Civil Aviation Council

AIA: Ex-ImBank Reauthorization: A Missed Opportunity

TARC Star Spotlight: Amanda Steckel

Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Myth vs. Reality

Congress Passes TPA Legislation


The Hill Publishes AIA, Huntington Ingalls EX-IM Bank OpEd

TARC at the Paris Air Show - Day Two


U.S. Team Wins International Rocketry Competition

AIA at the Paris Air Show 2015

AIA at the Paris Air Show 2015

Alabama Rocketry Team Blasts Off to Paris

TARC Star Spotlight: Casey Densmore

Kristie Primmer

Robert E. Durbin

Get the Results of the 2015 A&D Survey Report

Eileen Drake

David J. Castagnola

Robert Murphy

Marion C. Blakey

David F. Melcher Named President and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association

David F. Melcher Named President and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association

TARC Star Spotlight: Victor Murphy

The New American Space Age

Global Positioning System Modernization

Melissa Arndorfer

Over the DC Sky – A Reminder of the Need for Air Supremacy

Actualizing S1000D - Making it real


Ex-Im Bank – When Did Supporting U.S. Industry and American Jobs Become a Bad Thing?

TARC Star Spotlight: Lt. Kenneth Johnson

TARC Star Spotlight: Samuel Pullen

Hubble – 25 Years and the Astronomy Continues

Amanda Jaeger


Alabama students take home the gold at the Team America Rocketry Challenge National Finals

Rockets on the Hill 2015 a Great Success

Strategic Plan 2015

Guidelines for Implementing Interoperability Standards for Engineering Data

Why all the applause?

Why all the applause?

Spring SMC Meeting Features Interaction with Decision Makers, March to Hill

2015 Executive Report First Quarter

Kathryn Verona

Ronald J. Youngs

World’s largest rocketry contest brings top students to nation’s capital for final fly-off

Project Engineer, National Aerospace Standards

Army Defense Exports & Cooperation Industry Day

Edward L. Auslander

TARC at White House Science Fair

U.S. Virgin Islands Students Showcase Rockets at the 5th White House Science Fair

AIA Strongly Supports Higher OCO Funding in Budget Vote

AIA Urges Budget Committees to Raise Defense Caps

Thousands of students participate in world’s largest rocketry competition

Marion Blakey Departs the Aerospace Industries Association

FAA’s Draft Small UAS Rule – A Positive Step Forward

AIA Congratulates Ashton Carter on Confirmation

ICCAIA Supports International Consortium Seeking Alternatives to Halon Fire Suppressant

2014 Executive Report Fourth Quarter

Remarks to International Aviation Club

Standards - Incorporation by Reference

Fall NASC Meeting 2015

New Report: An Effective Partnership for Safety in the Skies

Industry Innovation and Government Oversight: An Effective Partnership

Ashley Bander

Manager, Multimedia Communications

2015 S1000D User Forum

2015 S1000D User Forum

Engine Ground Operations During Heavy Snow

Karl Hutter

Supplier Management Council Fall Meeting

Charles Stout

Dieter Moeller

Paul Martin

Meredith Siegfried

John Costello

Dan Korte

Roger Krone

Doug Gates

Laurans Mendelson

Daniele Cagnatel

Bruce Whitman

Richard Addi

Brendan Curran

Douglas McCrosson

Mike Coburn

Rob Zesch

Rory Yanchek

Anne D. Shybunko-Moore

Mike Petters

AIA NAS410 rev 4 Webinar

AIA 50th Annual Year-End Review and Forecast Luncheon

AIA: Poll Shows Public Demand for Increased National Security Spending

Industry Sales by Product Group

Civil Transport Aircraft Backlog

Net Profit After Taxes

Aerospace Industry by Customer

Exports of Aerospace Products

Civil Aircraft Shipments

Responsible for improving the capability for designing, developing, producing, and operating aviation products in a safer, more secure, and efficient aviation system; promoting robust federal aeronautics,  R&D funding at the FAA and NASA; ensuring  aviation security  and safety; modernizing the air traffic management system; and monitoring federal and international aviation regulations and international aircraft noise and emissions standards. AIA contact: Ali Bahrami, Vice President, Civil Aviation.

Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO David F. Melcher on Congress allowing the authorization of the Export-Import Bank to lapse

Arlington, Va. —Today Congress missed an opportunity to support thousands of American jobs at firms across the nation that are striving to compete in a global marketplace tilted against them by foreign governments and subsidized competition.  Despite the Export-Import Bank of the United States having the support of broad bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress, a small minority has prevented a vote reauthorizing this important export financing tool for U.S. exporters. 

The Bank is able to continue operating for now, but is unable to support any new projects until it is reauthorized.  As Zhao Changhui, the Export-Import Bank of China’s chief country risk analyst, said last week, “With respect to competition in strategy and policies between the U.S. and China, this is a good thing.”  The Chinese export credit agency and agencies like it around the world will be eager to step in on behalf of America’s competitors and snatch the trade opportunities that would otherwise support jobs at American firms.  Every day that goes by sends the message to potential overseas customers that they are better served buying products from countries other than ours.

AIA has been a strong advocate for Ex-Im Bank reauthorization.  For more information on our efforts, please visit our website at:  Just last week The Hill published a piece I co-authored with Huntington Ingalls President and CEO Mike Petters, “Re-authorize Ex-Im Bank to keep a level playing field."  The op-ed drew parallels to the collapse of commercial shipbuilding in the United States in the 1980s after the U.S. government terminated a program offsetting foreign subsidies without considering the unintended consequences.  We’ve seen the damage done before – we must not let it happen again.

Thousands of businesses from small mom-and-pop shops to large corporations benefit both directly and indirectly from the Bank’s loan guarantees.  Failure to restore the Bank will strike a blow at companies across the American economy, putting their employees at risk while handing our foreign competitors a huge advantage.  We strongly urge Congress to act now to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank’s charter and restore the level playing field for American exporters. 

# # #

CONTACT:  Keith Mordoff

(703) 358-1075 office
(240) 338-1255 mobile

Dan Stohr
(703) 358-1078 office
(703) 517-8173 mobile


The emergence of unmanned or remotely piloted aircraft systems for civil and commercial applications is among the most significant aviation advancements in decades. On almost a daily basis, new beneficial applications of this evolving technology are being demonstrated. While public perception of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) has been mixed, the public debate is changing as more system uses emerge that create personal and economic benefits for the general population.

As the June 30 deadline for reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank approaches, AIA placed an OpEd “Re-authorize Ex-Im Bank to keep a level playing field,” co-authored by Mike Petters, president and CEO of Huntington Ingalls Industries and AIA president and CEO Dave Melcher in The Hill newspaper.  

Seven students from the Russellville City Schools of Russellville, Ala., won first place in the International Rocketry Challenge at the 2015 Paris Air Show on June 19. The U.S. team, sponsored by Raytheon, beat teams from the United Kingdom, who came in second place, and France, who took home third.

Students from Russellville, Ala. best teams from the United Kingdom and France to claim international title.

PARIS, June 19, 2015 –Seven students from the Russellville City Schools of Russellville, Ala., won first place in the International Rocketry Challenge at the 2015 Paris Air Show on June 19. The U.S. team, sponsored by Raytheon (NYSE: RTN), beat teams from the United Kingdom, who came in second place, and France, who took home third.

“It was a great experience representing the United States and winning the international rocketry competition,” said Andrew Heath, captain of the RCS Engineers. “It has been an honor to be part of the team and this year’s program.”

Competing teams designed, built and launched rockets with a goal of reaching an altitude of exactly 800 feet within a 46- to 48-second flight window. This year’s contest required rockets to separate into at least two sections during flight. The main section, containing a payload of one raw hen’s egg and an altimeter, had to return to the ground safely with a single parachute as its sole recovery device. Scores were determined by how close the rockets approached the required height and time; cracked eggs would disqualify the flight.

The U.S. team consists of Cristian Ruiz, 16; Niles Butts, 17; Andrew Heath, 17; Katie Burns, 13; Evan Swinney, 18; Cady Studdard, 14; and Chelsea Suddith, 15. The team achieved a winning flight score of 49.53 and logged an altitude of 824 feet.

The students also gave a presentation on their rocket design to a panel of international judges at Raytheon’s air show headquarters. The judges’ score counted for 40 percent of their total competition score. The U.S. took first place in this portion of the challenge as well.

“This was a wonderful competition, and after seeing our U.S. representatives and the teams from France and the U.K., I am truly impressed by the young talent that is here today,” said AIA President and CEO Dave Melcher. “As they leave here with vivid memories of how exciting it was to compete at this level, I urge our outstanding rocket teams to use this experience as a springboard for their futures.”

