The Spanish Institute of Aeronautical Engineers (COIAE) celebrated its fiftieth anniversary last year. Today it is a public corporation, with national scope, having its own legal personality and full capacity to fulfil its purposes governed by its by-laws and applicable legal regulations, and cooperating with the government through the Ministry of Public Works and Transport. Around 2,800 aerospace engineers are currently members.
Safety, innovation and competitiveness are the three cornerstones that the aerospace engineer provides the industry.
Aeronautical engineers play a vital role in the industry and air transport safety. They are responsible for the management and development of all branches of aerospace engineering: air operations and companies, consultancy, design, certification, manufacture and maintenance of aircraft and engines, space development, as well as air navigation and the construction and management of airports. Their role provides an overview which has been expanded over the years, covering not only the aerospace industry, but also other developments and applications in similar sectors.
Their importance is crucial, which is why over these fifty years the priority of the Institute has been and continues to be the defence of the rights of aerospace engineers and promoting this sector for purposes such as the system of free competition, defence of the interests of the profession and advising society and public authorities on aspects related to the Spanish aerospace sector in general, always in a constructive and sensible spirit. We must continue to promote the improvement of aerospace engineering as an activity regulator, as support for entrepreneurs and the profession as a whole, as a collaborator with authorities and as a link between academia and business.
The future requires us to be more immersed in an increasingly complex, global and competitive world. We believe we need to promote three aspects to meet these challenges: safety, innovation and competitiveness, which are the three cornerstones that the aerospace engineer provides the industry. Safety and a culture of safety in operations, as an absolute priority. Innovation, as an asset for achieving essential progress in the sector, which must undoubtedly be supported by R&D; investment in this is necessary to stop Spain from falling behind. And finally, competitiveness, highlighting the need to create competitive developments and projects, in terms of both quality and price.
Spain is able to do great things in aerospace terms. Few countries, for example, are able to complete the whole development of an aircraft from scratch. We must not lose this. The Institute once requested a major national strategic plan in Spain for the aerospace sector.
Dean of the Spanish Institute of Aerospace Engineers (COIAE)