Exports of civilian aircraft, aviation engines and parts jumped more than 30 percent last year, becoming Maine’s second-most valuable export industry after seafood, according to federal trade data.
The total dollar value of Maine’s aerospace exports was a record $312 million last year, about 11 percent of the state’s $2.8 billion in foreign exports. Though Maine’s aviation exports declined between 2012 and 2015, the value has risen dramatically overall in the last decade, jumping more than 700 percent, from $37.8 million in 2006 to last year’s record.
The increase in exports from the aerospace industry coincides with declining export value in electric machinery, paper and wood products. Trade data can sometimes be misleading or incomplete, said Wade Merritt, vice president of the Maine International Trade Center. In this case, however, the numbers appear to show sustained growth in aviation-related companies.