U.S. aviation giant Boeing is looking to increase its number of suppliers and expand its fleet in Turkey, Vice President Brian Baird of Aircraft Materials and Structures, Supplier Management, Boeing Commercial Airplanes said yesterday.
In a speech, titled "Boeing and Turkey: Cooperation for Growth in Aviation" at the "Boeing Turkey National Aviation Plan Aviation Industry Development Program," Baird said that Boeing was trying to expand its fleet in Turkey. He said that the company has increased its collaboration with Turkish universities and industries. He also pointed out that currently, Boeing has more than 20 suppliers in Turkey.
"We want to increase this number in the long-term. Our Turkish suppliers support Boeing's all commercial aircraft programs and we intend to strengthen our presence here," he said. "We are looking to increase the Turkish aviation industry's competence. We especially want to expand our business with existing suppliers and attract new ones to the sector."
Boeing Turkey Managing Director Ayşem Sargın stressed that Turkey is growing, especially in commercial aviation. She added that given Turkey's very special geographical location, it is just a three-hour flight away from 15 countries.
"This is a huge plus in commercial aviation," Sargın said, adding that, "Turkish Airlines puts it to good use. The third airport to be built in Istanbul is also a very serious factor. Our cooperation is not just about aircraft sales. We are also working very well with our suppliers in Turkey."
Deputy Undersecretary for Defense Industries Celal Sami Tüfekçi, one of the keynote speakers at the program, revealed that as part of "Turkey's National Aviation Plan," Boeing will increase its collaboration and make more investments in Turkey in the coming period.
Tüfekçi said they were confident that Turkey will overcome all technical difficulties with its highly skilled engineers and technicians to deliver the highest quality as long as professional, sustainable and well-planned co-operations are established.
"We value Boeing's approach to strategic partnership. We wish the workforce plans are realized rapidly with positive outcomes and they pave the way for new collaborations," Tüfekçi said, adding that as the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries, they are ready to give all kinds of support to Turkey's aviation sector.
He noted that Turkey was transforming itself into a global transportation hub, carrying 200 million passengers and continuous growth policies in other areas. He highlighted that with the new airport in Istanbul, Turkey will reach even more destinations.
"Turkey also earns billions of dollars from defense and aviation industry exports. We are developing our own aircraft and we are co-operating with the big names in the aviation sector, like Boeing," he said, adding that pioneering Turkish organizations, like Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and Turkish Technic, have taken the lead in the sector with new projects, new investments and new cooperation.
"The support provided by our state, Turkey's significant position in the growing world economy and its hard-working people play an important role in the achievement of these developments," he added.
He said several parts of Boeing airplanes are produced in Turkey and the company also provides maintenance services here. He also said, besides civilian aircraft, Turkey was working with Boeing in some defense industry projects, including airborne early warning systems and control aircraft, helicopters and tankers.
Pointing out that aviation requires the highest standards among all engineering branches, he said, "Boeing's plans for engineering and technology centers, regional flight training centers, regional maintenance and repair collaborations, simulator development and supplier development program, are all very exciting developments."
He said he hoped that the recently initiated Industrial Competency Assessment Project (EYDEP) will complement these developments greatly.
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