The Emirate of Abu Dhabi has been working with EADS and Airbus during the past several years to develop its aviation industry – part of a strategy to diversify from its oil-based economy. This cooperation provides EADS and Airbus with a highly capable supplier in a region, a key market for new sales.

Composite work

The collaboration began with composite flap track fairings – housings that streamline airflow around the wing flaps’ external activation linkages – for Airbus A330/A340 long-range jetliners. Arranged through the Abu Dhabi government-owned Mubadala Development Company, production of these fairings has been progressively provided to a purpose-built factory of Mubadala’s Strata composite aerostructures company in the city of Al Ain.

Construction of the Strata Al Ain facility began in September 2009. Deliveries of the first assembled products from Strata began in September 2010. The company now manufactures A330 flap track fairings as a single-source supplier to Airbus.

Following this success, other composite manufacturing work packages are being transferred to Strata, including the A380’s flap track fairings, along with wing spoilers and ailerons for the A330.

Airbus also is bringing metallic component work packages to Abu Dhabi, assigning this work to Tawazun Precision Industries (TPI).

Airbus supply chain

“It has been a true success story, as Abu Dhabi continues to prove its capabilities with good quality products, on-target costs and faster-than-expected ramp-ups in manufacturing,” says Lee London, the Airbus Senior Director - International Cooperation, Middle East.

“The results have led us to increase the amount of work being placed with Abu Dhabi, which will become more and more involved in the Airbus supply chain.”

Airbus also is assisting Abu Dhabi in other activities, including offering training and education opportunities, providing advice and consultancy on research and engineering, and assisting the Mubadala-owned Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies company in joining the Airbus network of approved maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services.