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AIAA 2020 AVIATON Forum Day 5 Summary - What Did You Miss?

  • 1.  AIAA 2020 AVIATON Forum Day 5 Summary - What Did You Miss?

    Posted 20 Jun, 2020 08:56

    AIAA AVIATION FORUM – Day 5 (June 19, 2020)

    Forum Theme: We Get You Here, There and Now Everywhere

    Day 5 Theme: Global Vision for Future

    In as timely a talk as you'll experience at an AIAA Forum, Richard Aboulafia, an economist and aviation industry analyst from the Teal Group laid out in bare terms what the COVID-19 pandemic means, and is likely to portend for the aviation industry.  Richard, as always, was informative and entertaining.  He left us with both reasons to optimistic and reasons to be pessimistic about what's likely to happen in our industry.  Chief among the reasons for optimism that the airlines were better positioned financially this time for a downturn than they were previously, and that military aviation remains a strong market.  As a cautionary note, however, he pointed out that IR&D spending at the two major large civil transport airframers is likely to take a sharp decline.  Neither have new, clean-sheet, programs in the offing, and hence the reason for the pessimism. For the first time, the closing Forum 360 Panel was a roundtable discussion with the Forum's Executive Steering Committee, or ESC.  The record of that discussion will help set the table nicely for content suggestions to future ESCs, whether for next year's Aviation Forum, or for other AIAA Forums and product lines.  In his closing remarks, AIAA Executive Director, Dan Dumbacher, noted the "anti-fragility" of our industry, which gives us the capability to recover, grow and thrive.

    Day 5 Top Take-Aways:

    1) While unprecedented, the aviation industry has financial strengths in its favor as we look to a recovery of the industry.  2020 will see a drop somewhere between 55 and 70% in air travel.  The recovery may be L-shaped and it may be U-shaped, with the trough potentially lasting for several years.  But we have been an unprecedented 14-year super-growth cycle with nearly double-digit compound annual growth rate.  As such, the industry goes into this downturn on sound financial footing
    2) The AIAA experience with the virtual Forum has been an eye-opener to many in our industry and is providing food for thought about how we work.  Our experience this week raises intriguing possibilities for engaging with parts of industry that we don't often engage with – such as operators and MROs, with other industries, especially those at the vanguard of emerging technologies such as AI, robotics and autonomy and that will be enabling to our industry, and even within our own organizations.  What we've learned this week may allow to be better engaged with other, in a more relaxed and productive manner.  How we use virtual capabilities in the future seem truly to be limited only by our imaginations.
    3) See you at Aviation 2021 in Washington, DC


    Quote of the Day: "The air transportation System of the future will be essential to our country.  And how R&D investment is made is the key." -Dan Dumbacher, Executive Director of AIAA in his closing remarks.

    Thomas B. (Tom) Irvine
    TBI Aerospace Consulting LLC
    Cedar, MI