The International Rocketry Challenge is the culmination of three separate competitions held annually around the globe: the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR); the United Kingdom Aerospace Youth Rocketry Challenge (UKAYRoC) sponsored by ADS, the UK Aerospace, Defense, Security and Space association; and the French Rocketry Challenge sponsored by Groupement des Industries Francaises Aeronautiques et Spatiales (GIFAS), the French aerospace industries association. Each contest brings together teams of middle and high school students to design, build and launch model rockets with the goal of inspiring young minds to become engaged in science, technology, engineering and math.

"Rocketry requires a strong command of math, a solid foundation of physics and a tremendous amount of patience and determination," said Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas A. Kennedy. "The achievement of these competitors deserves a global stage, and we hope to show other students around the world that hard work and a love for science can lead them to great things.”

This is the tenth year that Raytheon has supported the U.S. team's trip to the international air show. The program is part of the company’s broad-based MathMovesU® initiative to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

AIA’s President and CEO Dave Melcher and COO Bob Durbin have been having an active week here in Paris, advocating for the products and services only the U.S. aerospace and defense industry can provide. Keep up with us on AIA's AeroBlog! 

Lieutenant Gen. (Ret.) Bob Durbin is Chief Operating Officer of the Aerospace Industries Association. AIA, founded in 1919 shortly after the birth of flight, is the most authoritative and influential trade association representing the nation’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of civil, military and business aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aircraft systems, space systems, aircraft engines, homeland and cybersecurity systems, materiel and related components, equipment services and information technology.

Durbin joined AIA from Exelis Inc., where he served as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development.  In this role, Durbin was responsible for leading the company-wide strategic planning process and driving the development of the corporate value creation strategies.

Durbin, who joined Exelis after 35 years of distinguished service in the U.S. Army, was also responsible for customer relations with the U.S. Department of Defense, military service staffs, the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, the Intelligence community, and customers in non-government markets such as commercial aerospace. He also led the Exelis international business development group, working with Exelis divisions to identify and pursue targeted growth opportunities outside the U.S.

In addition to these roles in corporate strategy and customer relations, Durbin also was accountable for building productive and effective relationships with U.S. members of Congress and Congressional committees and their staffs in order to provide guidance on proposed legislation and regulatory issues impacting Exelis programs.

Durbin’s military career was highlighted by troop assignments in infantry and armored divisions including battalion, brigade and division command. Most recently, he served as director of the Army Office of Business Transformation (OBT) and special assistant to the chief of staff of the Army for enterprise management, responsible for Army’s investment strategy. During previous assignments, Durbin served as commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan, and commanding general for the Combined Security Transition Command and Combined Forces Command for Afghanistan.  Durbin served as the director of the Office of the Army Quadrennial Defense Review at the Pentagon and earlier as the deputy director for program analysis and evaluation.  Previously, he was the deputy commanding general at Fort Hood, Texas. Durbin was also the deputy chief of staff, United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command of the United States Forces Korea.

Durbin holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Penn., and a bachelor’s of science degree from the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. He also completed the Senior Service College through a fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.

Download bio here.

Get the results of the 2015 A&D Survey, sponsored by CSC and the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) at an online Town Hall at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9. The survey includes the perspectives of A&D executives and senior managers on business, technology and regulatory trends. Panelists from CSC and AIA will host the Town Hall to share insights on product innovation, R&D, cost control, modernization, cybersecurity, sequestration, and acquisition of government contracts.

Register to attend the Town Hall.
Sign up for a copy of the report.

Bill Koss, Assistant Vice President, Contracts & Finance, National Security & Acquisition Policy, AIA
Tim Ellis, Industry General Manager, Global Aerospace & Defense, CSC
Joel Moss, Principal, Big Data Strategy & Execution in Manufacturing, CSC

The Aerospace Industries Association announced today that David F. Melcher will become its President and Chief Executive Officer, effective June 8, 2015. “Our nation currently faces a number of critical global challenges and we must have a strong, vibrant aerospace and defense industry,” Melcher said. "This is an exciting time and I am proud to lead AIA in its advocacy efforts.”

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association announced today that David F. Melcher will become its President and Chief Executive Officer, effective June 8, 2015.

“Dave is an exceptional leader who, with his balance of corporate and military experience, brings an outstanding record of executive achievement to AIA,” said AIA Chairman and President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Aviation, David L. Joyce. “With Dave’s guidance, AIA will continue to champion the aerospace and defense industry and its ability to advance innovation in civil aviation, space and defense.”

Melcher is well known in Washington and to AIA member companies. Most recently Melcher was Chief Executive Officer and President of Exelis Inc., a leading global aerospace, defense and information solutions company. In this role, he served four years as a member of AIA’s Executive and Finance Committees.

Following a 32-year career in the U.S. Army, Lieutenant General (Ret.) Melcher joined ITT Corporation first as Vice President, Strategy and Business Development and then as President, ITT Defense and Information Solutions, before becoming the inaugural chief executive at Exelis following its spinoff from ITT in Oct. 2011.  Melcher also led Exelis through its recent successful merger with Harris Corporation in May 2015. 

Melcher has extensive program management, strategy development and finance experience, and worked closely with key leadership within the Army, Department of Defense, White House, and Congress.  His Army career highlights include battalion and brigade command in Infantry and Armored divisions, and high-level military leadership and staff positions.  As a general officer, he served in the Pentagon as the Army’s Military Deputy for Budget, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs (G8).  He also served as Commanding General of the Corps of Engineers – Southwest Division in Dallas.

“Our nation currently faces a number of critical global challenges and we must have a strong, vibrant aerospace and defense industry to keep our men and women in uniform safe and successful on the battlefield, ensure that more than two million airline passengers travel safely and efficiently every day, and enable humankind to explore the frontiers of space,” Melcher said.

“Our industry represents more than one million skilled workers in all 50 states, is the nation’s largest net exporter and is one of the biggest contributors to the annual U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). To maintain this leadership, we must invest in the research and development necessary to discover innovative, lifesaving and cutting-edge technologies that equip our military and benefit all of society.  This is an exciting time and I am proud to lead AIA in its advocacy efforts.”

According to a 2011 economic study, 3.3 million U.S. jobs and $96 billion in annual direct economic benefits are attributable to the Global Positioning System (GPS).  Truly, GPS has become an integral part of the fabric of our civil, commercial, and military daily operations and its current and future sustainability is essential to our nation.

Melissa Arndorfer is Manager of Corporate Events and Marketing for the Aerospace Industries Association. She is responsible for helping to manage the planning, marketing and execution of multiple association events, such as the bi-annual Board of Governors and Membership meetings, Supplier Management Council meetings, Executive Committee meetings, and the corporate events at the Paris and Farnborough Air Shows.

Prior to joining AIA, Arndorfer worked in the Conventions & Conferences Department at the Biotechnology Industry Organization. She received a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University.

The 2015 S1000D User Forum, held at the Omni San Diego Hotel, is hosted by the Aerospace Industries Association and supported by the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe and the ATA e-Business Program.  This event  is focused on putting S1000D into practice, whether it’s deciding how to contract to it, converting legacy data, implementing a technical solution, or achieving your role as a supplier.  The objective of this User Forum is to bring real-world experience in contracting, alternate approaches to affordable and sensible conversion of legacy data, and optimizing project scope for supplier use. Attendees of the Forum will hear real use-cases and examples of successful strategies to pave the way for S1000D adoption.

"Actualizing S1000D - Making it real!."

The 2015 User Forum will feature:
• Tutorials and training
• Technical and management tracks
• Vendor demonstrations and presentations
• Updates on the latest developments of the S1000D Specification
• Integrated Logistics Support Specifications Day (September 24, 2015)

Monday, September 21, 2015 - Thursday, September 24, 2015,  8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time at:

Omni San Diego Hotel
675 L St
San Diego, California 92101

A link to the room block is available on the registration site

To register for the event go to:

The battle of hearts and minds over the Export-Import Bank of the United States reauthorization continued its serious path this week in Washington DC.  Tell Congress you support American industries and American jobs!  It's a good thing.

Amanda Jaeger is responsible for managing AIA's social media platforms, handling PR coverage on events such as Team America Rocketry Challenge and the Arsenal of Democracy World War II Fly Over, and crafting blog posts for AIA's Aerospace Blog.

She is currently studying at the University of Miami (FL) through the College of Arts and Sciences.

The RCS Engineers Rocketry Team from Russellville, Ala., beat out 100 competitors to claim first place at the National Finals of the 2015 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). In addition to their winnings, the students will travel to Paris this June courtesy of Raytheon Company to represent the United States in an international fly-off at the Paris Air Show against teams from the UK and France.

Russellville City School team declared National Champions, will compete in International Rocketry Challenge in June


The Plains, Va. – The RCS Engineers Rocketry Team from Russellville, Ala., beat out 100 competitors to claim first place at the National Finals of the 2015 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). After months of rocketry design, test flights and qualification launches, hundreds of students from across the country traveled to Great Meadow in the Plains, Va., to vie for the title of champion of the largest rocketry competition in the world.

