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 Feature Industry Articles 
Monday, September 30 2019
Business Aviation Embraces Technologies for Cleaner, More Efficient Travel

By Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA)

Business aviation has long been a valuable tool for connecting companies and communities of all sizes across the nation and throughout the world. The industry also continues to embrace new technologies offering the potential to not only increase the level of productivity that business aviation may provide, but also to perform these roles with an even greater emphasis on sustainability.

This is a very exciting time, and not only for the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and members that already utilize business aviation to increase their efficiency and competitiveness. Citizens, service providers and urban planners in communities large and small also stand to benefit, as these developments offer the promise to advance metropolitan transportation infrastructure, emergency response and quality of life considerations across the country and around the world. Urban Air Mobility May Revolutionize Intercity Transportation Over the past few years, a new transportation segment has emerged alongside more traditional business aircraft and rotorcraft seen at NBAA-sponsored events. Urban air mobility (UAM) aims to revolutionize travel across large metroplexes, utilizing optionally piloted and even fully autonomous electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles to transport on-demand passengers and cargo.

Posted by: AT 10:06 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 01 2019
Aerospace and Defense: A Billion Here, A Billion There

By Michael D. White, author and freelance writer

Like industrial fraternal twins, the aerospace/defense industries are related, yet, as the name suggests, serve two separate and distinct markets − aerospace, which largely comprises the production, sale, and service of commercial aircraft, and defense, which supplies the nation with the military land, sea and air systems critical for its well being. 

Falling in the narrow crack between the two are the space vehicles, mainly satellites and drones, utilized for both military and commercial use. 

A&D is the leading net exporting industry in the U.S., generating a net trade surplus of $86 billion in 2017, according to the Virginia-based Aerospace Industries Association. 

Posted by: AT 01:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, March 22 2018
What Accounts for U.S. Dominance in Aerospace, and Is It Sustainable?

By Theoharis Dimarhos, Marketing and Business Development Manager, and Angelos Angelou, CEO, Angelou Economics

As the popular observation (and trivia nugget) goes, just 66 years separated humanity’s first powered flight from our first steps on the Moon. From an 120-foot hop to a 400,000 mile journey that was quite literally out of this world, the sheer pace and depth of the technological progress required to bridge these two milestones was truly remarkable. 

In the 49 years that have passed since Neil Armstrong made history, we as a species have put that technological progress to shame. 

Make no mistake, the oft-bandied claims of a “New Space Race” are more than just hype. Yes, there is China’s promise to reach Mars, as well as the playful banter between SpaceX and Boeing to beat each other in achieving the same. These dreams are exciting, but there is a still a distant, ethereal quality to them. What is in no way abstract or far-fetched is the satellite/rocket revolution that has transformed the aerospace industry over the past several decades.

Posted by: AT 10:02 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, September 29 2017
ATC Privatization: NBAA Speaks Out

By Ed Bolen, President and CEO, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA)

The business aviation community consists of companies of all sizes that rely on many different types of aircraft – from single-pilot airplanes, to turbine aircraft that fly internationally, to helicopters that survey rush-hour traffic – and the fixed-base operations and many other services that support flight operations at the nation’s 5,000 public-use airports. 

The majority of these businesses – an overwhelming  97 percent – are small- to mid-size companies, and other entities such as nonprofit organizations. No matter how large or small, these companies all depend upon business aviation to provide flexibility and security that are increasingly necessary to compete in the global marketplace. 

That said, business aviation's contributions extend beyond the direct benefits to U.S. companies. This industry helps generate $219 billion annually in economic activity, and supports 1.1 million stable, high-wage jobs in this country alone.

Posted by: AT 09:05 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 24 2017
Evolving Strategies To Plan For The Commercial Aerospace Factories of The Future

By Ben Harper, Director and Co-founder,  Fairmont Consulting Group LLC

  State and regional development organizations have placed a strong emphasis on commercial aerospace in recent years – decisions that have been very well justified by the growth the industry has seen. Commercial aerospace has proven very attractive to economies by virtue of its utilization of skilled manufacturing workers and the current “super cycle” that has provided steady and stable growth of aircraft deliveries since 2003 despite broader economic cycles. Combined with other secular trends within the commercial aerospace market, such as shifts towards composites materials and a desire for more significantly dollar-denominated supply base from European aircraft manufacturer Airbus, the United States has seen significant new investment over the past decade and a half.

