Aviation Leaders Look to the Future at Annual Summit
The U.S. Chamber’s National Chamber Foundation (NCF) brought together representatives from the aviation industry, government officials, and system users to rally behind important aviation issues during its 11th Annual Aviation Summit “Flying Towards Global Economic Growth” event on April 12 (watch the webcast).
More than 350 attendees heard from 36 speakers at the all-day event, including Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, Boeing Defense, Space and Security President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg, Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson and Council of International Civil Aviation Organization Permanent Representative Ambassador Duane Woerth.
Muilenburg spoke on the “key and important intersections between defense and commercial aviation and the areas important to both industries,” including implementation of NextGen Air Transportation System, which is based on global positioning systems (GPS) instead of radar, cybersecurity efforts, widespread use of biofuels, and the development of a workforce that can supply the needs of both defense and commercial aviation.
Workforce development is a particular concern for Boeing, Muilenburg said, where 18% of the company’s employees are eligible to retire, another 19% will be eligible in five years, and in 10 years, fully 60% of the current Boeing population will be eligible to retire. To meet their future workforce needs, Boeing has turned to military veterans, hiring more than 1,800 veterans last year alone, Muilenburg said.
Delta’s Richard Anderson called for a “national airline policy” during his speech, including freezing any efforts to increase taxes on tickets, putting in place a stronger competition policy to support the U.S. airline industry in international negotiations, clinching a commitment from FAA and manufacturers that they’ll implement and use NextGen technology, and seeking more commonsense regulations, particularly when it comes to tourists’ visas. “Let’s make this a welcoming country,” Anderson said.