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Why Poland
Home > Why Poland > Sectors > Aerospace

Aerospace Sector

Investor support:
Foreign Investment Department
 +48 22 334 98 75
e-mail: invest@paih.gov.pl



Basic facts and figures 


  • Sold production: 6.79 billion PLN (2016) / 22% increase yoy (5.55 billion in 2015)
     
  • Industry share: 0.6%

  • Number of employees in the sector: 15,200 (Official Statistics Poland data, PAIH estimates based on company feedback display as many as 30,000)
  • Number of companies in the sector: 140 firms (24 companies with 49+ employees)

  • Average salary in the sector: 5,017 PLN (state average for the industrial sector in 2016: 4,527 PLN) 

  • Export value: 4.32 billion PLN (48% increase yoy)

Data for companies employing over 49 people.



Strengths of the Polish aerospace industry


  • Over one hundred years of tradition

  • Well-developed network of suppliers

  • World-renowned product quality

  • High quality workforce

  • Competitive production and labour costs

  • Continuous development of educational and training activities

  • Increasing tendency of companies to conduct research and development

  • The existence of aviation clusters (Podkarpacie, Śląsk)

  • Establishment of the Polish Space Agency in 2014.



Over one hundred years of tradition



Poland boasts a 100-year history of aviation, and over 80 years of aerospace industry tradition. Strong scientific, academic and engineering environments played a key role in the development of this sector. After the period of transformation in Poland, the expansion of international cooperation and direct foreign investments made the further development of the sector possible. Currently, the Polish aerospace industry has a rich export offer of advanced aviation products. Almost every passenger aircraft in the world features at least one component that has been produced in our country.


Well-developed network of suppliers

The dominant role in the Polish aviation sector is played by the world's largest companies from the industry. In the last dozen or so years, the five largest manufacturers of aircraft engines have located their production plants in Poland producing engines or their components. Most of them are located in southeastern Poland and belong to the so-called “Aviation Valley”. In Świdnik and Mielec, in the privatized and modernized plants with a long tradition, helicopters are produced by international powerhouses like Sikorsky and AugustaWestland. The plant in Mielec is at the same time the largest production plant of the Lockheed Martin group outside the USA. Poland is also the third largest production centre of UTC Aerospace Systems in the world.

However, the aviation industry in Poland is not focused solely on production. Many companies have also located their research and development centers here. One example is the Engineering Design Center of GE Aircraft Engines, which employs over 1,800 highly qualified engineers.

The latest two major investments of the aviation sector are the MROs of Lufhansa Technik consortia with MTU Aeroengines (EME Aero) and GE Aviation (Xeos). These aircraft engine service centers are another branch of the aviation industry in Poland and show the appreciation of the quality of highly qualified technical staff by the global leaders in this industry.

In total, more than 140 companies in the aviation sector and the space industry are located in Poland, with an annual sales value of up to 6.8 billion PLN and creating over 15,000 jobs. Most of them are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and companies with foreign capital and few enterprises with a minority share of the State Treasury. About 80% of the plants are located in the southeastern part of our country in one of the three existing clusters. 


Selected companies operating in the aerospace sector:


Company

City

Employment

Pratt & Wittney Rzeszów

Rzeszów

4050

WSK „PZL - Świdnik” / Augusta Westland

Świdnik

2900

GE EDC Poland

Warsaw

1800

PZL Mielec, Sikorsky a Lockheed Martin Company

Mielec

1700

Thoni Alutec

Stalowa Wola

1500

Pratt & Whitney Kalisz

Kalisz

1400

HS Wrocław

Wrocław

900

PZL „Warszawa Okęcie”, Airbus Defence and Space Company

Warsaw

850

HS Wrocław

Wrocław

500

Safran Transmission Systems Poland

Sędziszów Małopolski

700

MTU Aero Engines Polska

Rzeszów

700

PZL „Warszawa Okęcie”, Airbus Defence and Space Company

Warsaw

680

WSK PZL Kalisz

Kalisz

600

Avio Aero

Bielsko-Biała

400

UTC Areospace Systems (Goodrich)

