Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Various opportunities exist in this growing industry.

Australia is an established export market for the U.S. aerospace industry, and with established and growing fleets of U.S. aircraft in the market for commercial and military applications, there are current and future opportunities for Wisconsin exporters to supply to Australian aviation and aerospace companies.

Australia is a major purchaser of U.S. exports in the categories of aircraft parts, helicopters over 2,000 kg, and aircraft, spacecraft and parts, and the U.S. is the leading source for all of the above categories of imports into Australia.

The market for spare parts, accessories and service is driven by the fact that U.S.-manufactured aircraft represent a sizable proportion of all registered aircraft in Australia. In the commercial airline space, approved original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers of spares may find opportunity with major carriers Qantas and Virgin Australia for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul of U.S.-manufactured airplanes. These carriers often prefer to source major equipment directly from manufacturers and prefer to obtain OEM spares from approved suppliers.

Exporters supplying goods and services to the military will be encouraged by the fact that the U.S. supplies exports to meet nearly all of Australia’s military requirements and 60% of Australia’s civilian needs—thereby linking Australia closely to U.S. standards, suppliers, parts and finished aircraft.

Demand for helicopters and associated parts is also sizable, as Australia has a large civil helicopter fleet (numbering 2,259), ranking fifth in size worldwide. Helicopters are well suited to support remote oil, gas and mining projects as well as tourism, aeromedical and rescue services, and large agricultural properties.

Activity in the unmanned aerial systems space is also high. In Australia alone, there are more than  1,200 drone operators currently developing technologies and services that support the larger drone ecosystem, and Australia is a growing hub for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) testing. The industries creating demand for unmanned aerial systems are similar to those driving opportunities in the helicopter space, and also extend to public safety, construction/infrastructure, media and utilities.

Wisconsin companies interested in attending and/or supplying to the Australian aviation sector are encouraged to capitalize on existing relationships in global supply chains, and encouraged to consider attending the two major conferences scheduled for next year. MRO Australasia will take place in Brisbane March 11-12, 2020, and ROTORTECH 2020 will also take place in Brisbane, from June 16-18.