The aerospace sector in Spain has its origin back in the 1920s military industry development, later favored by the Second World War during which Spain played an important role as a supplier of aviation components. In the 1960s, the Center for Research and Technical Studies of Guipúzcoa was created, with which the country took its first R&D steps in the sector. In the 80s the large OEMs began to develop activities in Spain, which was a boost to the Spanish side industry.
The aerospace sector in Spain occupies the 5th position in Europe in terms of sales volume (more than EUR 11,500 million) and number of workers (50,000), with significant annual growth and an investment in R&D of 10% of the sector turnover. For the Spanish economy it is a strategic sector for different reasons, among others, the importance it has in investment in R&D&i and its impact on other sectors, the creation of high-quality employment and the impact on total exports of the country. It represents close to 10% of Spain’s industrial GDP.
Spanish companies include manufacturers of military transport aircraft, low-pressure turbines, maintenance service companies, component manufacturers for in-flight refueling aircraft and space missions, composite material aerostructures, and air traffic management systems. Furthermore, the Spanish industry participates in European aeronautical developments, both civil and military, of the main European brands. Spain is also a member of ESA (European Space Agency) and participates in its main programs.
The sector is differentiated by its high level of specialization and ability to develop innovative solutions in advanced technologies. Despite the drop in demand in key markets during the pandemic, the industry has been able to adapt to new challenges, favoring innovation and collaborative projects between companies.
The Spanish Space Agency, based in Seville, aims to promote space research and technological developments in this field and strengthen the national industry. The “Clean Aviation” programs (financed by the European Union) promote clean and efficient technologies, and projects such as the Eurodrone or the European FCAS combat aircraft. In addition, one of the Strategic Economic Recovery and Transformation Projects (PERTE) of the Spanish government is aimed at the aerospace industry, which will provide new incentives for the industry.
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