On June 29, 2015, global security and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin and aircraft manufacturer Aribus signed a deal that combined their commercial flight training operations. The new partnership shines a spotlight on the Mexican aerospace industry, with new, full flight simulators scheduled for deployment in Mexico City and Monterrey.
Full throttle for Mexican aerospace
It's no surprise that Mexico is on the short list for aerospace investment and infrastructure development. High-tech manufacturing is booming in Mexico, and the global aerospace industry is carving out a space in the Mexican economy for design, OEM manufacturing, maintenance and aircraft assembly.
"The partnership shines a spotlight on the Mexican aerospace industry."
ProMexico, the federal agency responsible for promoting Mexico's participation in the international economy, reported that the Mexican aerospace industry recorded nearly 20 percent annual growth over the seven-year period starting in 2008 and now employs more than 31,000 skilled technical professionals.
Over the past several decades, public investments in Mexican schools, workforce development and manufacturing infrastructure have paved the way for a pool of young, talented workers to enter today's highly technical labor market. According to ProMexico's industry report, these investments have paid off with a 7 percent annual growth rate of engineering graduates. That graduation rate is outpacing Mexico's population growth.
Now, ProMexico reports the country's Ministry of Economy expects Mexican aerospace industry exports to exceed $12 billion in 2020. International company's like Lockheed Martin and Airbus are investing in that promise of success.
Commercial flight training
Lockheed Martin and Airbus consummated the recent pilot training partnership with the order of two new A320 full flight simulators. The first will be delivered this year to the Airbus Mexico Training Centre in Mexico City. The second will arrive in the company's Monterrey facilities in early 2016.
In its June 29 press release, Lockheed Martin specified that the company also offers training services at international centers in both Brazil and Korea. Despite competition from those alternate venues, the first simulator deployments are headed to multiple facilities in Mexico. It's safe to say that the highly visible aerospace industry gains in Mexico are drawing the attention of aerospace support service operations. The Lockheed Martin and Airbus deal illustrates that Mexico is as attractive for support services like commercial flight training as it is for aircraft manufacturers.