'Innovation Will Lead the Way Out of Economic Doldrums'
The global aviation industry must
rely on technological advances to address three of its most
pressing challenges -- the worldwide economy, the environment and
global air transportation system modernization, so says former FAA
Administrator and current AIA President and CEO Marion Blakey,
speaking to an audience at the Royal Aeronautical Society's
Lindbergh Lecture, last Tuesday.
The industry should 'tap into the innovative strength shown by
early pioneers to address the trials we face today and will face
tomorrow,' Blakey said.
"When you mix the spirit of challenge with the spirit of
innovation, you get the Spirit of St. Louis," Blakey said. "That
same formula has worked over the years, and it will work
Blakey delivered the 18th installment of the prestigious lecture
series, which dates back to 1990 and was previously known as the
Guinness Peat Aviation Lectures. The series, which honors Charles
Lindbergh and his first-ever transatlantic flight, showcases
luminaries from the international aviation community addressing
important issues of the day.
Aviation has been an economic
workhorse that helped lead world economies out of lean times in the
past, Blakey said. During the Great Depression in the 1930s, the
U.S. aviation industry actually grew as manufacturers rolled out
the first practical passenger aircraft that allowed airlines to
turn profits. Military aircraft also made great strides during this
"Technological innovations drove this strong economic
performance back then, and they do the same today," Blakey said.
"This is a fact governments all over the world should keep in mind
when coming up with plans to get their economies back on their
The lecture also detailed aviation manufacturers' strong record
of environmental improvement, and the entire international aviation
industry's commitment to make further environmental gains. Another
point was the importance of the development and implementation of
air transportation systems based on Automatic Dependant
Surveillance-Broadcast technology. In the U.S. the technology is
the backbone of the NextGen system, and in Europe it is the key to
SESAR's success. Blakey said these two systems must be seamlessly
interoperable to set the standard for the rest of the world.