A little more than a century ago, an aircraft took off from a wind-swept sand dune at Kitty Hawk on a controlled, heavier-than-air flight and changed the world forever. Soon after the birth of flight, AIA was formed with the mission of supporting, advocating and helping to build the best aviation industry in the world. Since that first flight powered by a tiny aluminum-encased custom-made, gasoline-fueled engine that produced 12 horsepower – about the same as a riding lawn mower – our industry has continued to break barriers and reach new heights. Today, civil aerospace manufacturers produce some of the most powerful aircraft engines in the world which accompany the most advanced navigation equipment, best structural designs, and most fuel efficient systems ever created.
To learn more about civil aviation in the U.S. and current issues surrounding the aerospace and defense industry please see the below issue topics AIA is currently focused on.
The emergence of unmanned or remotely piloted aircraft systems for civil and commercial applications is among the most significant aviation advancements in decades. On almost a daily basis, new beneficial applications of this evolving technology are being demonstrated. While public perception of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) has been mixed, the public debate is changing as more system uses emerge that create personal and economic benefits for the general population.
Taken by any measure, aviation continues to top the list of the world’s safest forms of transportation. In terms of hours flown, number of passengers transported, and number of aircraft in the air – across commercial, general aviation and cargo sectors – the single most dangerous part about flying continues to be, in the words of one analyst, “driving to the airport."
In total, the decades-long upward trend in aviation safety reflects not only technological advances, and the continuous evolution of government regulations and policies, but also the partnership forged between industry and regulators who share the goal of making air travel as safe as possible. This sustained, joint approach – more than any single advancement– accounts for the significant improvement in air safety since the inception of flight.
In response to tasking by the FAA as defined in a letter dated July 3, 2013, titled, “Request
Formation of Advisory Group to Address Specific Engine and Installation Icing Issues”, the EIWG has
studied the issue of ground operations of turbine engines during heavy snow conditions. This report
provides the short term findings and recommendations.
AIA's President and CEO, Marion C. Blakey, in a recent letter to both chambers of Congress, made a strong case for the reautorization of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S.
We know that not reautorizing hte bank would be equivilent economic unilateral disarmament agains nearly 60 other foreign credit agencies. We hope you will join with us to support the Ex-Im Bank to sustain the American economy and U.S. jobs.
In the wake of an uneven global economic recovery, countries are competing in an unprecedented race to create jobs and stimulate economic growth through increased exports. In this competition, not all countries abide by the same set of rules that the United States follows to support their companies' exports. Indeed, American companies often come up against government-owned, government-protected or government-subsidized competitors from countries such as China, Brazil, India and various European nations, making for a brutally competitive and uneven playing field.
In this race, the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) serves as a critical engine for U.S. jobs by leveling the playing field and helping American companies to compete toe-to-toe against their competitors in the global marketplace. Ex-Im Bank is acting as a vital catalyst of U.S. economic growth, enabling billions of dollars of exports and supporting hundreds of thousands of export-related U.S. jobs. In 2013 alone, Ex-Im Bank transactions promoted $34.7 billion of exports in fields such as power turbines, locomotives, agricultural equipment and satellites, and sustained or created more than 205,000 American jobs.
AIA believes that American companies can continue to compete and win in the global marketplace against their overseas counterparts, but they cannot do it with one hand tied behind their backs. Foreign competitors continue to enjoy significant financial assistance from their governments. To protect the competitiveness of our industry and American manufacturing, we need to ensure the Ex-Im Bank has the long-term support from Congress it needs to support and grow the American manufacturing workforce.
Modern day jet aircraft are more fuel efficient and quieter than ever before. In the past 40 years jet aircraft have not only gained 70 percent greater fuel efficiency but are also about 90 percent quieter than their predecessors. In the meantime, air traffic continues to increase – predicted to double by the year 2030 – while aircraft noise and emissions that affect local air quality and global climate will increase only modestly, through industry efforts such as the commitment to carbon neutral growth after the year 2020.
Budget cuts are undermining the United States' ability to fully implement the Next Generation Air Transportation System known as NextGen. This delayed implementation is slowing air travel efficiencies, compounding safety concerns and contributing to unnecessary environmental noise and air pollution. With U.S. air travel expected to grow by 19 percent by 2018, it is necessary to maintain the implementation of NextGen.