The Shifting Commercial Aerospace Outlook
  Total commercial aircraft order backlogs are near record levels, representing nearly eight years of production at 2017 rates. But, the industry outlook for the aerospace industry is beginning to shift, driving an important inflection point that demands review of strategies built on the continued growth of the aerospace industry. In 2016 book-to-bill ratios, the measure of new aircraft orders placed in a year to the number of aircraft delivered, fell below one for Boeing. Airbus surprised the market by managing to achieve a 1.06 ratio. In contrast to prior years, overall order backlogs are flattening or modestly declining, and OEMs have announced that they anticipate further erosion of the backlog through the end of the decade. Further, the historic visibility provided by the order backlog is not evenly distributed across the industry – narrow body production rates are likely to grow by nearly 20 percent between 2017 and 2020 with the underpinning of substantial backlog, while a dearth of new widebody orders may lead to reductions below current OEM guidance which has already seen progressive downward revisions. An increasing OEM focus on cost reduction programs is challenging current investments, and giving suppliers pause as the contemplate the investments required to support OEM growth targets. Prior assumptions of continuing long term growth are no longer accurate, and that the commercial aerospace cycle is turning. The large order backlog should support a soft correction rather than a steep cyclic downturn, but the inflection point has arrived. 

Posted by: AT 09:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, September 14 2016
sUAS: One Tool, Many Uses

By Ed Bolen, President and CEO, NBAA

Small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) represent tremendous potential for a wide range of municipal planning, maintenance, and developmental uses. As more communities explore possible uses for UAS operations, it seems more jobs become apparent for them to fill. 

Until recently, however, large-scale efforts to deploy sUAS within the United States were stymied by a lack of defined regulations for the commercial operation of those vehicles. That changed this in June, when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the newly-created Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 14 CFR Part 107, applying to commercial use of any UAS weighing less than 55 lbs. 

Among the requirements under Part 107 include a maximum sUAS operating altitude of 400' above ground level in daytime VFR conditions, within visual line-of-sight (VLOS) of the operator or observers. Unmanned aircraft may not be operated over people on the ground not involved in the UAS flight, and all UAS must yield right-of-way to all other aircraft.

Posted by: AT 10:15 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, March 15 2016
Understanding the Aerospace Industry Workforce: How Communities Can Attract This Industry Through Smart and Strategic Workforce Practices

By Frank Spano, Managing Director; Bianca Holtier Coury, Project Purchasing Agent; and Susan Riffle, Commuications Specialist of The Austin Company

There is an interesting and dynamic shift occurring within the aerospace industry as it relates to integrating the workforce and communities at the local level. By way of innovative techniques, along with suitable grants, assistance and training programs, the atmosphere is ripe for launching a successful campaign to support the expanding needs of a dramatically growing vertical marketplace. Boost local economic development by tending to the workforce needs of the multi-faceted aerospace industry.
Assessing the challenges that exist today has led to identifying opportunities that will positively influence communities and aerospace companies. Through a combination of educational institutions, workforce development and talent-recruiting efforts, the results can have lasting affects socially and economically.  

Posted by: AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 21 2015
Business Aviation: A Success Story Everywhere

Business aviation offers many important contributions to citizens, companies and communities across the United States. In fact, the nation’s general aviation (GA) industry – which includes business aviation – contributes $219 billion annually to the U.S. economy, and supports more than one million stable, high-wage jobs in this country.

The vast majority of companies relying on business aviation are small and medium size companies, and it has been consistently demonstrated that companies using aviation outperform their competitors that do not. Despite these benefits, however, this proud American industry continually faces regulatory and legislative challenges on the national, state and local levels. 

Potential obstacles to the freedom and mobility provided through business aviation include threats to close valued and historic airports; potential limits on GA operations within the national airspace system (NAS); and constant legislative pressure to implement onerous user fees. 

Posted by: AT 10:20 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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