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Key facts for your reference are as follows:

  • 27 February 2018 – Drinks Reception, Networking & Pre-Conference Dinner  (Trade Stand Set up)
  • 28 February 2018 – Annual Conference and Exhibition
  • Location: Ashton Gate Conference Centre, Bristol.

The WEAF Annual Conference and Exhibition on 28th February 2018 will attract more than 250 senior managers and leaders from companies throughout the aerospace sector, including Airbus, GE Aviation, GKN Aerospace, Leonardo Helicopters, Rolls Royce, and Safran.

We will confirm the list of highly regarded speakers shortly.

The theme of the conference this year is “The Challenge of Change”, and speakers will provide their insights into activities in the Aerospace sector, whether they relate to commercial or defence business, current developments or future technologies.

Changes and challenges continue apace since we last met at the South West’s Aerospace Conference in February 2017. The political, economic and social landscape in the UK and globally is changing beyond recognition, and the appetite for international trade and collaboration is increasing daily.

  • Has this impacted your business, and how can you respond in the future?
  • Is it evolution or revolution for the Aerospace sector if it’s to ensure that it remains fitter, more agile, and stronger to ensure sustained growth and prosperity?

Whatever your view, join us at the 2018 WEAF Annual Conference and Exhibition and engage with aerospace industry and local government experts in the South West, and make your voice count in the debate.

Whether you want to listen, learn, debate, meet, greet or exhibit the products and services of which you are justly proud, join us for the  WEAF Annual Conference 2018 – ‘The Challenge of Change’


08:15 Exhibitor Registration

08:30 Conference Delegate Registration & Trade Show Opens

Tea & Coffee served in Trade Show

09:00 Call to Conference

09:15 Conference Welcome – Simon Young – WEAF Chief Executive

09:25 Phil Tulitt, Defence Business Lead, Thales Cyber and Consulting –
“Cyber Security. A Requirement. Not an Option.”

09:55 Simon Jones – Vice President Leonardo Helicopters
“Managing Change in the Rotary Wing Sector” tbc

10:25 Paul Uppal – Office of the Small Business Commissioner, UK Small Business Commissioner
“SME’s in a changing global environment”

10:55 Coffee Break

11:40 Malcolm Scott – Corporate Development Officer Aerospace Technology Institute
“Transformation Through Technology”

12:10 Tony Gaunt – Business Development Executive, Martin Baker
“The History and Development of Martin-Baker”

12:40 Election Results

12:45 Lunch

13:50 Call back to Conference

14:00 Miles Carden – Director- Spaceport Cornwall
“Spaceport Cornwall – Market Opportunity for Aerospace”

14:30 Rob Loveday – UK Avionics Growth & Strategy Director – GE Aviation
“Harnessing the Challenge of Change in Avionics”

15:00 Russ Froneberger – Global Consulting “Thinking about setting up a business in America or Germany?”

15:30 Chris Wilson, WEAF Chairman, & Managing Director, Safran Landing Systems
WEAF future & Conference Wrap up

15:45 Event Close

*subject to change at any time

Confirmed Speakers:


Paul Uppal – UK Small Business Commissioner

“Meeting the challenges faced by SMEs”

Paul Uppal was appointed the Government’s Small Business Commissioner in October 2017. In this role, Paul leads an independent office tasked with empowering small businesses and driving a culture to change payment practices, resolving disputes with larger businesses.




Russ Froneberger – Global Consulting –

“Accessing the American Supply Chain”

Russ has extensive experience in providing client-centred advisory services to European and American economic development agencies interested in international economic and trade development






Tony Gaunt – Martin Baker

“The Importance of the Ejector Seat to Aircraft development”

Tony promotes the products and services of the ejector seat company and seeks new business, as well as assisting with accident investigations as a Subject Matter Expert (SME)




Simon Jones – Leonardo

As the Vice President of UK Government Business Simon is tasked with leading the teams to support all of the rotary wing platforms in service with the UK MoD and the acquisition of all future UK MoD business.




