Survey reveals aerospace testing and development coping well with Covid-19

Aerospace Testing International Covid-19

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Trade body IATA estimates there will be a 48% fall in flights globally this year because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Manufacturers are responding by slashing production.

Our survey reveals the impact of Covid-19 on aerospace testing and development. 165 readers responded during May.


1. What best describes the mood within your company?

18% Optimistic and confident

52% Resilient and coping

27% Pessimistic– we’re taking a large hit

3% Fatalistic–this could be the end of our company


Crisis can bring out the best in people and organizations and overall ATI’s readers have reacted positively, with most showing confidence and belief in the resilience of their companies.


2. How long do you think the coronavirus pandemic will impact your business for?

8%  Up to 6 months

33%  6-12 months

54%  More than a year

2%  It hasn’t impacted our business

3%  Don’t know


Covid-19 has caused uncertainty and ATI readers are split on whether its impact on their business will last longer than the next 12 months.


3. How would you describe the effect of coronavirus on your business?

4%  There has been a dramatic increase in work

10%  There has been an increase in work

20%  There has been no change in workload

34%  There has been a decrease in activity

32%  There has been a dramatic decrease in activity


Most reader’s have had less to do because of the pandemic, although 15% have experienced an increase in their workload, perhaps due to furloughing of other staff.


4. Which sector do you work in?

43% Civil

12% Defense

45% Both


Covid-19’s effect on the civil aviation sector is pronounced, but almost two thirds of ATI readers work in the defense sector in some way, which is so far better protected from the economic effects of the pandemic.


5. How much of a delay will the pandemic cause to programs and other work?

14%  No delays at all

19%  Up to 3 months of delay

28%  3-6 months delay

27%  6-12 months of delay

12%  More than a year’s delay


While much of aviation has been on pause during the pandemic, most test engineers have continued working and development programs have continued – most delays to programs will be kept to under a year.


6. Did your main workplace close as a result of the virus?

44% Yes

56 % No


Interestingly, slightly more companies kept their main workplaces open throughout the pandemic, perhaps a sign of the vital work many do and the physical nature of the work.


7. What percentage of your company’s workforce has been furloughed, laid off or put on short-term working arrangements to mitigate the impact of the pandemic?

50% 0-19%

9% 20-39%

13% 40-59%

10% 60-79%

18% 80% or more


ATI reader’s companies have either manage to limit furloughing, or furloughed almost everyone, perhaps reflecting the variation in the size of companies working within the testing sector


8. Will your company be reopening your workplace with adjusted hours and more segregated working practices during the next 6 months?

70% Yes

5% No

25% Don’t know


Undoubtedly the immediate impact of the pandemic has been a change in working practices, which most firms will stick to for at least the remainder of the year.


9. Do you think your company will be implementing more working from home as a result of the pandemic?

50% Yes

16% No

18% I hope so

16% I see no need to permanently change working arrangements


Almost two thirds of readers have seen or want to see an increase in working from home because of the pandemic. Flexible working could become one of the legacies of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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About Author


Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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