for private investment. Technology has generated many new products and services while creating much shorter product life cycles. Trade barriers have crumbled as capital freely crosses international borders. In many cultures, market-based environmentalism is becoming a driving force. Quality of life is improving as consumers "dial in" on the Internet for more goods and services. The world is at peace and the role of the U.S. military is primarily one of deterrence and policing in such trouble spots as the Middle East. This role requires the military to focus on the protection of its personnel while using only enough force to control a situation without causing massive casualties. The military also relies on commercial assets to support many logistics and communications functions.
An examination of the aviation marketplace reveals that the consumer is king. There is a worldwide demand for low-cost, efficient air service. Safety, performance, and customer service also are important. The increase in air travel has generated a growing demand for new aircraft products and services. Refurbished passenger and cargo aircraft are in high demand as manufacturers try to keep up with demands for new aircraft orders. Consumers, with their new-found wealth, are ordering more products through the Internet, which is creating a growing need for air cargo service. Business travel is at an all-time high, and transoceanic flights are generally overbooked. Emerging markets in China, India, South America, and Eastern Europe are generating large backlogs for new aeronautics products that will take manufacturers many years to fulfill. Strong, competitive forces dominate the marketplace as demand for services increases.
More and more business is being carried out face to face with customers and partners around the world because efficient capital markets and competitive market forces have generated many global alliances of convenience. Businesses also are sharing resources as they compete for growing market segments. Customer satisfaction is not just a slogan, but a requirement for business survival. The growing use of the Internet and advanced telecommunications has created a need for "just-in-time" products and services. Affordability, dependability, and reliability are the buzz words for a growing air cargo market. Prompt, efficient, and on-time service is a requirement for those companies that ship products by air.
To satisfy this growing air travel market, several needs and opportunities were identified for aeronautics and are discussed below.