© mediaserver.hamburg.de/Martin Brinkmann

The Hamburg metropolitan region’s core competencies cover all areas of aircraft construction, aircraft maintenance and airport operations. Along with the three major companies – Airbus, Lufthansa Technik and Hamburg Airport – more than 300 suppliers as well as various technological and scientific institutions contribute their expertise. More than 40,000 specialists are employed in the aviation industry. As a result, Hamburg Aviation is today one of the world’s most important locations for the civil aviation industry.  

In January 2011, the corporate and academic worlds and the state government came together to officially found the Aviation Cluster Hamburg Metropolitan Region Association (“Luftfahrtcluster Metropolregion Hamburg e.V.”), now Hamburg Aviation. The fifteen founding members of the new association are Airbus, Lufthansa Technik, Hamburg Airport, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the small business associations Hanse-Aerospace and HECAS, Hamburg’s tertiary institutions (University of Applied Sciences Hamburg (HAW), Helmut Schmidt University (HSU), Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), University of Hamburg) , the Hamburg Centre of Aviation Training (HCAT), the ZAL Center of Applied Aeronautical Research, the Ministry for Economy, Transport and Innovation (BWVI), the Hamburg Business Development Corporation (HWF) and the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI).

The founding of the association is a milestone in the successful development of an industry-wide network born in 2001 as the “Joint Initiative Hamburg – The place for aviation”. Just one year previously, the decision had been made that Hamburg would be the second major site, next to Toulouse, for the development and construction of the Airbus A380 mega-liner.

In 2008 the network received the Federal Government accolade of Leading-Edge Cluster. The integrated strategy of making aviation even more economical, more ecological, more comfortable, more reliable, and more flexible helped the Hamburg Aviation Cluster to win the first non-industry specific Leading-Edge Cluster competition, organised by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), securing 40 million euros in research funding. Numerous research projects revolving around product and process innovation will drive the expansion of the cluster’s competencies in aircraft and aircraft systems, cabins and cabin systems, aviation services, air transport systems and aviation related IT and communications. Research is being carried out, for example, on the use of fuel cells as a source of energy for aircraft and on improvements in the noise levels and air quality inside the aircraft cabin; airport processes are being optimised. In addition, Hamburg Aviation was honoured with the GOLD Label by the European Commission’s ECEI Initiative in 2014, recognising it as one of Europe’s best managed clusters.

The association is a genuine public-private partnership, with the aim that the new cluster structure will make better use of the positive outlook for the aviation industry in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region, more effectively exploiting the associated growth potential. By strengthening the primary involvement of the industry in the management of the cluster and by establishing a new association, important prerequisites are fulfilled for the direct participation in national and European programmes. It is planned to develop new collaborative programmes and joint projects that will help further cement the region’s global ranking in the aviation industry.

Currently, Hamburg Aviation has 124 members

(status: November 2015) www.hamburg-aviation.com