The Russellville City School students bested nearly 700 teams that participated in this year’s competition from 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The winning team, comprised of Christian Ruiz (16), Niles Butts (16), Andrew Heath (17), Katie Burns (12), Evan Swinney (17), Cady Studdard (14), and Chelsea Suddith (15), was awarded more than $20,000 in prizes and funds for their school.

Structured to emulate the aerospace industry's engineering design process, TARC challenged teams to design and build a model rocket that could travel to a height of 800 feet and back within 46 to 48 seconds. This year’s rules required each rocket to carry one raw egg that had to be safely returned to the ground uncracked. Scores were determined by how close the rockets came to the required height and time; damaged eggs disqualified flights.

“We had high aspirations coming into the finals and it’s incredibly exciting that we performed as well as we did,” said Team Captain Andrew Heath. “It just goes to show that anybody can accomplish their goals with enough hard work.”

This year’s competition had a twist to the scoring that challenged students’ ingenuity and rocket adaptability. The top 42 teams that advanced to the second round at the finals were required to meet new scoring parameters, launching their rockets to 775 feet and coming back to earth within 45 to 47 seconds.

"The innovation and technical know-how demonstrated by today's competitors shows us the future of rocket science is very bright," said Pamela Erickson, vice president of Corporate Affairs for Raytheon. "Creating supportive environments for students to work together to expand their horizons serves everyone's future."

Teams were competing for a total of $100,000 in prizes and scholarships and as in golf, the lowest score wins. TARC teams were aiming for a perfect score of zero, and the RCS Engineers achieved an impressive combined score of 16.16 – less than half of the second place team’s total score. In addition to their winnings, the students will travel to Paris this June courtesy of Raytheon Company to represent the United States in an international fly-off at the Paris Air Show against teams from the UK and France.

Since its inception in 2002, TARC has inspired more than 60,000 middle and high school students to further explore the possibilities of a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. TARC is made possible by the generous support of The Raytheon Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Thales USA, Microsemi Corporation and 23 other industry sponsors. For more information about the Team America Rocketry Challenge, please visit To see photos of the event please visit our Flickr page at:

Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) exhorts students to follow their dreams and be the generation
that sends manned missions to Mars. 


Fifty-five student rocket teams from across the country gathered in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate building Friday, May 8, to display their rockets and tell their stories to congressional staff. 

Check out photos here:

Guest speakers included Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), Aurora Flight Sciences Chairman and CEO Dr. John Langford, NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan and Thales USA Vice President of Government Relations Jim Fraser.  Each of the speakers focused on the need for more students to get involved in science, technology, engineering and math studies and eventually to enter the aerospace and defense industry and become the next generation of scientists and engineers to lift us to the stars.

NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan answers student questions


Following the reception, the teams dispersed around Capitol Hill to meet with the staff of their elected representatives and watch a flyover of World War II military aircraft honoring the 70th anniversary of the allied victory in Europe.



(Photos by Dan Stohr)


Graphic Overview

The Aerospace Industries Association’s (AIA) mission is, through direct advocacy and the engagement of its member companies, to shape public policy to ensure that the industry remains successful and profitable in a changing global market.

As the voice of the U.S. aerospace and defense industry, AIA establishes industry-wide goals and strategies to provide solutions to issues that impact members and U.S. interests in national security, civil aviation and space.   

By achieving consensus among members and national and global stakeholders, AIA provides unmatched expertise on issues that affect manufacturers and suppliers of civil, military and business aircraft; helicopters; unmanned aircraft systems (UAS); space systems; aircraft engines; missiles; materiel and related components; equipment; services; and information technology.  America’s aerospace and defense industry includes primes and medium and smaller manufacturers and suppliers that employ more than one million workers throughout the nation – the reach of our advocacy efforts extends to all of these constituencies which is the fabric of the industrial base and strength of AIA’s membership.  

Our 2015 Strategic Plan includes five major priorities and a number of associated actions and tactics supporting our key advocacy (SEE ATTACHED GRAPHIC OVERVIEW). 

To support all of our advocacy efforts on these and other fronts, we will continue to produce thoughtful and timely publications and other communications and leverage internal and external experts on a wide variety of subjects.

AIA’s Five Priorities for 2015

The five major priorities for 2015 are:
• Secure relief from fiscal year 2016 budget caps under the Budget Control Act of 2011
• Achieve legislative and regulatory reform of Federal Acquisition policies that stifle the aerospace and defense industry
• Ensure long-term reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank
• Secure implementation by the U.S. government of elements of an Aerospace and Defense Trade Initiative to support civil, space and defense exports
• Establish and advocate for industry priorities in FAA reauthorization legislation

Secure relief from fiscal year 2016 budget caps under the Budget Control Act of 2011

Our industry remains concerned about the persistent downward pressure on the Defense budget and the implications DOD investment decisions have on ensuring the robust industrial capabilities and capacity needed to meet the growing global national security threats. The on-going budget downturn will have an especially pernicious impact on technology and innovation. In 2015, AIA will continue our advocacy for an end to Budget Control Act caps and will continue to highlight the harmful effects budget austerity has on both our military and the defense industrial base. 

In addition, considering the potential impact of future cuts and expected 2016 budget caps, the FAA will be facing significant challenges in maintaining current operations, implementation of NextGen technologies and integration of UAS into the national airspace.  FAA has never experienced a long-term reduction of this magnitude, and the budget process in 2016 could put additional pressures on FAA activities.

Finally, we will continue to grow and strengthen the coalition of stakeholders advocating for real growth in NASA's and NOAA’s budgets above inflation with an objective of developing a number of strong advocates on Capitol Hill and with those who can influence the Administration.

Achieve legislative and regulatory reform of Federal Acquisition policies that stifle the aerospace and defense industry

We will continue our work with DOD, the White House and Congress to rebalance the defense acquisition system to reduce unnecessary industry and government costs while ensuring the health and security of the defense industrial base. Building on initiatives begun in 2014, AIA will expand its recommendations and communication throughout DOD, especially with the military services, and with the Congress as they seek to make improvements to the DOD acquisition system.

Principal areas of focus will include: audit reform; regulatory response, particularly counterfeit parts; intellectual property rights and commercial item acquisition; foreign military sales (FMS); should cost; and government’s relationship with industry.  AIA will be proactive in addressing regulations that impact the aerospace and defense industry’s operations and continue to comment on proposed and interim regulations and seek legislative change when warranted.

Ensure long-term reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank

We will continue to work aggressively with U.S. government trade financing, promotion and enforcement agencies to protect and grow market share for U.S. civil aviation and space system products.  In this regard, long-term re-authorization of the Ex-Im Bank and ensuring it has sufficient loan guarantee capacity will be critical for our industry.  Last year, we were successful in obtaining a short-term authorization through June 30 of this year.  However, Ex-Im Bank faces strong opposition from conservative ideologues.  AIA will continue to advocate for a long-term reauthorization with increased funding caps both as a part of our critical advocacy efforts and as a part of the Ex-Im Coalition.

Secure implementation by the U.S. government of elements of an Aerospace and Defense Trade Initiative to support civil, space and defense exports

In 2015, AIA will work with the Administration as it completes the migration of non-sensitive technology to the Commerce Control List from the U.S. Munitions List.  Another key element of sustaining the competitiveness of the U.S. aerospace and defense industrial base will be the implementation of a National Defense Export Strategy (NDES).  AIA's proposals include reforms that expedite transfers of technologies staying on the U.S. Munitions List to key allies and partners and accommodate the development of emerging technologies like UAS with significant export potential.  Besides building on ongoing export control and security cooperation reform efforts, an NDES will also entail developing a systematic Interagency Government-Industry dialogue on technology trends and improving intra-agency and interagency coordination and communication on trade priorities and advocacy for the entire industry – national security, civil and space.  On a related note, AIA will continue its efforts to support the highest ethical and business standards in aerospace and defense trade.  

Establish and advocate for industry priorities in FAA reauthorization legislation

This year is a crucial year for the industry and the FAA.  The 2012 FAA modernization and Reform Act (FMRA) will expire in September 2015 and FAA will continue to face budget constraints and limitations.  AIA will work with the appropriate committees to draft legislative language to further advance UAS integration into the national airspace system and improve timeliness of FAA approval for aviation products – all key industry imperatives.  We will continue to fight for a strong FAA budget and adequate funding of FAA oversight and certification budgets that support our members’ Research, Development, Test and Evaluation and production activities.

The variety of engineering tools used to support design, procurement, manufacturing, and support of aerospace products has never been greater.  From company to company, tools and processes range from manual capture in 2D drawings to sophisticated 3D models that are tightly integrated with other enterprise systems. The challenge is further compounded by the growing need to provide engineering information for support extending beyond the life span of individual applications.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) read AIA's "Why all the Applause?" ad in Politico into the Congressional Record at a Joint House Financial Services and Oversight Subcommittee hearing examining the status of Export-Import Bank reforms Wednesday, April 15.

