Farnborough Aerospace Consortium (FAC) has appointed Graham Chisnall as its new chairman.

Chisnall replaces Sir Donald Spiers who has retired from the role after almost 20 years of service. Chisnall has held senior roles with British Aerospace, GKN Aerospace and ADS.

With tighter lockdown restrictions announced again yesterday, Chisnall joins FAC at a difficult time for the industry. He said that the sector would take time to climb out of its “current trough.” He added “many businesses will have to hunker down and concentrate on survival”.

UK aerospace is well placed for recovery

But Chisnall added that the UK’s aerospace sector remained competitive globally and was well placed to recover. Chisnall adds that FAC retains a good relationship with UK trade organisation representing the aerospace, defence, security and space sectors, ADS, which has more than 1,100 member businesses.

Chisnall said: “Along with ADS, FAC administers NATEP, the programme that funds research and development projects for small and medium enterprises. This could be crucial for companies which want to hold onto their skilled engineers as they wait for commercial flying to resume.”

“As well as funding, membership of FAC brings access to market intelligence and information, helps members win business and offers networking opportunities. It brings large companies together with those smaller businesses in the supply chain and is the recognised voice of SMEs within the sector.”

“People will always want to travel”

FAC has a large presence at the Farnborough International Air Show and the association is looking forward to the 2022 the show to generate plenty of business.

“There is a lot of work to do but I remain confident that aerospace will recover. Some things will have changed for good, but people will always want to travel,” he explained.

Chisnall’s career saw him finish his time at BAe as group head of strategy. At GKN, he rose to corporate director of strategy, responsible for group strategy across all sectors of the company. In 2010 he joined ADS as deputy CEO and managing director, and he is also an experienced non-exec director across private, public interest and not-for-profit sectors.

Chisnall is a self-confessed ‘aviation anorak’, flies vintage aircraft, is a trustee of the Brooklands Museum and chairs the learned society of WW1 Aviation historians, the Cross and Cockade Society.

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