Hamburg Aviation, the cluster network agency for the Hamburg Metropolitan Region (and the world’s third-largest civil aviation cluster, employing over 40,000 people), has appointed Ralf Gust as its new managing director, replacing Ulf Weber. Gust’s career spans nearly 20 years in the aviation industry, including management positions at several aviation companies and associations. The 61-year-old most recently served as chairman of HCAT+ e.V., the training and educational network for the aviation industry in Hamburg.
“I very much look forward to the tasks ahead,” commented Gust. “Strong networks and collective action are crucial for the success of our cluster. Together with the entire team at Hamburg Aviation, I want to support our members in the best possible way. We see current challenges as an opportunity to build on our strengths in sustainable technologies and to make our industry more resilient. That in turn creates new conditions to support sustained growth in Hamburg’s aviation sector.”
After graduating from HAW Hamburg in aeronautical engineering, Gust gained further qualifications in business management at VWA Hamburg. From there he went on to senior management positions at various companies, including Yacht|Teccon, Orange Engineering Holding and Segula Industriehansa. He is also a founding member and treasurer of HECAS (the Hanseatic Engineering & Consulting Association), an association of engineering companies. On taking up his new position as managing director at Hamburg Aviation, Gust will leave his honorary positions at HCAT+ and HECAS.
Senator Michael Westhagemann, Ministry for Economic Affairs and Innovation said of Gust’s appointment, “I would like to thank him for his voluntary work up to this point, especially as chairman of the board of the Hamburg Centre of Aviation Training-Lab e.V. and as a member of the Board of HECAS Hanseatic Engineering & Consulting Association e.V.. In these roles he co-founded the Qualification Initiative Aviation (2001) and later our aviation cluster agency (2006). Both became benchmark initiatives at national and international level. Ralf Gust’s expertise will help us to meet the challenges of bringing skilled staff into aviation, to manage the ongoing legacy of the Covid pandemic and to master the transformation to a zero-emission industry.”
Dr Georg Fanta, vice president aircraft component services at Lufthansa Technik and member of the executive board of Hamburg Aviation added, “Hamburg is one of the most important aviation clusters in the world, with a very special mix of aircraft manufacturers; medium-sized equipment suppliers; the world market leader for aircraft maintenance; and regional policymakers that are highly committed to cluster development. Such a unique aviation site needs a strong association to bundle common interests, and I am pleased that with Ralf Gust we have found a managing director who wants to lead this association into the future. I am certain that in him we have found a first-class leader.”