Avianca’s Big Expansion Boosts Antioquia’s Growing Aeronautical ‘Cluster’
Medellin investment promotion agency ACI (Agencia de Cooperación e Inversión de Medellín y el Área Metropolitana) announced October 8 that a new “Clúster Aeroespacial Colombiano” (Colombian aeronautical cluster) is becoming a magnet for new business growth in Antioquia.
The growth of aeronautical investment and jobs in metro Medellin is due in part to a huge expansion project by Avianca airlines at the Rionegro (Medellin metro) international airport this year.
Avianca is now installing a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at Rionegro, which will occupy 44,300 square meters and generate more than 600 new jobs, according to ACI.
The new facility would handle four Airbus A320 planes simultaneously, or else two wide-body planes simultaneously, according to ACI.
“Because of this [expansion], we consider that the aeronautical sector is emerging as an important alternative for the arrival of more foreign investment and we are promoting the advantages and possibilities that this offers,” ACI spokesman Juan Carlos Valencia told Medellin Herald.
The new “aeronautical cluster” is an “important alternative to attract national and foreign investment and generate skilled employment in Medellín and Antioquia,” according to ACI.
On a parallel front, the aeronautical cluster is also gaining new business from the
“Centro de Desarrollo Tecnológico Aeroespacial para la Defensa” (CETAD), a branch of the Colombian Air Force that is supporting local production of airplane replacement parts.
Public-private alliance (APP) policy is supporting the CETAD initiative, according to ACI.
To date, 14 companies in Antioquia are supplying the Air Force with replacement parts that formerly had to be imported. A recently formed “assembly network” – promoted by ACI – is an “essential element” for the APP initiative.
Over the past four years, these 14 companies have developed some 100 aeronautical components that have been certified by the Air Force. The group is now working to certify another 15 components this year, according to ACI.
The 14 companies in the “network” include Compoestructuras S.A.S.; Global Rotor S.A.S.; Cima Ltda.; Fulcrum S.A.S.; Dream House S.A.S.;, Intertelco S.A.S.;, Rutech S.A.S.;, Oriontech S.A.S.;, Maquinamos Industrias S.A.S.; MPL Aviation S.A.S.; Setein S.A.S.; Setimmec S.A.S.; Nediar S.A.S.; and Comando Aéreo De Combate Número Cinco – Cacom 5.
On a parallel front, ACI organized a business gathering in September between the 14 aeronautical “assembly network” companies and an ACI-supported “manufacturer network,” which includes multinational industrial giants Renault Sofasa, Yamaha (Incolmotos), Mitsubishi Electric, as well as Antioquia-based appliance manufacturer Haceb, motorcycle maker AKT, and local motorcycle assembler Auteco.
These six “manufacturer network” companies in Antioquia represent 55% of Colombia’s total appliance production, 56% of national automotive production, 66% of national electric elevator production, 75% of national motorcycle production and (in total) employ more than 9,000 workers directly, according to ACI.
The new encounter between the aeronautical “assembly network” companies and the “manufacturer network” companies aims to “establish alliances for the development of common suppliers,” according to ACI.