At a Joint House Financial Services and Oversight Subcommittee hearing examining the status of Export-Import Bank reforms Wednesday, April 15, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) read AIA's "Why all the Applause?" ad in Politico into the Congressional Record.  

The ad is a part of AIA's campaign to educate policymakers and the American public about the importance of the ExIm Bank to the aerospace and defense industry and its supplier base.  The ad argues that allowing the ExIm Bank's authorization to expire would be good for workers in China, Russia and France.  Reauthorizing the Bank would be good for American workers.

One hundred supplier companies from around the country participated in AIA’s spring Supplier Management Council (SMC) meeting in Washington March 23-25, and met with members of Congress and staff to advocate for key aerospace and defense industry priorities.

The SMC meeting, hosted by Boeing, featured opportunities for business-to-business interaction and remarks by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.), Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) Mike McCord, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Katrina McFarland, DOD Director of Defense Pricing Shay Assad, and Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) Chief of Staff Scott Schloegel.  All the speakers stressed the importance of small and mid-sized aerospace and defense companies making their voices heard in ongoing debate in Congress over national spending priorities and the future of Ex-Im.

Taking this charge to heart, more than 60 SMC representatives participated in the March to the Hill activity.  Through meetings with 65 House and Senate staff members and a dozen members of Congress, the SMC representatives emphasized the need to lift the caps on defense and R&D spending and to reauthorize Ex-Im’s ability to support U.S. exporters.  To illustrate the effort that went into the march, one team with a fitness tracker found they walked 11,362 steps, 5.13 miles and the equivalent of 43 flights of stairs during their Hill rounds.

Beth Jones and Edward Jones of Hangsterfer's Laboratories in Mantua, N.J., meet with Rep. Donald Norcross (D-N.J.).

The Texas delegation meets with Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas). (Left to right: Bill Peterson of Peterson Corporate Services, Matthew Quinn of J Anthony Aerospace & Defense Services, Mel Crosier of Denison Industries, Congressman Ratcliffe and Clare McGarry of InterConnect Wiring LLP)

The Executive Report is an AIA quarterly publication which provides news and information about our association membership, AIA initiatives and events, and other information from around the industry.

Featured this quarter in the Executive Report:

  • President's Message: With Appreciation and Hope for the Future
  • Q & A With David L. Joyce, Chairman of AIA and President & CEO of GE Aviation
  • Spring SMC Meeting, March to the Hill
  • Meet the International Affairs team
  • Marillyn Hewson named Vice Chairman of AIA
  • TARC at the White House Science Fair


Ronald J. Youngs is Assistant Vice President of Acquisition Policy for the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) National Security and Acquisition Policy division.  Prior to joining AIA, Youngs was Director of the Cost and Pricing Center for the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) from 2009-2014.  In this position, Youngs was responsible for developing and sustaining DCMA expertise in the negotiation of forward pricing rates, evaluation of major cost/price proposals, settlement of final overhead rates, resolving issues associated with cost accounting standards and contractor business systems, assessing pension costs and for the management of all Corporate and Divisional Administrative Contracting Officers. 

In addition to his primary work assignments over a 30-year career in government acquisition, Youngs also served in lengthy special assignments as a visiting instructor at the Air Force Institute of Technology, where he taught the DOD Overhead Course in 1995-96 and as a Politico-Military Analyst assigned to the Joint Staff (J-5) at the Pentagon for one year shortly after the events of September 11, 2001.

Youngs is Level III certified in contracting and in 2004, became DCMA’s first graduate from the Defense Leadership and Management Program (DLAMP). He holds Bachelor and Master of Arts Degrees from California State University, Northridge and a Masters of Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, Carlisle, PA. Ron is also a graduate of the United States Air Force Air Command and Staff College, Montgomery, AL and the Senior Executive Fellows Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. 

Team America Rocketry Challenge announces top 100 teams competing in national championship

Arlington, Va. – More than 600 students across the country received news last Friday that they are advancing to the national finals of the 2015 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). After months of hard work and more than a thousand qualification flights, submissions were tabulated and the top 100 scoring TARC teams were confirmed. These teams will compete head to head at the final fly-off on Saturday, May 9 in The Plains, VA., outside of D.C.

This year’s cohort of top 100 teams hail from 27 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Included in these are a team of varsity athletes, a group of marching band members, and a team mentored by a TARC alumnus.Close to one third of the students advancing to the finals this year are female, including seven all-girl teams.

Structured to emulate the aerospace industry's engineering design process, TARC challenges teams to design and build a model rocket that can travel to a height of 800 feet and back within 46 to 48 seconds. Each rocket will carry one raw egg (representing an astronaut) that must return safely to the ground undamaged. Scores are determined by how close the rockets come to the required height and time; damaged eggs disqualify flights.

To encourage ingenuity and creativity, students are challenged with new design and flight requirements each year. This year’s competition calls for the rocket to divide during flight, safely returning the motor and the egg to the ground in separate sections. In addition, there is a new twist to the scoring of flights in the second round at the national finals. This year, the top 42 placing teams will advance to the second round with new height and time restrictions, requiring their rockets to travel to 775 feet and back within 45-47 seconds. This will require teams to alter their strategy and rockets between rounds in order to meet the new scoring parameters.

TARC finalists are competing for scholarships and prizes totaling more than $60,000 and the chance to travel to the Paris International Air Show in June courtesy of the Raytheon Company. The winning team will represent the United States in the International Rocketry Challenge, facing off against teams from the United Kingdom and France.

Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry and 27 industry partners, TARC is the world’s largest student rocketry contest. Since its inception in 2002, TARC has inspired more than 60,000 middle and high school students to further explore the possibilities of a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This year, close to 700 teams representing 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands designed and built model rockets in hopes of qualifying for the national finals.

Job Description:
Manage technical aspects of the National Aerospace Standards (NAS) Library, which contains over 1300 active standards for components used in the aerospace industry. Support National Aerospace Standards Committee (NASC) leadership by researching technical questions. Review and prepare at least 65 NAS standards per quarter in accordance with change requests and NAS380 and address comments from NASC for corrections on the standards prior to publication. Oversee project work by NASC volunteers to update NAS standards. Prepare and manage technical NASC meeting agenda and proceedings. Manage industry inquiry process by responding to user requests for information.

Job Requirements:
• Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering with concentration in Aerospace Engineering
• 2 years of professional experience as a Mechanical Engineer
• 2 years of experience with Standards
• Academic or professional experience with modeling in CAD

NOTE: All experience may be gained concurrently.

To be considered for this position, please submit:
• Current Resume
• Cover letter
• Three (3) professional references
• And writing samples

Human Resources
ATTN:  Engineer, National Aerospace Standards
Aerospace Industries Association
1000 Wilson Blvd Suite 1700
Arlington, VA 22209
703-358-1135 (fax)

AIA hosted the Department of the Army Defense Exports & Cooperation Industry Day at The Boeing Company's Crystal City facility on March 17.  The conference brought together representatives from industry, the Army, DOD and the Commerce and State Departments for a day of presentations and networking around the concept of “An Army Approach to International Sales in Context of Defense Export and Advocacy.”

Topics ranged from the importance of international sales in the current environment of budget austerity to government’s role in shaping export control policy, assessing risk and promoting international engagement, along with changing international market conditions, demanding partners and fostering international shares.  Each presentation was followed by a lively question and answer session, with a spirit of cooperation in the interest of promoting solutions dominating the networking breaks.


Government speakers included (in order of appearance):

Gabriel Camarillo; Principal Deputy, ASA (ALT)
Keith Webster; Director, International Cooperation; Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology & Logistics)
Beth McCormick; Director, Defense Technology Security Administration
Ann Cataldo, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation
MG Mark McDonald; Commanding General, U.S. Army Security Assistance Command
MG Ted Harrison; Commanding General, Army Contracting Command
BG Robert Marion (PEO Aviation)
BG Neil Thurgood (PEO Missiles & Space)
Chandra Brown; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing, Department of Commerce
Tony Dearth; Director, Office of Defense Trade Controls Licensing, Department of State
Fred Helfrich; Regional Manager, Advocacy Center, Department of Commerce
LTC Don Hausser; Pakistan Country Program Director, DSCA

Team Caribbean Splash from the U.S. Virgin Islands exhibited their rockets and discussed their participation in the Team America Rocketry Challenge with President Obama this morning at the 5th White House Science Fair.

Team America Rocketry Challenge students meet the President at the annual celebration of science, technology, engineering and math








Washington, D.C. –Team Caribbean Splash from the U.S. Virgin Islands exhibited their rockets and discussed their participation in the Team America Rocketry Challenge with President Obama this morning at the 5th White House Science Fair.The team was invited to join the White House's celebration of students from across the country who are engaged and excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Each year the Science Fair has a different theme and this year's focus was diversity and inclusion in STEM. In addition to highlighting a number of impressive projects and inventions, the President also announced new steps of his Educate to Innovate campaign to get more girls and boys, especially those from traditionally underrepresented groups, inspired and prepared to excel in critical STEM fields.

