2015 Rate and Labor Survey results now available to AEA members
Optimism for growth surges; ADS-B still on the horizon as demand for technicians increases and repair stations attribute future business growth to the technology.
The percentage of Aircraft Electronics Association members in the U.S. expecting their business to grow in the next 12 months surged to 81 percent of respondents in this year's AEA Rate and Labor Survey, marking four straight years of growing optimism. This figure is up compared to the 69 percent of shops that expected future growth in 2014, and the 62 percent in 2013 and 56 percent in 2012.
The Federal Aviation Administration's ADS-B Out equipage mandate is once again fueling the optimism, but marketing efforts and better feelings about the economy are cited as business drivers, as well. Nearly half of the survey respondents listed the ADS-B equipage mandate as the reason they expect their business to increase compared to only one-third the prior year. With more ADS-B compliant solutions introduced to the marketplace this year and installation activity increasing, AEA member companies are looking to add technicians (7 percent of respondents) and focus on marketing their NextGen capabilities (10 percent of respondents), while 10 percent of the shops surveyed noted they were at full capacity today.
"Shop rates for installation in the East and Central U.S. regions inched up but remain flat in the West," said Mike Adamson, AEA vice president of member programs and education. "With competition for trained technicians and a growing backlog in avionics shops, it would be wise for aircraft owners to begin thinking about their ADS-B upgrade as the cost to comply could inch up, as well.
"According to the survey results, any negative outlook from AEA repair station members was primarily due to a slow regional economy or a perception that fewer hours are being flown in their respective market."
For a complete look at the 2015 AEA Rate and Labor Survey and analysis of the results, AEA members may view the entire report online after entering their member login on the AEA's website.
The annual AEA Rate and Labor Survey examines and compares shop and labor rates by national and international regions. It also shows employee benefit/compensation package information, a profile of technician experience, regional employment demand and a business outlook perspective. The quick-glance layout allows repair station owners and managers to easily compare their businesses to others in their regions of operation.