Celebrating its 90th anniversary in Australia in 2017, Boeing has invested approximately $1 billion in its Australian operations over the years. In the last three years, Boeing has invested in manufacturing upgrades at its Fishermans Bend facility in Melbourne, as well as new facilities for its defence team headquartered in Brisbane.
“I was honoured to accept the inaugural Investment Award on behalf of our 3000-plus employees in Australia and our 160,000 employees globally,” said Maureen Dougherty, president of Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific.
“As we approach our 90th year in Australia next year, we will continue to invest in great Australian talent, and to provide them opportunities to work on truly exciting programs that span commercial airplanes, defence and R&D, as well as managing a significant supply chain.”
Boeing has more than 3,000 employees across 27 sites in Australia who work across a wide range of aerospace, commercial aviation, defence, logistics, training and navigation businesses.
Its Fishermans Bend facility is home to Boeing Aerostructures Australia (BAA), where a 1,200-strong workforce designs, tests, certifies and manufactures structural composite components for the company’s commercial airplanes, including 737, 747, 777 and 787. Boeing Research & Technology – Australia is co-located at the facility and works closely with BAA, Australian research partners and universities, as well as Boeing in the US to develop innovations and technology.
One such innovation is ‘resin infusion’, a unique carbon fibre production technology used in the manufacture of the ‘moveable trailing edge’ control surfaces of the 787 at Fishermans Bend. The weight and efficiency savings from this technology contribute to increased fuel savings on each aircraft.
In July, Boeing and the Queensland government announced an agreement to fund and develop new ways for remotely piloted aircraft systems to be used by major industries in the state. Boeing subsidiary Insitu Pacific, Shell/QGC, Telstra and local small and medium-sized enterprises will support the initiative, which will result in an improved airspace situational awareness prototype, along with enhanced data analytics tools.
Boeing is also a strong supporter of Australian suppliers looking to expand internationally. For example, in May 2016, Boeing announced it had renewed its agreement with the Commonwealth to continue providing Australian industry with global supply chain opportunities, after awarding approximately $350 million in contracts since 2007.