The aerospace industry will see slower sales growth next year as the overall economy takes its toll, according to the annual forecast from the Aerospace Industry Association (AIA). At the association's annual year-end forecast event, Marion Blakey, AIA president, said the industry has weathered the economic downturn better than other industries, but dropping passenger levels will cap aerospace sales in 2010. "There is turbulence on the horizon. Everyone knows that aerospace sales are cyclical . but whatever downturn may occur in the next 18 months is expected to be far less severe than other downcycles. . It simply does not appear that we're headed for the same severe and sustained downturn that we saw in the 90s. This time it will be different," Blakey said at the event in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. AIA forecasts total 2010 aerospace sales to be $214.4 billion, a "very modest increase" from 2009. Civil aircraft sales hit $82.5 billion, while military aircraft sales in 2009 rose about 8 percent to $61.7 billion. Aerospace orders fell by about 33 percent to $155 billion. The aerospace backlog will fall for the first time since 2003, dropping to an estimated $356 billion from $402 billion in 2008, according to the forecast. Also, AIA sees aerospace employment dropping 2 percent in 2009 to 641,100.