The aerospace industry has made a major comeback in 2012, with more than 5,000 jobs added to aerospace companies across the country this year alone. President Marion Blakey of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) remarked that the increase was “surprising,” since the increased demand for civil aircraft came seemingly out of the blue. This surplus of jobs and overall boost of the industry bodes well for students studying aviation management as well as other areas of the industry, since it indicates a stable economy within this field and likely projections for growth in the future.
Economic Growth and Outlook for Aviation
The defense sector of the aviation industry had a tougher time this year, being forced to cut jobs due to a lack of demand. However, this lack of demand was more than balanced out by the increased demand in the commercial sector, thus keeping the industry in a highly stabilized economic position. Blakey claims this stabilization reflects the “intrinsic strength of the industry,” noting that 2012 was forecasted to be a much more financially difficult year for aviation.
When the AIA published its 2012 annual report, the results revealed that 629,400 workers have been employed by the aerospace industry in the past year. Many of these new jobs were accounted for with companies manufacturing aircraft, parts and engines. Put in monetary terms, civil aircraft sales amounted to over $60 billion this year and are projected to even exceed $67 billion by 2013.
Part of this growth is attributed to the high price of fuel, which, though strenuous on the budget of the aviation industry as a whole, has increased the demand for more fuel-efficient aircraft models. This change not only comes with economic benefits for the industry, but also reduces the industry’s influence on carbon-dioxide emissions. This allows many commercial airlines to finally confront pressure from the government for more environmentally friendly devices.
Expanding the Industry
To accommodate this accelerated growth and promote better safety and efficiency of all aircraft units, Boeing has created an all-new organization called Airplane Development. This organization is devoted to verifying and certifying aircrafts in an effort to speed up the manufacturing process and verifying each machine produced. Production levels at Boeing have reached an historic all-time high, which has led to a need for enhanced responsibility, streamlined decision-making and overall accelerated progress.
The five development programs that Boeing will focus on include the 787-9, the 737 MAX, KC-46A tanker and the 787-10X. The 777X derivative is also expected to grow closer to completion by 2013. The production of these programs will be carefully monitored by Airplane Programs, which are led by Pat Shanahan. As part of determining the efficacy of these programs, Shanahan’s team will oversee profit and loss management for each unit.
At the start of 2012, the airline industry might not have seemed very promising for professionals in this field, but these recent developments prove that the industry is highly capable of maintaining financial stability despite modern challenges. As aviation progresses and more sophisticated machines are developed, this surplus is only expected to continue.