An Etihad Airbus A330. the installation of the ailerons marks another first for the airline, whereby one of its aircraft will now operate with primary components manufactured in the UAE. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: Senior representatives from Strata Manufacturing PJSC, the Al Ain-based aerostructures facility wholly owned by Mubadala, have celebrated the delivery of their first four fully assembled Airbus A330 ailerons during a ceremony at Airbus’ Bremen facility in Germany.

This delivery marks a turning point in Strata’s relationship with Airbus SAS, elevating the company to a tier-one or direct supplier to Airbus for A330-assembled ailerons.

Designed to control roll and assist with turning, the new wing structures will be mounted on to an A330 aircraft scheduled for delivery to Etihad Airways in May.

“Our commitment and our growing partnership with Airbus is an accomplishment for Strata and Abu Dhabi,” said Badr Al Olama, CEO of Strata. “Strata’s dedication to continuous improvement has been reaffirmed by our ability to manufacture complex and technologically advanced primary parts and this further enhances our credibility in the industry, positioning us as a key contender on the next generation of aircraft.

“Our first package of Airbus ailerons being installed on to a new Etihad Airways aircraft makes this a particularly proud moment both for Strata and our nation, showcasing the UAE’s growing role in the global aerospace industry.”

As Etihad Airways prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary, the installation of the ailerons marks another first for the airline, whereby one of its aircraft will now operate with primary components manufactured within the UAE.

“Today is a tremendously proud occasion and we are delighted to see key parts for our aircraft now being manufactured in the UAE,” said James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer. “The UAE, and the emirate of Abu Dhabi in particular, are fast becoming an aviation manufacturing and maintenance centre of excellence, and as the national carrier, in the years ahead, we look forward to further demonstrating and promoting UAE technological and engineering achievements on our fleet and across our network.”

In 2010, just months after completion of its facility, Strata began supplying Airbus with aileron panels and flap-track fairings and has been steadily building its capabilities to deliver more technically complex packages to its partners.

“Aviation is a global business and it brings together the very best each country has to offer,” said Volker Thum, Head of the Airbus plant in Bremen. “For the development and production of the world’s leading aircraft, we require strong and capable partners, like Strata, who can deliver on this global scale. We anticipate that parts manufactured in the UAE will be set features on Airbus aircraft. I am very proud to celebrate this occasion with our partners at Strata today.”

All A330 aircraft require four ailerons; an inboard and outboard aileron mounted on to each wing. Each aileron measures five metres in length, weighs approximately 85 kilograms and is manufactured and assembled by specialised technicians using more than 400 parts.

Last year, Strata sent a group of 16 technicians to Nantes, France for a five-month intensive training programme, while a second group of technicians have recently returned from Nantes to implement the skills they acquired throughout their training. The aileron panels are already being manufactured at Strata by a skilled team of technicians including Emirati women from Strata’s successful apprenticeship schemes.