By John S. McClenahen Following an estimated near-record $151 billion in sales this year, the U.S. aerospace industry is expected to fly about $6.6 billion lower in 2002, projects the Aerospace Industries Assn. (AIA), Washington. A major reason: fewer commercial aircraft sales in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. However, sales of military equipment are forecast to rise in 2002 and partially offset the anticipated lower level of commercial aircraft production, notes John W. Douglass, AIA's president and CEO. The U.S. aerospace industry had near-record estimated profits of $8.7 billion in 2001, up 19% from $7.3 billion in 2000. This year would be the sixth consecutive year in which the industry has posted profits above $7 billion. The U.S. aerospace trade surplus with the rest of the world in 2001 grew to $30 billion, 11% higher than in 2000, as U.S. exports of $62 billion outpaced imports of $32 billion.