An aerospace company in UK employs teams that have a range of diverse skills, including engineers, researchers, and scientific data analysts. This leaves them perfectly positioned to support governments and healthcare systems facing large logistical challenges as a result of the pandemic. Aerospace companies have been involved in several crucial aspects of pandemic management, from delivering aid supplies to building medical technology. We take an in-depth look at the way aerospace companies in the UK have helped the struggle against Covid-19!
How Have Aerospace Companies Supported Government Efforts During the Pandemic?
At the beginning of the pandemic, it quickly became clear that a healthcare crisis was about to erupt in the UK. The virus had been spreading and the effects of the virus on certain patients were only just becoming clear to the medical community. Covid-19 often affects the lungs and can quickly turn into a rare type of pneumonia.
Governments rapidly realized that they did not have enough medical ventilators to cope with a large influx of patients suffering from Covid-19. In April 2020, as the UK locked down to reduce the spread of the virus, aerospace companies were offered funding contracts to build more ventilators. Among the recipients of this funding were British aerospace companies including Airbus, Meggitt, and GKN Aerospace.
In November 2020, when the Coronavirus pandemic had been going on for around 9 months, the UK government announced a new £33 million funding scheme. This fund was to be invested in companies, including aerospace companies, to aid the ongoing fight against the virus. The investment package was also designed with economic recovery after the pandemic in mind, with the aim of creating jobs in sectors that were negatively affected by the crisis.
Part of this funding was allocated to companies specializing in new aviation technologies. Around £7 million was directed towards building drones that could deliver medical supplies, such as PPE and Covid testing equipment, to remote areas affected by the virus. These drones would also be used to inspect construction sites in remote areas, removing the need for sites to be manned and allowing workers to self-isolate.
Using drones to deliver medical supplies also cuts back on the need for road travel. This reduces pressure on the emergency services during the pandemic by reducing traffic congestion and reducing road accidents. This leaves roads clear for ambulances and emergency vehicles transporting Covid-19 victims. Reducing traffic also cuts back on carbon emissions and supports the government’s aims of kickstarting a green recovery program post-pandemic.
Projects like this are also vital for many industries considering the covid impact on aerospace manufacturing. With a lack of foreign travel and economic investment cut in many sectors, including aviation and aerospace, projects like this provide work in the sector. This shows how valuable the aerospace industry is because of its highly and diversely skilled workforce.
Support Emergency Service Workers
As well as reducing congestion on the roads, aerospace companies were also commissioned, as part of this November project, to build firefighting drones. This project is headed by Windracers Distributed Avionics, which is based in Southampton and Bristol. These drones can be used both to deliver supplies when required and to fight fires.
Intelligent technology allows drones to work together to support firefighting services. During peaks in the pandemic in the UK, emergency services were close to being overwhelmed and extra manpower was required. This meant that firemen were often required to deal with medical emergencies, as well as firefighting duties. Drones can reduce strain on the emergency services, freeing up more staff to tackle the pandemic. Reducing the numbers of firefighters needed to combat fires during the pandemic also allows for more social distancing and can help stem the spread of the virus.
One of the major impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic is the huge economic recession that has come about as a result. This is due to businesses closing in lockdowns, a huge fall in travel and tourism, and general global instability. Providing funding to the aerospace industry not only mitigates the covid effect on the aerospace industry but helps provide jobs across other sectors. These funding projects will help companies hire engineers, analysts, safety officers, researchers, logistics specialists, and many more.
Although we are only in the first few decades of the 21st century, the Coronavirus pandemic is one of its defining moments. How we recover from it will set the global tone for years to come. Through funding projects and investment, the aerospace industry will play a role in this.
Final Call: How have you coped during the pandemic? What are you most looking forward to when things open up? Are you excited to travel again? Let us know in the comments!