Rob Loveday – GE Aviation

Rob is focused on developing partnerships in the UK to support the growth of GE Aviation avionics capability and business.  He is committed to the continued development of the Aerospace Industry in the UK and particularly, the South West.




Phil Tulitt – Thales Cyber & Consulting

As Business Lead for Defence Phil oversees Thales Cyber & Consulting activity associated in the Defence sector – both with the UK MOD and Defence Industry.



More speaker details will follow as they become available so watch this space!

For delegate booking please click here






For Trade Stand bookings, please click Here 










  • ARRIVAL: On arrival to set up your stand please report to WEAF registration. A member of WEAF staff will show you to your stand location.
  • STAND ALLOCATION: Stands will be allocated by WEAF and you will be advised of your location upon arrival to Ashton Gate Stadium
  • STAND SPACE: Stand space will be clearly marked out for each exhibitor with one power socket; a table (4ft) and 2 chairs (if requested). You may not place any of your stand equipment outside of your allocated space, to avoid interfering with other exhibitors. Table cloths will NOT be provided; please ensure you bring your own. Any power wires or cables must be taped down so that they do not pose a Health and Safety risk. 
  • STAND SETUP & NETWORKING DRINKS RECEPTION: All stands MUST be set up on Tuesday 27th February 2018 between00 noon and 4:00pm, ready for the networking drinks reception around the exhibition stands. We suggest all those who have an exhibition stand heighten their networking opportunities by attending the drinks reception on Tuesday 27th February 2018 at 19.00 (even if you are not attending pre-conference dinner). If your company is unable to attend please let evie@weaf.co.uk know ASAP. 
  • DELIVERIES TO THE VENUE: If you wish to have any equipment delivered to the venue please clearly mark it with the following address: FAO (Your Company Name), WEAF Annual Conference, 27th / 28th February 2018, VIP Entrance 2, Ashton Gate Stadium, Ashton Road, Bristol, BS3 2EJ 
  • EXHIBITOR ACCESS ON CONFERENCE DAY: On Wednesday 28th February 2018, the day of the conference, you can gain access from 8:20am – 10 minutes prior to delegate registration at 8:30am.
  • TRAFFIC ON CONFERENCE DAY: Please note you will be entering into Bristol City Centre during rush hour, so please leave plenty of time to get to the venue. Please also note that several routes into Bristol are currently disrupted by roadworks for the MetroBus system. You can check which areas are being effected here
  • PRE-CONFERENCE DINNER: If you have not registered to attend the Pre Conference dinner, but you would like to attend please contact evie@weaf.co.uk who can amend your booking. Please ensure you do this ASAP to avoid disappointment. With over 130 places already sold it’s still not too late to be part of this networking opportunity.

 Please ensure all dietary requirements are received by Monday, 19th February 2018 by emailing evie@weaf.co.uk

  • STAND BREAK DOWN: All stands to be taken down between 45pm and 5:00pm on Wednesday 28th February 2018.
  • Stands must not be taken down before 3:45pm as movement of stands will not be permitted from the hall until this time. All stands MUST be broken down and out of the building by 5.30pm

  If you have any questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact the Events Team on 01275 872353 or evie@weaf.co.uk. Please ensure you bring your business cards with you to this event.

Accommodation Information:

Future Inn,  Bond Street, Bristol, BS1 3EN = £92.00 bed and breakfast; rate includes VAT, car parking & WiFi.
Web: https://www.futureinns.co.uk/bristol
Tel: 0117 304 1010
Email: sales.bristol@futureinns.co.uk

Royal Marriott, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TA = £149.00 bed and breakfast.
Web: https://www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/travel/brsry-bristol-marriott-royal-hotel/
Tel: 0117 9255 100



Event details


Ashton Gate Stadium
Ashton Rd

Start date

End date

Contact details

Cathy Williams
Events Manager
01275 872353