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.
In January 2016, the Aerospace Industries Association commissioned business information firm IHS, Inc. to quantify the economic contributions of the U.S. Aerospace and Defense (A&D) industry to the U.S. economy and provide enhanced understanding of the industry’s extensive supply chain, by economic sector at the national and state level. The key findings of this study measure the economic contribution the A&D industry makes in terms of employment, value added (contribution to GDP), sales (output), labor income and taxes within the broader economy.
In the study, IHS estimates that in 2015 the U.S. aerospace and defense industry fueled the following contributions to the U.S. economy:
Supported 1.7 million jobs within businesses producing end-user goods and services and within the industry’s supply chain, with about 531,000 jobs in the industry’s commercial aerospace segment (e.g. civil and general aviation aircraft, helicopters and space systems) and 511,000 jobs in the defense and national security segment of the industry (e.g. military aircraft, ground and sea systems, armaments and space systems).
Represented approximately two percent of the nation’s employment base and 13 percent of the nation’s manufacturing employment base.
Generated $300 billion in economic value, representing 1.8 percent of total nominal Gross Domestic Product in the U.S., and 10 percent of manufacturing output.
Produced labor income approximately 44 percent above the national average – $93,000 average labor income per job – reflecting the highly skilled nature of the workforce.
Provided tax receipts to federal, state and local governments from companies and their employees of $63 billion, or about 1.7 percent of total tax revenues.
Aeronautics – the science of flight – is a cornerstone of economic prosperity and is critical to maintaining our national security and defense. Today’s aviation industry owes its successes to U.S.-led research and development efforts to improve safety, reliability, and efficiency of air travel. U.S. leadership in aerospace – specifically in aeronautics – has established the United States as the destination for students from around the world who seek to learn from the world’s leading authorities in this field. The failure to make long-term investments in aeronautics R&D could eventually lead to the loss of our preeminence in aviation and significant detrimental impacts to our economy, workforce, and educational system.
Since the Aerospace Industry Association’s 2013 report on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), unmanned flight technology and platforms have continued to evolve in new and innovative ways. Small start-ups to major global corporations are establishing UAS-based aviation services and solutions, and there is continued growth projected for military UAS flights and orders.
A cultural shift driven by consumer and commercial use is underway as well. Due to the increasing availability of low-cost unmanned systems and their growing acceptance for uses such as videography, most consumers are now aware of unmanned aircraft and their basic capabilities – beyond their initial adoption as a recreational platform. Today, unmanned aircraft have also earned acceptance as a tool for the creative arts, and as vehicles of personal expression. As a result, negative perceptions are changing.
The AIA Powerplant Indications Task Team was formed July 2001 in response to the FAA draft Harmonization Terms of Reference 25.1305. The team includes representation from several airframe manufacturers, engine manufacturers and regulatory agencies. The team has provided a series of recommendations for revsions of provisions in the Federal Aviation Regulations Certification Specifications. This report summarizes the team's activities.
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.
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.