At a recent Automation Alley aerospace and defense industry event, IQMS had the opportunity to attend an economic overview of the state of aerospace industry. Delivered by Murat Muftari, International Trade Specialist for the Global Aerospace & Defense Team for the U.S. Department of Commerce, the overview described a flourishing industry with a healthy future. Here is a brief look at some of the details:
United States aerospace exports have increased 37 percent since 2009. In 2012, the value of United States aerospace manufacturing exports totaled $213.2 billion, with China, the United Kingdom, France, Japan and Canada listed as our country’s top export markets. At the current rate of growth, the commercial aerospace subsector is expected to reach parity with the defense subsector in terms of total A&D sector revenues for the first time in 2016.
What does this mean for aerospace manufacturers? Currently, more than 1,400 companies in America manufacture for the global aerospace market. The size of those manufacturers varies greatly, with nearly 900 of them employing fewer than 19 employees and more than 460 businesses employing more than 100. These 1,400 manufacturers produce the highest trade surplus of all the U.S. manufacturing sectors and account for more American jobs tied to exports than any other.
According to Airbus, it spends 42 percent of its aircraft-related procurement in the United States and buys more parts, components, tooling and other materials from America than any other country. Additionally, Bombardier states that 53 percent of its commercial series jetliners will be sourced from U.S. suppliers. Combine all these elements together and increasing exports in this sector has become a priority for the American government, who has put into place several agencies to support activities that improve our export competitiveness.
But what does the future hold for the aerospace industry? According to the presentation, the number of large civilian passenger aircraft in service around the world is expected to double between 2012 and 2031. This doubling is driven by an overall global increase in air traffic and by the need to replace aging aircraft with more efficient and environmentally-friendly designs. Long-term increases in demand for travel in China, India, the Middle East and Africa appear to support the view that aircraft sales demand, production volume and service/repair will continue to grow.
If current economic indicators continue to trend as predicted, the future looks bright for the aerospace manufacturing industry.