To tap into the accelerated growth of Asia Pacific’s aerospace and aviation industries, the Philippines participated as a country pavilion for the first time at the recent Singapore Airshow in the Changi Exhibition Centre. This year’s show featured over 1,000 companies from 50 countries.

This maiden participation was organized by the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry – Foreign Trade Service Corps and the Board of Investments (BOI); Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP); the Aerospace Industries Association of the Philippines (AIAP); and the Aviation Schools Association of the Philippines. The airshow provided the Philippine firms engaged in aircraft parts manufacturing, aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and aviation trainings, the opportunity to showcase their technologies and capabilities. The delegation also met with global players with the aim of establishing industrial partnerships and identifying areas of cooperation across a range of sectors.

“We first visited the show with our official delegates two years ago and saw that there would be potential. This year, we felt that we are ready to introduce ourselves and offer our interest in partnerships with many of the aerospace companies,” said Glenn Peñaranda, Commercial Counsellor, Philippine Trade & Investment Centre-Singapore. “We are heartened to hear that people are looking forward to what the Philippines has to offer and have had very positive meetings with major players and even potential partners in this industry.”

The Philippines supplies to the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers from flight control actuation systems to galleys and interior fit-outs and serves as an emerging MRO hub for carriers. Beyond capabilities, the country nurtures a core pool of talent and increases competencies of the aviation workforce, with many Filipinos employed in various aerospace companies worldwide. There is also a stronger collaboration among CAAP, AIAP and education institutes, with programs regularly enhanced to scale up the skills of students, particularly in aviation mechanics.

In recent years, the Philippines has become an attractive market for the industry because of its growing economy, cost-effective facilities, support from the government, and availability of technically-competent, English-speaking engineers at competitive fees. In 2014, the AIAP created the Philippine Aerospace Industry Roadmap (AIR) in coordination with the BOI and the Department of Science and Technology – outlining the targets to respond to the increasing demands on the supply chain.

While a number of foreign companies have established their operations in the country including B/E Aerospace, DJ Aerospace, JAMCO Aerospace, Lufthansa Technik, MOOG Controls, Singapore Airlines Engineering Corporation and Airbus Helicopters, the government continues to encourage foreign companies to set up and grow in the Philippines.

During the Airshow, the Philippines made headlines when its flag carrier Philippine Airlines purchased six A350-900 aircraft with an option for another six from Airbus. It also signed a US$600M order with Rolls-Royce for Trent XWB engines to power the six A350s.

The Singapore Airshow is seen to be a marketplace and networking powerhouse for the world’s aviation community. It ran from February 16 to 21, 2016 and officially opened on February 15, with a performance by Filipino shadow play group El Gamma Penumbra.