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Opening of the headquarters of the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) in Cranfield

News International-French

6 May 2014

UK Business Minister Michael Fallon hailed the initiative at the official opening of the headquarters of the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, which will help allocate £2 billion of funding to research and technology projects across the country.

The ATI is a major commitment in the government’s industrial strategy, established to keep the UK at the forefront of the global aerospace sector. The new institute will oversee the UK’s technology strategy for the next generation of quieter, more energy efficient aircraft.

Gary Elliott, former CEO of Hybrid Air Vehicles, has been appointed Chief Executive of the ATI.

Michael Fallon also visited the Aircraft Research Association (ARA) in Bedford. ARA is to benefit from £2 million of ATI funding to enhance its capability to carry out wind tunnel research and testing. This work could lead to increased passenger comfort and less noise due to the lower impact of turbulence.

ARA’s wind tunnels will enable aerospace companies to conduct advanced research in the early stages of the development of new aircraft and helicopters. The testing section of the tunnel measures 8ft by 9ft; uses power equivalent to the town of Bedford when it is running; and runs at up to 1,000 mph, 1.3 times the speed of sound.

The ATI will help ensure maximum return from £2 billion joint government and industry investment provided through the industrial strategy by providing a single, national focus for technology research and facilities in the sector.

Improvements enabled by the ATI are expected to lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions of more than 100 million tonnes each year from next generation aircraft - equivalent to taking 20 million cars off the road around the world.

The UK’s aerospace sector contributes £24 billion to the economy every year, supports 3,000 companies and employs 230,000 workers across the UK. Three quarters of the industry’s product is exported.

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