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Reflecting on the New Normal of Aerospace for National Aviation Day

August 2020

National Aviation Day was established in 1939 to celebrate the development and advancement of aviation in the United States. At Radiall, we are proud to be a part of the growth that the aerospace industry has experienced over the past 81 years. Now, we are looking at changes that are creating the new normal of aerospace. Our employees and industry influencers took some time to reflect on the changes and opportunities the industry will see this year and in the future.

Dan Yount, Key Account Manager at Radiall
The silver lining [of changes in aerospace market] is that there is no better time to refocus, restructure and innovate. Manufacturers in the aerospace industry have the opportunity to take a more long-term view of their business and fix issues that in the past we were too busy to fix, including manufacturing, profitability and quality.

I still believe that we have a long road to dig out of this. We are seeing a small glimmer of hope in the business jet market, but that is only a small percentage of the aerospace market.

Steve Benko, Sports Producer at KDKA-TV 
I love the engineering [of aerospace]. I’ve always loved the way things are built and designed. Something once started on a drawing board and ended up traveling 36,000 feet in the air at 600 miles per hour. It will never not be amazing to me. 

Airlines and plane manufacturers have gone to great lengths to ensure planes are structurally sound. Engineers and technicians are relied upon to make sure the plane takes off, flies and lands safely. The silver lining for all of this is that airlines are going to great lengths to ensure cabins are not only clean but meticulously sanitized.  

Let me just say, I’ve never felt uncomfortable flying. It’s one of my favorite things in the world. I haven’t flown during this time at all, but the idea of flying during a pandemic is disconcerting. I’m looking forward to feeling comfortable boarding a plane and not worrying about anything. I’m not sure how long that will take. 

The sanitization process will have the longest impact. Many people already feel uncomfortable sitting close to strangers on planes. The short flights are generally not that big of a deal, and you’re not on the plane that long. But the medium-to-long range flights are where the process of staying as sanitized as possible will be difficult. 

Jeff Reams, Global Account Manager at Radiall
The world has changed, and every industry has to evolve to the shifting environment. Aerospace is no different, and the industry will become safer and smarter as we develop new technologies to improve products and user experiences.  

There have been sacrifices by so many at home and abroad. For many, our new normal life is spending the majority, if not all, of our day at home. Analysts project that we will not see the return to commercial aviation by the flying public at the levels of 2018/2019 until 2023; however, I foresee humankind eager to travel and adventure much sooner after quarantining and social distancing. Admittedly, there may be some more procedures and processes to incorporate in traveling, but the additional safety measures introduced after September 11 have now become normal, routine and expected. Technology and innovation will see Radiall, our customers, the flying public and those that like to adventure through the current situation and into the future. Per St. Augustine, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

Ian Petchenik, Director of Communications at Flightradar24
Even though aerospace is a massive industry, it’s a tight-knit community of extremely passionate people. Most people don’t get into this industry by accident; they do it because it’s what they love. If there is a silver lining [to the pandemic], it might be that the changes caused by the pandemic force companies to think differently, and that leads to the next breakthrough in aviation. 

Beyond the depressed passenger demands, the shift away from larger, four-engine aircraft and the adjustments to aircraft manufacturer production rates will have the longest impact.