Hailing from the island of St. Croix, Caribbean Splash is hoping to bring the TARC national championship title home to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Led by their captain and high school senior Stephanie Bullock, the team is comprised of tenth grader Shimeeka Stanley, eighth grader Gabriel St. Kitts and seventh graders Maria Heywood and Amari De Souza.

"We are extremely proud of Team Caribbean Splash for their accomplishments and dedication to their education in STEM," said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. "The fact that TARC has been invited to participate every year in the White House Science Fair is a testament to the success of this educational program that has inspired tens of thousands of students over its 13-year history."

The 2015 TARC contest challenges students to design and build a rocket that can fly to 800 feet and back within 46 to 48 seconds while carrying a raw egg that must return to the ground undamaged.Caribbean Splash is one of 700 teams representing 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico thatare contesting to qualify for the national finals scheduled for Saturday, May 9 in The Plains, VA. For additional information on TARC please visit

The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) strongly encourages a "Yes" vote today on a Senate Budget Committee amendment, expected to be offered by Sen. Lindsey Graham, to raise defense funding above the levels contained in the Chairman's proposal.  The Joint Chiefs of Staff have recently testified to the serious and harmful effects of current funding levels on our military forces.  These levels were written into law almost four years ago, and do not take into consideration new global challenges faced by our warfighters.  In addition, our defense industrial base has become more fragile as the Pentagon cut half a trillion dollars out of its budgets in the past five years.  Considering both the base budget and funds for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), President Obama's fiscal year 2016 budget request for national security is almost $38 billion above the amounts currently in the Senate Budget Resolution.   The Senate Armed Services Committee has advised the Budget Committee that funding levels for next year should be at the President's total request or above to address our national security needs.

Although it is not ideal to use OCO funds to restore this balance, AIA believes this approach is preferable to one of many reserve funds in the proposed budget, funds that are contingent on difficult and complex agreements down the road.

Our aerospace and defense industry needs your help.  Our military forces need your help.  Please urge your senator to vote "Yes" in today's Senate Budget Committee markup on any amendment to raise Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding so that total Pentagon funding for next year is at or above the President's budget request.  If your Senator is not on the Budget Committee, please urge them to discuss this with their colleagues on the committee.

On Wednesday, AIA President and CEO Marion Blakey wrote to the House and Senate Budget Committees strongly urging them to increase national security funding in the fiscal year 2016 budget resolution process. 

"Military leaders have been sounding the alarm over the past several years, and we urge Congress not to ignore these assessments.  Recent actions in Russia, North Korea, and the Middle East pose increasing national security threats to our nation, threats that require a well-trained, high-morale military force with state-of-the-art equipment and protective gear.  A fiscal year 2016 budget that is 21 percent below the identified need will only accelerate today’s readiness problems and bring us perilously close to what Vietnam-era military leaders still refer to as the 'hollow force.'  If America retreats from the world stage, others will rush in to fill the gap," the letter stated.

AIA's request is consistent with recommendations of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, made in writing to their respective budget committees earlier this month.  The House Budget Committee is expected to consider its budget plan the week of March 16, with the Senate following by the end of March.  AIA urges its members to contact their Congressional representatives to let them know how the national security reductions are affecting our industry and threaten our nation's ability to carry out our national security strategy.

Read AIA's letter to the House and Senate Budget Committees.

The Team America Rocketry Challenge launches into qualifying rounds for the 2015 contest

Arlington, Va. – Nearly 4,000 middle and high school students across the country are gearing up for the 2015 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), the aerospace and defense industry’s flagship program to inspire young people to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This year, close to 700 teams representing 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are designing and building model rockets as they contest to qualify for the national finals scheduled for Saturday, May 9 in The Plains, VA.

Structured to emulate the aerospace industry's engineering design process, TARC challenges teams to design and build a model rocket that can travel to a height of 800 feet and back within 46 to 48 seconds. Each rocket will carry one raw egg that must return safely to the ground undamaged. Scores are determined by how close the rockets come to the required height and time; damaged eggs disqualify flights. To encourage ingenuity and creativity, students are challenged with new design and flight requirements each year.

Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry and 27 industry partners, the contest aims to strengthen U.S. student engagement with STEM. "TARC has evolved from a one-time celebration of flight to an established and globally-recognized STEM education program," said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. "We're confident that the contest will continue to inspire students to advance their studies in science and math, and eventually consider career opportunities in the aerospace and defense industry."

This year's contest has attracted a wide variety of American youth including 41 all-girl teams, several teams utilizing 3-D printers to develop rocket components, a marching band and six Boy Scout troops. Teams have until March 30 to launch and submit their qualifying flight scores. The top 100 scoring teams will advance to the National Finals.

Participants compete for scholarships and prizes totaling more than $60,000 and the title of champions of the world’s largest student rocketry competition. The winning team will also travel to the Paris International Air Show in June courtesy of the Raytheon Company to compete in the International Rocketry Challenge. The American team will face off against teams from the United Kingdom and France in hopes of claiming the gold.

For more information about the Team America Rocketry Challenge, please visit TARC is made possible by the generous support of our industry sponsors listed below:

Diamond Sponsor:         The Raytheon Company

Platinum Sponsors:       Lockheed Martin Corporation and Thales USA

Gold Sponsor:                  Microsemi Corporation

Silver Sponsors:              Accenture, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Aurora Flight Sciences, The Boeing Company, Cubic Corporation, Elbit Systems of America , Embraer Aircraft Holding, GE Aviation, Harris Corporation, Honeywell Aerospace, Iron Mountain, Kaman Aerospace, L-3 Communications Corporation, LMI Aerospace, Micro-Coax, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Parker Aerospace, Rockwell Collins, Rolls Royce North America, RTI International Metals, Space Exploration Technologies, United Technologies Corporation, and Woodward, Inc.

Arlington, Va. —The Aerospace Industries Association announces today that after her successful seven-year tenure as President and Chief Executive Officer, Marion C. Blakey will be leaving to take the position of President and CEO of Rolls Royce North America.

“AIA has been very fortunate to have Marion’s leadership over the last seven years,” said AIA Chairman and President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Aviation, David L. Joyce. “Under Marion’s guidance, AIA has elevated its role advocating in the best interests of the nation and the aerospace and defense industry.”

Beginning in November of 2007, Blakey’s tenure saw the achievement of numerous milestones for the industry. AIA’s advocacy played a key role in changing the classification of commercial satellites in 2014, enabling American manufacturers to better compete in the global market. AIA’s work in support of the Next Generation Air Transportation System has been widely recognized by industry and government.

In defense, Blakey led the establishment of a broad-ranging campaign to alert elected officials and the general public of the significant impact to our nation and the aerospace and defense industry of sequestration and budget cuts imposed under the Budget Control Act of 2011. The Association has also developed very creative uses of social media to increase the public’s appreciation of the importance of a strong aerospace industry, including NASA’s achievements.

“I’m very proud of AIA’s record of achievement these last seven years,” Blakey said. “I’d like to thank AIA’s Executive Committee, Board of Governors and the entire staff for their guidance, hard work and commitment. I strongly believe we’ve strengthened AIA and better positioned the organization and our member companies to inform and influence the debate on key issues facing our country and our industry in the coming years.”

“While we’re quickly moving forward to identify Marion’s successor,” Joyce said, “AIA has outstanding and dedicated staff who play a key role in AIA’s mission of driving the aerospace industry’s agenda and priorities. And those priorities remain clear: to advocate strongly for sound policy, sensible regulation and adequate budgets that support the necessary investments in our defense, civil aviation and space sectors to ensure that America’s aerospace and defense industry remains second to none.”

Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey on FAA’s issuance of proposed regulations for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

Arlington, Va. — By issuing draft regulations for the use of small unmanned aircraft systems, FAA has taken an important step towards the integration of UAS into civil airspace. The issuance of these proposed regulations is a key element of government and industry efforts to foster safe operations in both civil and military applications of remotely piloted aircraft while further encouraging research and development of UAS technologies. We believe this step will pave the way for additional service organizations and industries to explore expanded operations and use of UAS technologies.

The aerospace industry will conduct a thorough review of the proposed regulations and provide FAA with feedback on their potential impact. Industry shares FAA’s concerns for the safety of both manned and unmanned aircraft. We anticipate that the exchange of views in the rulemaking process will result in a regulatory framework that will ensure safe UAS operations and expedite successful UAS integration into the national airspace.

The aerospace and defense industry applauds FAA for issuing the proposed rule and we look forward to working with FAA on integrating the next generation of aircraft into our nation's airspace.