Krosno

400

MB Aerospace

Rzeszów

300

Hamilton Sundstrand Polan

Rzeszów

250

Gardner Aerospace

Mielec

200

Paradigm Precision

Wrocław

200



World-renowned product quality


The operating plants specialize in the production of aircraft (agricultural, training, and commercial), helicopters, gliders and components (aluminum, composites, GRFP) and accessories. The value of aviation production exports reached EUR 1 billion in 2016. The main export markets are: USA, Ukraine, Russia, Italy, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and France.


Polish export hits

  • M18 Dromader is an agricultural plane, used mainly to extinguish fires. It comes from an American S-2R aircraft, but it has been thoroughly rebuilt relative to the original. With a loading capacity of up to 1,850 kg of water (or chemicals), it can efficiently spray over fields or areas of fires.
  • “Sokół” (Falcon) is an average weight multipurpose helicopter that has been produced in series for over 25 years at PZL Świdnik. Over 150 machines of this type are used in 12 different countries for both civil and military purposes. A dozen or so versions of "Falcon" were created - including combat versions, electronic combat versions, search and transport versions, police versions, anti-submarine versions and many more. “Sokół” is still in production, and to this day there are new business inquiries about the helicopter. 
  • Black Hawk is probably the most recognizable helicopter in the world. It is a multi-purpose helicopter used in dozens of armies around the world for over 40 years. The construction of the Black Hawk has undergone many improvements and modifications and is still subject to ongoing improvements today. One of the manifestations of such an improvement is the creation of the S-70i version - a development version of Black Hawk produced in our country.


High quality workforce

The development of the aviation sector would not be possible without qualified employees - every year over 40,000 engineers graduate from Polish technical universities  (including 3,250 graduates of automation and robotics, 6,000 graduates in mechanics and mechanical engineering, and 530 graduates in aerospace). A well-developed system of university education as well as vocational education and rich traditions are factors affecting the quality of the personnel of the aviation sector. In addition, thanks to initiatives such as AREOnet (www.areonet.pl), the cooperation between industry, local governments and the authorities of schools and universities has been improved in order to better prepare staff, among others by developing a training program and adjusting the school profile to the needs of the labour market.

Selected universities and research centres related to the aeronautical sector:

  • The Warsaw Univeristy of Technology,
     
  • The Rzeszow Univeristy of Technology,
     
  • The Institute of Aviation,
     
  • The Silesian Science and Technology Centre of Aviation Industry,
     
  • The Military Univeristy of Technology,
     
  • The Wroclaw Univeristy of Technology,

  • The Lublin Univeristy of Technology,

  • The Lodz Univeristy of Technology,

  • The Silesian Univeristy of Technology.



Competitive production and labour costs

The production potential of enterprises lies mainly in the offered product quality (thanks to the knowledge of materials processing, foundry, mechanics and electronics) and competitive labour costs. The existing network of manufacturing and service companies in Poland supported by R&D centres offers potential for cooperation and the possibility of commissioning orders for the production of spare parts and finished products for the aviation sector.

Increasing tendency of companies to conduct research and development

The development of the aviation industry is one of the examples of activities carried out by Poland to build a technologically advanced economy. By 2020, companies will use EU funds (EUR 8.61 billion) to improve their innovation and competitiveness. This will significantly increase the contribution of private capital to research and development, cooperation with research centers, participation in international projects, human potential and cluster development. 

At the initiative of aviation sector companies, the National Centre for Research and Development launched a dedicated sector-based INNOLOT support program - innovative aviation. The program's budget of PLN 400 million allows companies to obtain co-financing of research, development works and transfer of knowledge to the aviation industry.