This report attempts both to define unmanned aircraft systems properly and to demystify their applications. It also explores
the societal benefits presented by their domestic use, and the policy priorities that must be addressed in order to keep the United States in its leading position in global UAS technology.
This report was commissioned by AIA to assess the contribution and financial impact the U.S. aerospace and defense industry has had on the American economy, in terms of employment, cash taxes paid, impact on gross domestic product and other financial, economic and qualitative factors. Although typically focused on military and commercial aircraft, space systems and related supply chain portions of “aerospace and defense,” we broadened the definition for this study to include land vehicles and systems, naval vehicles and systems, security and defense contracting software and services. The scope does not cover the users of these products and services, thereby excluding the air transportation industry (cargo and passenger airlines) as well as government employees.
We estimate that the U.S. aerospace and defense industry directly employed 1.05 million workers in 2010. These workers received $84.2 billion in wages and paid $15.4 billion in U.S. Federal individual income
taxes, and $1.9 billion in state individual income taxes. Although not directly in the scope of this study, in addition we found that the Federal government employs an estimated 845,198 aerospace and defense skilled workers at armed forces maintenance and repair depots, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), other defense agencies including Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and civilians working at the Department of Defense.
We found the industry has an estimated indirect and induced employment of 2.36 jobs for every 1 directly employed. This employment multiplier is a “direct effect” multiplier, which accounts for primary and secondary effect employment associated with the aerospace and defense industry. It does not contemplate “final demand,” or employment associated with tertiary effect employment well beyond the direct effect of this industry’s employment base. Thus, we believe that indirect and induced employment totals 2.48 million workers, in addition to those cited above who are directly employed. Together with these indirect employees, we estimate the grand total direct, indirect and induced employment associated with the U.S. aerospace and defense industry is 3.53 million jobs, not including industry skilled workers employed by the Federal government or airlines.
We estimate that these U.S. aerospace and defense companies generated $324.0 billion in sales revenue in 2010, with $15.6 billion in net income after tax at an average pre-tax reported operating profit margin of 10.5%. This margin percent metric was below average, when compared to other industries in America. These companies paid $5.5 billion in corporate income taxes on their earnings, as well as $1.7 billion in state income and similar business taxes. Thus together with individual direct employee taxes, the total industry generated an estimated $37.8 billion in wage and income based taxes to state and Federal government treasuries, not including the taxes paid by indirect and induced industry employment.
The industry is the largest net exporter, and one of the largest contributors to our nation’s gross exports at $89.6 billion, with a larger portion made up of commercial aircraft bound for foreign carriers. The industry’s
contribution to the nation’s GDP is 2.23%, and as described below, we conclude the industry “punches above its weight,” when considering other beneficial and qualitative impacts to our economy beyond these metrics.
Indeed the industry contributes in ways not directly included in GDP, employment, and taxes paid. Although it has only been 108 years since the Wright Brothers’ first flight, the industry has contributed fundamentally to the way we live, work, travel and communicate with the technology created and continued innovations in jet aircraft, communications satellites, the internet and Global Positioning Systems (GPS), for example. Also, the industry is primarily
responsible for the reduction of casualties in armed conflict due to the technology innovations that keep our warfighters out of harm’s way with unmanned aircraft, sophisticated surveillance sensors and over the horizon strike capability.
Current economic challenges resulting in defense budget declines may impact direct and indirect employment, ability to conduct research and development, and taxes paid. On the other hand, the current up-cycle in commercial aircraft production, thus employment, portends years of future growth potential. However, due to its weighting, the uptick in commercial aircraft production is not expected to make up for the shortfall in overall industry revenues and
employment due to the size of the pending defense downturn.
This study demonstrates the significant economic and financial contributions made by the aerospace and defense industry, and its broader impact on our society. These will be important considerations as constituents assess the impact of changes to investments in research and development and the industrial base, and the continued ability of the industry to create the next generation of game changing products and services.
The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) transforms the National Airspace System to meet future safety, security, capacity and environmental needs. The full implementation of NextGen will fundamentally change air traffic management by combining new technologies for surveillance, navigation and communications with procedural changes and airfield development.