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association offers its congratulations to Dr. Ashton “Ash” Carter on being confirmed by the United States Senate to succeed Defense Secretary Charles “Chuck” Hagel.

“Ash Carter brings extensive experience to the Department of Defense from his previous responsibilities there, most recently as Deputy Secretary of Defense,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “His experience will be especially necessary as the country addresses critical decisions on national defense, the support of our armed forces and the men and women who serve. 

Blakey added that the aerospace and defense industry will look forward to working closely with Secretary Carter.  “Our industry stands ready to support Secretary Carter and the country’s national defense interests.  It is an important time to ensure the nation has the funding needed to invest in new technology to address rising and unanticipated national security crises around the globe, as well as to keep our industry robust and internationally competitive. We also share a common commitment to acquisition reform where his expertise will be particularly vital.”

Blakey also recognized outgoing Secretary Hagel for his long dedication to serving his country.  “Secretary Hagel served with distinction in the U.S. Army and continued to serve our nation in the Senate as well as in the Pentagon.  Secretary Hagel performed his duties with honor and we’re grateful for his service.”

Statement by International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Association Chairman Marion C. Blakey

Arlington, Va.  — The International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Association (ICCAIA) supports the international aerospace community as it seeks a timely and effective replacement for Halon, widely used as an aircraft fire extinguishing agent.

In a recent announcement, Airbus SAS, The Boeing Company, Bombardier Inc., Embraer S.A., Textron Inc., and the Ohio Aerospace Institute have initiated activities to form the Halon Alternatives for Aircraft Propulsion Systems (HAAPS) consortium.  The announcement states “This international collaboration among aircraft manufacturers, fire extinguishing system suppliers, engine/auxiliary power unit/nacelle companies, and other key stakeholders aims to identify a common environmentally- acceptable non-halon fire extinguishing solution(s) for use in engine and auxiliary power unit (APU) fire zones”.  The full text of the announcement can be found at .

New production of Halon has been banned by international protocol on substances that deplete the Earth’s ozone layer.  The European Union and International Civil Aviation Organization require the use of non-Halon engine and APU fire extinguishing alternatives on new design aircraft beginning this year.  The EU also has set a requirement of 2040 to retrofit all existing aircraft.

With this in mind, ICCAIA supports the HAAPS consortium goal.  We anticipate that this consortium will not only discover an acceptable solution to this challenge, but also shorten the time and expense required.

The Executive Report is an AIA quarterly publication which provides news and information about our association membership, AIA initiatives and events, and other information from around the industry.

Featured this quarter in the Executive Report:

  • President's Message: Time to End the Gridlock
  • Q & A With Mike Hawes, Chair of AIA's Space Council and Vice President and Orion program manager, Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • Fall Board of Governors Meeting in Scottsdale
  • AIA Celebrates its 50th Annual Year-End Event
  • AIA and NAR Recognized for Significant STEM Contributions


Remarks to International Aviation Club
Marion C. Blakey, President and CEO, AIA
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gerry, thank you for that very kind introduction and good afternoon.  It’s always great to join so many friends and colleagues at the start of a pivotal year for aviation.

We’ve seen such pivot points before and what a huge difference they can make.  For example, last month, I joined many others in commemorating the seventieth anniversary of the Chicago Convention.  In the same Hilton Hotel that hosted the Convention, it was clear that the 52 signatory nations did much more than create a body of rules for one transportation sector among many. 

The Convention revolutionized how we live today in ways that simply could not have been imagined at the tail end of World War Two. 

And it was remarkable that the Convention moved forward at a time when the swift end of the war was not assured.  Indeed, with the ink on the Convention’s proclamation barely dry, the Battle of the Bulge erupted nine days later, prolonging the war in Europe for five bloody months.   But the signers of the Convention knew that even in the darkest times one can imagine a better future and help bring it about. 

Similarly, there was another war raging in our country over a century and a half ago, when a determined Abraham Lincoln pushed for the Transcontinental Railroad.  Lincoln recognized the transformative power of this means of bringing people together would be well worth the enormous cost, even during a time of conflict. 

Lincoln also took the long view about the value of education in affecting positive change.  “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next,” he said.  I look here and see people well qualified to educate our current policy makers and the public about our industry’s vital role in positively shaping our modern world.   And this year you will really need to be heard.  And there are key decision points looming that require active educational efforts by all of us. 

Policy makers in Washington, Montreal and in Europe will soon decide on policies that will have tremendous long-term implications for aviation and the global economy.  For the sake of a future in which the safest form of transportation will become even safer, in which aviation makes greater strides to reduce global warming, and in which manufacturers of unique Unmanned Aircraft Systems will help save thousands of lives – we all need to be heard.

You know the stakes.  Will we preserve industry’s innovative potential to make breakthrough leaps in safety and environmental technologies?  Or will we burden industry with inefficient command-and-control regulations that stick us with costly, unproductive mandates? 

With growing dynamic demand, will we adopt trade and export promotion policies that encourage our aviation manufacturers to compete internationally?  Or will we get bogged down in polarizing political arguments that create uneven playing fields in the international marketplace? 

Let’s hope that informed by enthusiastic advocacy efforts, policy makers world-wide will grasp the importance of today’s critical aviation issues.  Let’s hope they make the right choices for the sake of our collective future. 

Those choices are coming soon.  In just a few days ICAO will host an important conference on aviation safety in Montreal.  Given last year’s events, it’s appropriate that ICAO work to improve aircraft tracking and responses to planes in distress.  We can avoid a repeat of the confusion following the tragic disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. 

In accomplishing this objective, however, let’s proceed with care.  The rush of some regions to impose their own regulations is very counterproductive.  It works against the broader safety goal we seek by forcing into the system inefficiencies, design complexities and a lack of harmonization.  Many in this audience can spur rational progress by educating the decision makers in Montreal about this issue’s nuances.

In Montreal, the group I chair, the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations, ICCAIA, will call for a near-term focus on performance based requirements rather than prescriptive technology requirements for airline tracking.  We believe a collaborative regulatory framework is the way to go, enabling various technology alternatives to be deployed over time.  

Let me add one point about last year’s Malaysian Airlines incident regarding the need for all stakeholders to responsibly address aviation’s safety issues.  And that most certainly includes the media.
Some time ago, as National Transportation Safety Board chairman among other accidents I dealt with the tragic loss of American Airlines Flight 587.  In doing so, reporters lobbed at me tough but, for the most part, fair questions.  What I experienced was a far cry from the sensationalized, wild speculation that occurred after the Malaysian incident.  Believe it or not, one cable network’s anchor asked an expert if it were “preposterous” to imagine a black hole causing the aircraft’s disappearance.  Preposterous indeed.

Obviously, that’s an extreme example.  But let’s face it: We’ve come a long way from when the public could trust most major broadcasters to address serious issues thoughtfully as opposed to sensationally. 

One means to ensure responsible aviation coverage is to educate people about what industry is doing to make aviation’s enviable overall safety record even better.  AIA’s new report: “Industry Innovation and Government Oversight,” is one example of what we can all do to foster dialogue and greater understanding of complex issues.  This report illustrates how industry-government collaboration on risk-based decision making, data sharing and safety promotion has led to significant safety improvements. 

The report focuses on the certification and delegation system, through which the FAA is leveraging qualified industry expertise and organization to keep up with ever-increasing market demand for safer, innovative products.

AIA’s broader intent, as Congress turns to the FAA reauthorization bill is to safeguard the ongoing certification process against unnecessary regulatory changes.  Perhaps Congress can even strengthen the process.  By continuing to streamline and expand FAA delegation, industry will be able to offer new capabilities that will bolster aviation safety.  This in turn will free FAA’s staff to focus on critical issues and long-term safety trends.   Such actions will work to strengthen safety throughout the international system.

In the FAA bill, we believe Congress should also work to ensure that other national authorities have the incentive to adopt a streamlined process for aircraft certification.  As the FAA remains the gold standard for certification, it makes no sense that U.S. manufacturers be charged millions to get other nations to certify equipment the FAA has already certified.  This is another area where a spirit of harmonization makes eminent sense.

Of course no FAA discussion can neglect this year’s deadline for integrating civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems into the national airspace system.  I think we all recognize that the congressional mandate placed a real burden on the FAA, one that is difficult to meet.  And it’s clear that safety issues have been a major hold up for the small UAS rule and rules for other UAS categories. 

While AIA and our member companies understand how these concerns are affecting the process, some perspective is in order.

Typically, the safety conversation boils down to two things: how to avoid collisions between piloted aircraft and UAS, and how to ensure that UAS safely land, even after the rare loss of communications links.  But we should look at the broader picture.  While banning civil UAS or slowing their introduction could marginally reduce an element of risk, doing so would demonstrably make our world less safe.  UAS have tremendous life saving potential when lost people need to be found, when wildfires develop, tornadoes hit, and power lines, oil rigs and bridges need close inspection.

