that the plan – prepared by Deloitte Access Economics – provides 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,” he says.
“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 people’s lives.”
The five-year plan sets out multiple goals and actions for the local aerospace sector, based on four themes: knowledge sharing, innovation and test-bed capabilities, pathways to attract and expand businesses, and education and training.
Under the plan, the sector will work with the University of Canterbury to extend the use of existing testing facilities, and also identify further test sites, create a prospectus for start-ups, and provide financial incentives for aerospace businesses and education.
ChristchurchNZ General Manager, Innovation and Business Growth, Richard Sandford says growing the city's aerospace sector is a natural fit and an important economic driver.
The plan also acknowledges the well-connected local sector brought together by the Christchurch Aerospace Centre, with more than 200 industry members regularly sharing the latest innovations.
Christchurch Aerospace Centre Chairperson Mark Rocket believes the city is in a good position to deliver on the ambitious 2025 goals.
“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,” he says.
“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.”