The advanced level of processes used in the Polish aviation sector is well illustrated by participation in numerous international projects, such as the development of innovative engines including PurePower PW1000G (GTF), GEnx, LEAP. In the future, Polish participation in such projects will also increase thanks to the available subsidies.


Air and space clusters


Aviation Valley - is located in southeastern Poland, known for its developed aerospace industry and pilot training centres. The region is characterized by the largest concentration of aviation industry companies in Poland, research centres and developed educational and training facilities. Currently, the Association consists of 158 entities from the region.


Silesian cluster - The history of cooperation of companies from the aviation industry in Silesia dates back to the 80s of the last century. The leader of the Silesian Aviation Cluster - the Federation of Aviation Companies - was established in a natural way, as a result of real and concrete cooperation of 15 private companies, which as a result of the system transformation were founded in the region of Bielsko-Biała. Currently, the cluster includes several dozen entities, including universities and business environment institutions. 


Wielkopolska Aerospace Cluster - It consists of six companies producing subassemblies for the aviation industry: Pratt & Whitney Kalisz, Wytwórnia Sprzętu Komunikacyjnego "PZL Kalisz", Vac Aero Kalisz, Meyer Tool Poland, Hamilton Sundstrand Kalisz and Teknequip Kalisz. These companies employ a total of nearly 2,500 people.


Lower Silesian Air Cluster - was established under the patronage of the Minister of Economy in 2014 in connection with the growing role of the aviation sector in south-western Poland, gathering in their ranks companies and institutions willing to cooperate for the development of the aviation industry in the region.


Klaster Lubelski 


The National Center of Space and Satellite Engineering


Further development prospects


Polish companies from the aviation sector have undergone a huge transformation in recent years. From communist factories producing products of the old generations, through simple processes brought by international corporations, to the most modern automated production lines along with more and more numerous research and development centres developing state-of-the-art technologies.

The next years will surely bring a technological leap among Polish companies and an increase in the presence of foreign companies in Poland. Already today, partially due to the help of EU funds, technologies of printing components in 3D using metals, implementation of new solutions in engines and aircraft transmissions or created software for engine control are being developed in Poland. 

It is worth mentioning that Poland also has a long tradition in the space sector and participates in many international scientific and technological projects. In November 2012, Poland became the twentieth full-fledged member of the European Space Agency with an annual budget of EUR 5.75 billion. This membership allows Polish companies and scientists to participate fully in many European space programs and missions. In addition to the membership in ESA, in 2014, the Polish Space Agency (POLSA) was established. POLSA is to fulfil governmental tasks in the field of research and development of new space technologies.

Useful links

www.dolinalotnicza.pl – Aviation Valley
www.aerosilesia.eu – Silesian Aviation Cluster
www.wkl.org.pl – Wielkopolska Aviation Cluster
www.ilot.edu.pl – Institute of Aviation
www.itwl.pl – Air Force Institute of Technology
www.areonet.pl – Centre of Advanced Technology Aeronet
www.scntpl.pl – Silesian Science and Technology Centre of Aviation Industry
www.parklotniczy.pl – Bielsko Aviation Technology Park
www.aeropolis.com.pl – Podkarpackie Science and Technology Park AEROPOLIS
www.cbk.waw.pl – Space Research Centre PAS
www.ulc.gov.pl – Civil Aviation Office
www.porty-lotnicze.com.pl – Polish Airports
www.kpk.gov.pl – Polish National Contact Point
www.kpk.gov.pl/en/potential/platforms/pl.html – Technology Platforms
www.ncbir.pl – National Centre for Research and Development

Source: Rocznik Statystyczny Przemysłu, 2016; Rocznik Statystyczny Handlu Zagranicznego, 2017; PAIH data.

Polish Investment and Trade Agency

ul. Krucza 50

00-025 Warsaw

e-mail for investors: invest@paih.gov.pl
e-mail for exporters: eksport@paih.gov.pl

Taxpayer's Identification Number (NIP) PL 526-030-01-67

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