FLAG - Flemish Aerospace Group


13.11.17 Company Mission to Seattle in occasion of PNAA's 17th Annual Aerospace Conference

Join Niedersachsen Aviation for a European company mission to the world's largest aerospac

13.11.17 First Brazilian Aerospace Business Summit in São José dos Campos, São Paulo, Brazil

The Brazilian Aerospace Cluster and the EACP (European Aerospace Cluster Partnership) will


Kris van der Plas
Koningsstraat 154-158
1000 Brussel

Ph  +32 (0)2 229 81 49



FLAG - Flemish Aerospace Group

Cluster Description

Facts & Figures

Number of companies 56 members; approx. 15 are big companies
Number of employees 3200
Number of research institutes 3
Other cluster members VLOC (Flemish Aviation Training Center)

Cluster Management

Organizational form Belgian VZW (Which means: non profit association)
Financing Yearly fee of the members; Financing by FIT (Flanders’s Investment and Trade)

Main Actors

Main industry actors Asco; Esterline; Siemens; Sabca Limburg; Microtherm; HSH Aerospace Finishes; Advionics; Sabena Aerospace; Solvay; BMT. A complete list can be found on the website.
Main research institutes VITO; Von Karman; Imec;

Cluster Competences and Strategy

Strengths & Competences


  • Very good interface with Flanders’s Government and administration, allowing to provide two way advice about funding, export, programs, regulations, training and education.
  • Strong experience with business development activities:
    • Know and use offset to penetrate new markets, with long term intentions
    • How to promote members in exhibitions
    • Organization of seminars, dinners, networking events.


  • Management has years of experience in aerospace.
  • Experience with initiatives as clustering, networking, international programs, offset.

Science & Research


International Collaboration

India: MOU with SIATI (Society of India Technologies and Industries)
Mexico: MOU with Femia (Federacion Mexicana de l Industria Aerospacial).
Netherlands: NAG (Netherlands Aerospace Group)
Russia: In preparation: MOU has been signed.

Main Challenges

Competition: expecting increased competition from Eastern countries, as they will acquire a lot of aircraft and therefore will claim local business.

How to cope with:

  • Encourage members to shift to higher added value work and/or processes
  • Foresee funding by Governments, according to the European rules
  • Participate earlier and more actively in European programs, to penetrate more powerful teams and networks
  • Pay more attention to the industry in the countries close to Flanders: France, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Spain. Join forces, knowhow and funding

Regional Strategy: convince our Regional Government, responsible for our economy, to see aerospace as a (multi-)sector to invest for growth.

  • Create structures and political support, to put Flanders in a stronger position for the long term, political support should secure participations in international programs
  • Include universities and research institutes in this strategy

Lack of technical workers: not enough young people do technical jobs

  • Launch public initiatives to promote technology and aerospace as careers
  • In the meantime: make alliances with countries having a surplus (like Mexico)

The new European defense procurement regulation (2009/81/EU) reduces use of offset to (competitive) direct offset (except in 3 cases, one of the being using the clause 346). This is a major drawback for (small) countries, which have few or no primes. It eliminates the use of offset for strategic purposes (indirect offset). Those countries will have to replace defense business by commercial business. It put another emphasis on the openness of European aeronautical Initiatives for small countries. Defense ministers should be made aware of this reduction of industry interest.