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Thompson and ADS host NI aerospace industry summit

Thompson Aero Seating yesterday hosted a prestigious aerospace industry event at its facilities in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, in conjunction with ADS NI, with Invest Northern Ireland providing the guest speaker.

Above: (left to right) Dr Leslie Orr, Director ADS NI, Kieran Donoghue, Chief Executive for Invest NI and Keith Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of Thompson Aero Seating.
Courtesy ADS / Thompson

The summit was held at the Thompson Engineering Centre, where the company’s new Dynamic Test Facility was opened at the end of last year. Kieran Donoghue, Chief Executive for Invest NI, addressed the audience in his inaugural guest-speaker role to talk about the importance of the aerospace industry to the NI economy.   

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The event was attended by 60 of the heads of industry from aerospace-related businesses across the region, many of which make up some of the 100 member-companies of ADS NI. They were welcomed by Keith Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of Thompson Aero Seating, a company that creates business-class seating for some of the world’s major airlines and is a significant employer and exporter for NI.

Dr Leslie Orr, Director ADS NI, said: “Thompson Aero Seating’s Dynamic Test Facility is a real asset for aerospace innovation.  We were delighted to be able to connect with so many of our members and thought leaders in Northern Ireland. The aerospace industry is vital to the region, and it is important that we work together to continue its success.”

Speaking at the event, Kieran Donoghue, Chief Executive for Invest NI, said: “This has been a great opportunity to meet with so many members of the thriving aerospace industry in Northern Ireland, which generates an estimated £1.9bn in revenues. Invest NI will work closely with the sector and its supply chain to ensure that it continues to innovate, compete globally and contribute to growing the NI economy.”

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The assembly heard from Thompson Aero Seating’s Jonny McGreevy, Vice President of Engineering, and Catherine Mitchell, Vice President of Supply Chain, about Thompson’s capabilities before the event concluded with a demonstration of the Dynamic Test Facility – where Thompson’s engineers are able to reproduce the dynamic conditions of a full-scale crash in a controlled environment.   

Host Keith Anderson said: “The aerospace manufacturing that takes place in the region is perhaps one of Northern Ireland’s best kept secrets; we are so very proud of the impact our small country makes. The growth of our industry and talent within Northern Ireland makes our future exciting.”

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