Francisco Mencía Morales, first president of HÉLICE, and one of the major drivers of the development of the aerospace sector in Andalusia, died last December 31 in Seville, causing deep sorrow to the Andalusian industry. Mencía was president of HÉLICE from 2004 until 2009, when he retired and was replaced by Juan Pedro Vela.
Born in Navarra, Mencía arrived in Andalusia in the 80s as an international expert in development agencies, after working in institutions like United Nations and Inter-American Development Bank. He came to collaborate in industrial projects of the Andalusian government, in particular in the aviation sector, becoming one of the key players in the 90s and the first decade of the 21st century.
In fact, as former responsible of the Andalusian administration, Francisco Mencía signed the letter of support for Airbus programmes A380 and A400M to be settled in our community. The first was finally established in Toulouse (France), but the second brought to Seville the Final Assembly Line.
During his career it highlights his position as General Director of Industry, Energy and Mines of the Government of Andalusia from 1994 to 2000. Later he was director of Cartuja 93 Technology Park and General Director of the Institute for Economic Promotion of Andalusia (IFA), today known as Agency of Development and Innovation of Andalusia IDEA. During his last period in the Andalusian administration he combined both the management of the aviation sector in the IDEA Agency as the Technology Park Aerópolis, to become president HÉLICE Cluster. In addition, he worked as a consultant for some aerospace companies.
As president of HÉLICE, Mencía fostered the organization of the Andalusian sector, defending the need to create an entity bringing together the main actors in this field (companies, government, trade unions, business associations, universities, technology centers) to create a strong aeronautical cluster with a culture based on collaboration and business partnerships, transfer of research results and international joint promotion.
Francisco Mencía looked after the industry needs and companies in Andalusia, and in general defended the aviation sector. His knowledge of the industrial environment and his commitment gave him the support and appreciation of the aerospace companies and institutions involved in this field. In words of HÉLICE’s president, Joaquín Rodríguez Grau, “we miss a great professional, essential to understand what is the aerospace sector in Andalusia, the driver of many initiatives that have placed our region as the second aerospace pole in Spain and one of the fastest growing in Europe. But he was above all a great person, honest and sacrificed for his values, someone admired by all who knew him, that will always be remembered for his optimism and enthusiasm”.