A new look at the aerospace market

A recent study provides the aerospace industry a clearer look at its overall size.

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A comprehensive, bottoms-up study was recently undertaken, as reported in Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine (AW&ST, Sept. 3-16, 2018), to provide the aerospace industry a clearer look at its overall size. The Teal Group (Fairfax, VA, US) and AeroDynamic Advisory (Ann Arbor, MI, US) collaborated on the study, which defined “aerospace” as all activities pertaining to the development, production, maintenance and support of aircraft and spacecraft. AeroDynamic Advisory’s Kevin Michaels, who has contributed to CW in the past, reports in the AW&ST column that global aerospace is currently worth $838 billion, a larger figure than most previous estimates.

Michaels breaks that figure down by activity and country. Aircraft manufacturing (including Tier 1s and sub-tiers) makes up 54% of that total figure. Maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) makes up a surprising 27% of aerospace activity. Satellites and space (7%) and UAVs (5%) make up the rest (the remaining 7% was tagged as “other”). Not surprisingly, the US tops the country list, comprising 49% of the total market activity ($408 billion), followed by France ($69 billion), and China ($61 billion). According to Michaels, most of China’s aerospace activity is focused on aircraft and spacecraft for its own consumption: “The lack of aerospace exports differentiates China from other top players, but it will likely surpass France for second place in the next decade.” Michaels concludes that strong air travel growth means that there’s room for growth over the next few years, and “there should be plenty of room at the table for everyone.”

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