As the regulatory process moves forward, decision makers should take into account the need to balance justifiable safety concerns, with the significant safety gains we can realize from UAS operations.  Again, education and engagement will hopefully lead to better policy-making.

The future of our aviation infrastructure is another major concern.  As this audience well knows, but not all policy makers grasp, our nation’s air transportation system is experiencing serious capacity challenges, and other national systems are as well.  Ongoing NextGen modernization efforts are making a major difference in helping to prevent congestion and delays, reduce carbon emissions, and improve safety. 

But to be fully effective, NextGen must be fully funded and harmonized with the European SESAR system.  Unfortunately, FAA’s NextGen budget for this fiscal year is $200 million below the Administration’s request of only two years ago.   And if sequestration returns in Fiscal Year 2016, NextGen funding could further decline.  This year AIA is urging Congress to take a hard look at needed investments for the future, and ensure that NextGen doesn’t fall behind.  I hope you will join us in calling our lawmakers’ attention to this important issue.

A final note on aviation regulatory policies.  I sincerely hope that ICAO reaches agreement next year on market-based mechanisms to reduce aviation’s carbon footprint.  Through NextGen improvements to the management of traffic flow and through industry’s strong commitment to R&D on improved aircraft and engine designs and alternative jet fuels, we’re making tangible progress.  We need policy makers to understand that haphazard, prescriptive regulations will only marginally make things better at great cost, and impede the game-changing breakthroughs that this industry is prepared to deliver.

Finally, I’d like to touch on economic and trade policies that can also aid our industry’s growth.  We know the trend lines are positive.  Last year with a big boost from civil aircraft sales abroad, which represent 88 percent of aerospace exports, overall U.S. aerospace exports grew from roughly $111 billion in 2013 to nearly $119 billion.   Going forward, Boeing’s market outlook projects that over the next 20 years, the number of airline passengers will grow 4.2 percent each year, and cargo traffic 4.7 percent per year, well over projected annual world economic growth of 3.2 percent.  As a result of this growth, Boeing anticipates airlines will need nearly 36,800 new airplanes in the next 20 years, valued at $5.2 trillion.

With these positive conditions helping to bolster an aerospace and defense industry hampered by budget austerity, you’d think certain things would be no-brainers for Congress to support.  One example is passing trade agreements like the TransPacific Partnership that will expand significantly both cargo and passenger traffic between America and key Asian markets. 

Another is supporting the continued operations of the Export Import Bank of the United States.  This institution helps finance billions of U.S. aerospace exports, supports more than 200,000 jobs, and strengthens the defense industrial base by helping large, medium and small companies succeed in new markets abroad.  Two years ago, Bank President and Chairman Fred Hochberg told this gathering that the Bank “has a more vital role than ever to ensure that capital goods keep flowing to help move the global economy forward.”  I agree wholeheartedly.

Unfortunately, a few rigid ideologues in Congress have made it their crusade to halt the Bank’s operations.  I imagine that there are foreign manufacturer representatives here who are flabbergasted that the U.S. would even consider declaring unilateral disarmament when it comes to the international arena of export promotion. 

Well, I can tell you one thing for sure.  AIA has taken up the fight for keeping Ex-Im going strong and we won’t stop until the Bank is fully reauthorized, hopefully before the June deadline the previous Congress imposed.  And if you represent a manufacturer of everything from passenger to business jets, to helicopters that are sold abroad, and especially the parts and components that keep them flying, I know you’ll be there with us fighting every step of the way to make sure Congress knows the stakes and acts accordingly.

In closing, I hope that when this group is together a year from now we can look back and say that aviation policymakers rose to the occasion, and like the forgers of the Chicago Convention, helped aviation lead the way in creating a better world.  I know there are some people in the audience who had the honor of meeting Welch Pogue as did I, the remarkable gentleman and Civil Aeronautics Board chairman who was the chief architect of the Chicago Convention.  Before he passed away 12 years ago at the age of one hundred and three, Welch gave a speech in which he lamented that future international aviation agreements will be slow in coming.  “But do not give up in despair,” he said.  “Turn to those things that are possible.”  It is in this spirit of hoping that working together we can achieve the gains that are possible, I thank you again for the opportunity to speak to you today and for all that you do to make our great aviation system even greater.

The aerospace industry depends on technical standards from more than one hundred different standards-developing organizations. If a recent government trend requiring that standards incorporated by reference into rulemakings be made available free on the internet is not reversed, the viability of these critical standards developers will be threatened and both the industry and its regulators and government customers will lose their invaluable services.

To: Oct. 2, 2015

The single most dangerous part about flying continues to be driving to the airport. The decades-long upward trend in aviation safety is largely a result of the partnership forged between industry and regulators who share the goal of making air travel as safe as possible.

Taken by any measure, aviation continues to top the list of the world’s safest forms of transportation. In terms of hours flown, number of passengers transported, and number of aircraft in the air – across commercial, general aviation and cargo sectors – the single most dangerous part about flying continues to be, in the words of one analyst, “driving to the airport."

In total, the decades-long upward trend in aviation safety reflects not only technological advances, and the continuous evolution of government regulations and policies, but also the partnership forged between industry and regulators who share the goal of making air travel as safe as possible. This sustained, joint approach – more than any single advancement– accounts for the significant improvement in air safety since the inception of flight.

Ashley Bander supports the activities of AIA's Space Council and its civil, national security, and commercial committees. 

She joined AIA after working in the Space Policy office in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where she worked on public and legislative outreach regarding national security space policy.  While at the Department of Defense (DOD), she took part in the interagency effort to reform export controls on satellites and related items. 

Bander joined DOD from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where she was the Program Manager for Space Initiatives, a research effort focused on international cooperation on human spaceflight and other civil space programs.  While at CSIS, she represented the organization as part of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

Bander got her start in the space world working for United Space Alliance, and before graduate school, worked as an intelligence analyst.  She holds a Bachelor's degree in political science and international studies from Virginia Tech, and a Master's degree in diplomacy from Seton Hall University.

Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), a non-profit corporation representing the nation’s leading aerospace manufacturers and suppliers, is seeking candidates for employment in its Communications Department. The position of Manager, Multimedia Communications reports to the Vice President and the Assistant Vice President of Communications, but is required to collaberatively interact with all members of the AIA team.

Position Description:

The accepted candidate will be working as an Multimedia Communications Manager with wide-ranging focus in the following areas:

• Multiple Internet site functionality, features and content development
• Social media execution and strategy
• Intranet technical support
• Manage external support vendors
• Video production
• Basic graphic design
• Website metrics, analytics and statistics tracking and reporting

The Multimedia Communications Manager is responsible for all aspects of AIA’s primary website as well as number of related websites and social media pages. As the sole web-related position at AIA, the Multimedia Communications Manager sets strategic goals for AIA’s web presence, and ensures the website is functional, well-designed and up-to-date. This position develops and features content that promotes AIA initiatives.

Social media outreach to key targets of AIA’s advocacy efforts is a central and growing area of focus for the organization and requires proven skills. Public outreach campaigns such as the Second to None ( demand heightened proactive and reactive communication via outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flicker, AIA Blog etc. The Multimedia Manager will lead these efforts both strategically and in terms of tactical implementation.

Specific Requirements:

AIA is looking for a candidate with 2+ years of practical experience in website administration including:
   • Knowledge of website usability methods and standards
   • Experience with and understanding of web coding
   • Experience and comfort with the following programs/platforms:
        o Website Content Management Systems (CMS) (Expression Engine, Joomla!, WordPress, etc.)
        o Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel)
        o Adobe Suite (Acrobat, Illustrator, Photoshop)
        o HTML/CSS
   • A four-year college degree (or practical equivalent)
   • Qualified applicants must be able to communicate effectively in written and spoken English
   • Personal character and integrity, matched with self-motivation and a good work ethic
   • Excellent project management skills and the ability to multitask a high volume of deliverables with attention to detail
   • Capitol Hill experience is a plus

AIA, ASD, ATA e-Business Program
2015 S1000D User Forum
Actualizing S1000D - Making it real!

September 21-24, 2015
Omni San Diego Hotel
675 L Street
San Diego, California 92101

Hosted by the Aerospace Industries Association

Putting S1000D into practice, whether it’s deciding how to contract to it, converting legacy data, implementing a technical solution, or achieving your role as a supplier, can seem overwhelming.  The objective of this User Forum is to bring real-world experience in contracting, alternate approaches to affordable and sensible conversion of legacy data, and optimizing project scope for supplier use. Attendees of the Forum will hear real use-cases and examples of successful strategies to pave the way for S1000D adoption.

This year's User Forum is sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association.

