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Topic - Aerospace Policy

Aerospace Policy

Introduction

Germany's aerospace sector is a driver of technological innovation and economic growth. It brings together almost all the high technologies of this age of information: electronics, robotics, measuring, control and materials technology. At 12 %, the proportion of the sector's turnover which is spent on research and development is very high.

The resulting innovations have greatly benefited computer design. They have also given rise to the emergence of many other branches of industry. These include: mobile phone systems, navigation systems for cars, live transmissions of sporting and political events, video conferences with people in far-flung countries, and global environmental and climate research, none of which would have been possible without the pioneering work done by this sector. Aerospace not only links continents: it was also the first transport sector to subscribe to sustainability and define specific climate change mitigation targets at the beginning of this century (ACARE 2020). Aerospace helps us better understand Earth and space, opens up new technical applications, provides the basis for new types of services, fosters international cooperation, and facilitates disarmament and peace policy in Europe and beyond. Whilst aerospace may be a comparatively small sector of industry in Germany, it is of enormous strategic importance.

This is true of all the segments of this forward-looking sector:

Aviation

The aviation sector is following the trend seen in many sectors of industry towards shorter and shorter cycles of innovation coupled with rising demands placed on products in terms of economic viability and environmental friendliness. Against the background of this situation, and in order to give a permanent boost to the technological competitiveness of Germany's aviation industry, the Economic Affairs Ministry supports the sector via an aviation research programme and the Aircraft Equipment Programme.

Civil aviation

Airbus continues to be a key driving force in Europe's, and thus Germany's, aviation industry. As a result of close cooperation between industry and government, and working together with the European partners, the European aircraft manufacturer has become a permanent rival to Boeing. In recent years, Airbus has achieved outstanding results in terms of orders and deliveries, and its order books are full for the next 7-8 years.

Space

Unlike in the aviation sector, where the commercial market is well-developed, international space activities are largely driven by public-sector space strategies and the available budget funding. This means that the Federal Government’s space policy and its contribution to European structures are of central importance for Germany's space industry. In its High-Tech Strategy 2020, the German government has awarded special importance to space flight, designating space a key enabling technology. This is because space technologies are key instruments for the modern information and industrial society.

34.7
Banknote-icon

billion euros
was the turnover of the German aerospace industry in 2015

12
Symbolicon für Satellit

percent share
of turnover is spent on research and development

approx. 107
Symbolicon für Menschen

thousand people
are employed in the sector in Germany

70
Symbolicon für Summe in Euro

per cent
is the proportion of turnover of the aerospace sector generated by exports

The role of the Economic Affairs Ministry

How does the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy support the aerospace sector?

The Economic Affairs Ministry is the lead ministry for the field of aerospace within the Federal Government and works to promote a coherent aerospace policy at interministerial level. Federal Minister Brigitte Zypries is the Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy responsible for the interests and prospects of this strategic sector.

Promoting research: the Federal Government’s aviation research programme

Since 1995, the Federal Government has promoted the research and technology development in the "LuFo" aviation research programme. The main focus of the current, fifth, edition of the programme includes strengthening the sector as a lead market for Industrie 4.0, and developing new digital products.

Facilitating financing: the Aircraft Equipment Programme

In order to strengthen the equipment and component supplier industry in the aviation sector and to safeguard its technological edge, the Economic Affairs Ministry provides loans to help fund development projects. This limits the development risks and delivers greater financial security. Learn more

Strengthening international cooperation and networking

The Economic Affairs Ministry is actively involved in shaping the international environment for research, development and exports in the aerospace sector, working on this in national, European and international bodies. Also, the Economic Affairs Ministry backs the interests of Germany's aviation industry in European research framework programmes like Clean Sky, SESAR, Horizon 2020.

Promoting the German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Institutional funding of more than €200 million goes towards the research work of the DLR each year.

Supporting German space flight projects

Via Germany's membership of ESA (the European Space Agency) and the National Programme for Space and Innovation, the Economic Affairs Ministry provides around a billion euros of funding each year.

Focus on the sector

The development of aerospace in Germany

In 2015, the aerospace sector developed very well in Germany. All of the key economic indicators improved.

In overall terms, Germany's aerospace sector grew by 8 % in 2015, with turnover reaching €34.7 billion (2014: €32.1 billion). This represents a continuation of the positive trend. Total employment registered a slight rise of 1 %, to 106,800 people working directly in the aerospace sector (year before: 105,700).

Civil aviation continues to be the largest part of the sector. A global rise in order and delivery figures resulted in sales rising by approx. 11 % to €25.3 billion. The workforce expanded by 1 %. 75,000 people work in this segment.

The civil aviation supplier industry grew by 8.5 % in 2015, with sales rising to €10.6 billion (2014: €9.83 billion).

Military aviation stabilised, with an increase in turnover of 3 %. Sales rose to €6.8 billion. The workforce grew by 1 % to 23,000 people.

In the field of space flight, sales matched the previous year’s level of €2.5 billion, and the workforce was also steady, at 8,500 employees.

Spending on research and development by the sector remains at a very high level. It amounts to €4.2 billion – 12 % of the sector's turnover.

The outlook for growth and jobs in the sector remains healthy, particularly in the medium and long term; reliable government assistance instruments provide the sector with a sound basis for its planning. Global market forecasts which predict a doubling of global aircraft demand by 2030, with average annual growth of around 5 %, offer the major civil aircraft manufacturers and their suppliers the prospect of well-filled order books.

Exports accounted for 70 % of the total turnover in the sector.

DLR

German Aerospace Center (DLR)

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is Germany's aerospace research centre. It conducts research and development activities in the fields of aerospace (and also energy, transport and security) in close cooperation with national and international partners.

The DLR researches the Earth and the solar system, and provides expertise to help preserve the environment. Its portfolio ranges from basic research to the development of tomorrow's products. It runs large-scale research facilities, both for its own projects and as a service provider for business partners. It also trains up young scientists, provides advice to policy makers, and is a driving force in the regions surrounding its 16 branches.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) plays a two-fold role in implementing Germany's space policy: Firstly, it is responsible for the planning and implementation of German space activities at national and European level. Secondly, its work as a research facility and a member of the Helmholtz Association ranges from basic research through to the development of innovative applications and tomorrow's products – including in aerospace.

Rotor blades; Source: DLR, CC-BY 3.0