Aerospace Industries Association chief John Douglass says the outlook for the commercial and civil aviation business looks positively rosy for the decade, and he predicts an unprecedented seven to eight years of growth. On the other hand, he said Tuesday afternoon during a forum on the industrial base at AFA’s Air & Space Conference, the military market is under heavy pressure and may decline even further as personnel costs take an ever-larger chunk of defense spending. Douglass suggests the military services get more comfortable using commercial, off-the-shelf products, because that may be all they can afford. The military market is getting so small—and is so fraught with profit-devouring rules—that some business may refuse to vie for defense contracts.
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.