We addressed the Governor’s Eastern Washington Aerospace Summit October 7, 2009, in Spokane, outlining a number of opportunities that aerospace in Washington State should pursue to grow.
Here is the press release on this address, and below the jump is a link to our presentation.
Washington Should Look Beyond Tradition to Grow Aerospace
Issaquah, WA, October 7, 2009: Washington State officials should look beyond traditional businesses to grow aerospace opportunities here, said Scott Hamilton, managing director of Leeham Co., in a speech today before the Eastern Washington Governor’s Aerospace Summit in Spokane.
“State officials and stakeholders understandably focus on Boeing and its supporting supplier base when it comes to Washington aerospace,” Hamilton said. “But global aerospace is changing and it is a mistake to maintain this focus. The time has come to dramatically expand thinking to adjust to realities, opportunities and new requirements of commercial and defense aviation and aerospace.”
Hamilton pointed out that there are emerging competitors to Airbus and Boeing in the 100- to 150-seat jet market and a resurgence of interest in turbo-prop airliners that current Washington aerospace companies should be pursuing. The State should pursue efforts to attract companies that can supply these opportunities.
While some may think supporting competitors of Boeing is the wrong course, Hamilton pointed out that Boeing is partnering or supporting several of the emerging programs, notably in China, Russia and Japan, and that in any event vendors supply components to these companies. A strong supply base only benefits Boeing.
But State officials and stakeholders should not stop with commercial aviation, Hamilton said. There are growing requirements for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Unmanned Aerial Systems that should be pursued. Hamilton also urged the Summit to broaden its approach to the growing critical need for cybersecurity, which has become a high priority in national defense and economic security. Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon have all made this a priority and each company has identified a critical shortage of experts in this field. Washington can partner with these companies to provide education at Washington universities and colleges, and ideally could create a “Cyber U” to meet these needs.
“Green Aviation” is another area the State and stakeholders should pursue. Hamilton noted that Boeing and Airbus have active eco-aviation programs and the two rivals are cooperating to find solutions to the air traffic control systems in the US and Europe.
Here is the presentation: