Air Transport World

Australia builds for the world. (aerospace industry)

Though small by world standards, the Australian aerospace industry has moved profitably into the arena of mainstream airframe programs during the past decade, largely through a complete revitalization and re-equipping of the industry via the McDonnell F/A-18 program for the RAAF.

Hundreds of millions of dollars were invested in the industry during the early to mid-1980s, so as to be able to face competition from around the world efficiently on the major programs from Boeing, MacDac and Airbus. This is reflected in export earnings of around $A170 million a year, which represents around two thirds of the total turnover of the two major companies involved in such activities.

Those two major players are private sector Hawker de Havilland at Sydney and Melbourne and the government-owned, though due to be privatized Aerospace Technologies of Australia (ASTA) in Melbourne. …

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