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AIA, NSR See Positive Developments in U.S. Aerospace, Government Sectors

By | December 16, 2010

      [Satellite TODAY Insider 12-16-10] The Aerospace Industries Association’s (AIA) 2010 U.S. aerospace sales report shows the sector generated $216.5 billion, as orders increased 20 percent over 2009, AIA President and CEO Marion Blakey told reporters at its 46th annual Year-end Review and Forecast Luncheon.
          Blakey said the results show the U.S. aerospace industry set sales records for the seventh consecutive year. “This performance is leading all manufacturers in trade surplus and providing a sense of stability amidst the chaos of economic upheaval. While still off from our high in 2007, this increase hopefully marks the bottoming-out of the recent decline in orders.”
          However, AIA remains concerned over future opportunities in civil space and the strength of U.S. exports. The sector’s space sales remained static this year, and with minimal growth projected for the NASA budget through 2015, opportunities for more substantial growth will likely come from international customers. “Developing a more diverse customer base will help the United States maintain a strong industrial base as well as strengthen relationships with strategic partners,” said Blakey. “Rising imports and falling exports led to a 5 percent drop in the industry’s trade balance, but the surplus of $53.3 billion is still the strongest of any manufacturing industry.”
          Employment in the aerospace sector also declined for the second straight year but at a slower rate than the AIA projected. “Job retention and growth is on everyone’s mind these days. This is why AIA and our member companies continue to impress on Congress and the administration the need to invest in the Next Generation Air Transportation System. Improvements to transportation infrastructure benefit a wide swath of American life, from business and tourism to law enforcement, crisis response, freight shipment and family cohesion.”
          Separately, analyst firm NSR also released projections of U.S. government and military satellite communications equipment and services. The firm expects revenues to grow from an estimated $3.2 billion in revenues in 2009 to $9.2 billion by 2019, yielding total revenues of $66.8 billion over an 11-year period despite imminent U.S. troop drawdown and withdrawal of allied forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
          “Policy changes in these hotspots are beginning to affect demand trends and market potential, which has grown robustly since 2002. There appears to be a turning point in market dynamics where sustainability and growth levels may have reached their peak. Moreover, internal military proprietary capacity has been deployed, and more is on the way to address bandwidth and service shortfalls. However, the NSR report finds that commercial bandwidth, commercial services and commercial partnerships are permanent features of military/government procurement and usage over the long term,” NSR said in the report.

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