This forum will feature:
• Tutorials and training
• Technical and management tracks
• Vendor demonstrations and presentations
• Updates on the latest developments of the S1000D Specification
• Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) Specifications Day (September 24, 2015)

User Forum registration opens May 2015

For more information and call for abstracts visit:

To register for the event visit:

To: Sept. 24, 2015
For more information please visit:

To register for the event please visit:

In response to tasking by the FAA as defined in a letter dated July 3, 2013, titled, “Request
Formation of Advisory Group to Address Specific Engine and Installation Icing Issues”, the EIWG has
studied the issue of ground operations of turbine engines during heavy snow conditions. This report
provides the short term findings and recommendations.

To: October 1, 2015
Hosted by: UPS

Revised Certification and Qualification Requirements for Non-destructive Test Personnel

Non-destructive testing (NDT) is a critical commodity for military and commercial aviation and other industries for detection of potential defects, cracks and other irregularities of virtually every part of the aircraft from the outer structures to the core airframe and propulsion systems.

NAS410 is a global, cornerstone standard for necessary qualification and certification of NDT personnel, and complete revisions to this standard will impact the aerospace industry. A complete revision of NAS410 was published in December 2014 and is available exclusively from IHS. Subscription customers are alerted and automatically receive revision 4.

A 1-hour webcast highlighting the changes in NAS410 was held on January 15, 2015.  A recording of the webcast is available here.

The webcast covered new requirements for:

  •   non-film radiography examination 
  •   level 3 certification
  •   effectivity, transition and experience hours
  •   NANDTBs  (national aerospace non-destructive testing boards)
  •   maintaining certification


Chris Carnahan, Aerospace Industries Association, Director, Standardization
John P. Ellegood, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, AIA NDTSC Chairman
Louis R. Truckley, The Boeing Company, AIA NDTSC Executive Secretary
Jon W. Voeller, USAF Nondestructive Inspection Office, Senior Materials Engineer

Duration: 60 minutes

Year-End Review and Forecast
Marion C. Blakey, President and CEO, AIA
December 17, 2014

Good afternoon.  I’d like to thank Jennifer and the Communications Council for your great work this past year and congratulate Clif Berry for receiving the Lyman Award.  Clif, we appreciate your service to our country and your outstanding body of work on aerospace and defense history.   

My thanks also go out to L-3’s Chairman, President and CEO Michael Strianese for his great leadership of AIA’s Board of Governor’s this year.  We look forward next year to having David Joyce, the President and CEO of GE Aviation as our Board Chairman and Marillyn Hewson, the CEO, President & Chairman of the Board of Lockheed Martin as our Vice Chairman.

Today, for the 50th time, we gather to celebrate an industry which keeps innovating, keeps saving and improving lives and keeps inspiring our youth.  Just think of the future Mars explorers who were so excited to view the magnificent launch and splashdown of Orion twelve days ago.  And that’s just one example of the kinds of things our industry does.  With the FAA, we’re rebuilding our aviation infrastructure from the ground up – modernizing a 1950s-era radar-based system into a 21st Century satellite-based system.  We’re doing cutting edge research on advanced aeronautics like hypersonic scramjets that could lead to significantly shorter trans-oceanic flight times.

But we also gather in a time of significant challenge as we witness unprecedented conflicts cascade around the globe.  The events of 2014 remind us that new national security threats can come from old foes or materialize out of nowhere due to a chaotic region’s ongoing strife.    

Twenty-fourteen began when the leader of a major power hosted an international event devoted to peaceful athletic competition.  But shortly after the Olympic flame was doused, this strongman brazenly invaded a peaceful neighboring country.  And then a group of thugs tried to rewrite the Middle East map and gain new adherents through tactics that would shame a barbarian.  And tensions in the Far

East, never far submerged, have begun bubbling to the surface again.

Looking at the world’s dangers through either the rose colored glasses of a naïve isolationist or under the green eyeshade visor of a fiscal ideologue simply doesn’t work.  It presents a false-color image of reality.  It inhibits the clear headed thinking we desperately need about national security and America’s competitiveness.

Today, we’re announcing the results of a poll that shows the American people definitively share this judgment.  Right after the election, AIA commissioned a Harris Company voter survey.  Harris found that Americans widely recognize security threats are increasing, and are genuinely concerned that the U.S. is less secure than a year ago.  We’re releasing findings from the survey today.  Here are a few highlights:

• First, seventy-eight percent of voters believe the hostile activities of ISIS, al Qaeda and other groups contesting for control of Syria and Iraq represent an increasing national security threat. 
• The concern about this threat is bipartisan; ninety percent of Republicans and 69 percent of Democrats are worried about our security as a result of what’s going on in the Middle East.
• Also, seventy-three percent say they believe the U.S. is less secure, due to cuts in planned military budgets of nearly $1 trillion over a decade.
I should warn members of Congress and potential presidential candidates to ignore the following survey finding at their own peril.

• Given the evolving and increased threats to America’s security, a solid sixty-nine percent of voters want to increase national security spending relative to the federal budget caps set more than three years ago.  This view is shared by a majority of voters across party lines—83 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of Independents and 60 percent of Democrats.
• And the same number of voters—sixty-nine percent—say they would be more likely to support a candidate who wants to increase spending on national security.

These numbers don’t surprise me one iota.  I’ve long felt the public understands the need to invest in national security, and in the aerospace technologies that propel economic advancement.

Unfortunately, public policies have not kept pace with public sentiment.  But that’s not for lack of effort.  You all know AIA’s Second to None public education campaign made a lot of noise about the risks of austerity imposed by the Budget Control Act.

And many officials agreed with our point that it’s irresponsible to make defense and domestic R&D investments bear the brunt of budget cuts.  And while our companies did well in the FY2015 “Cromnibus” [CROM – ni- bus] bill that passed this weekend, including bumps in the budgets of FAA, NASA and NOAA, the budget caps still remain with us going forward.  In addition, last night the Senate passed the short-term tax extenders bill including the R&D tax credit, which is of significant importance to our industry.  But the Senate failed to pass an extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, so we’re not going to take our hand off the throttle with our messaging.  And we’re going to add the voices of those pro-aerospace and defense voters to our effort. 

In recent months the Second to None Campaign has morphed into a state-of-the-art on-line grass roots advocacy effort.  We call it the Second to None Coalition.  This is the first time ever that our industry has engaged in a major grass roots advocacy effort like those of other organized political movements of recent vintage.  And in just the last week, we’ve added more than 13,000 members to our daily growing list of people who are ready to advocate forcefully to our elected officials on behalf of the investments we need to make to grow our economy and keep our nation safe.

We’ll welcome the voices of our coalition members in the coming months as AIA and our member companies engage with the new Congress and with the national political figures already making travel plans to visit balmy Iowa this winter.  

Our message is that elected leaders must address the need for the U.S. to maintain our military superiority and keep ahead of the technology development curve.  They also must recognize our military needs the capability to respond to new security challenges that often materialize due to major natural disasters and outbreaks of deadly disease such as the recent Ebola crisis. 

We’ll also contend that the downward spiral of defense spending and federal R&D investment is leading to a dangerous decline in our highly skilled aerospace and defense workforce.  Sadly, if we woke up tomorrow to a new crisis, we just can’t snap our fingers to get many of our skilled workers back.  In addition, our skilled workforce must be reinvigorated as the baby boom generation of engineers and scientists begins to retire en mass.

A third message is that budget austerity undermines our ability to invest in critical R&D that leads to serendipitous breakthroughs like GPS.  Our Lyman award winner, Clif Berry, tells us that when he first attended this luncheon 39 years ago, the Pentagon was just beginning to develop the GPS satellite navigation system.  I have no doubt sitting amongst us is a bright engineer who’s working on the next great technological advance that will blow our socks off.  But I also fear there’s a project manager in our midst who’s worried to death that the budget axe may kill the promising concept she’s working hard to support.  Do we really want the U.S. sitting on the sidelines when the next great technological leap is launched at the Baikonur (Bike-a-Nor) Cosmodrome or occurs in China’s Center for Nanoscience and Technology?    

All of these concerns translate into clear policy objectives that AIA is pursuing on the industry’s behalf.  First and foremost, we’re telling Congress it’s high time they relegate the budget caps to the dumpster of bad policy ideas.  The decade-long defense modernization holiday based on the dangerous illusion that history’s zealots have gone on holiday simply must end. 

Clearly more and more legislators, alert to changing public opinion, want to address the defense cuts.  But we also recognize a one-sided deal will not pass in this divided government.  Congress should also take on the domestic R&D investment gap and address other domestic priorities, in the context—as we’ve long said—of a comprehensive deal involving revenue and entitlement reform.

As was the case in 2013, we’ll be pushing for congressional reauthorization of the Export Import Bank of the United States.   Our manufacturers of civil passenger and business aircraft, helicopters, and satellites and their thousands of workers count on Ex-Im financial support to compete for international sales on a level playing field in this increasingly competitive marketplace. 

This past year, even though we were told the Ex-Im deck was stacked against us on Capitol Hill we took the attitude of “Game On.”  And let me tell you, we weren’t subtle about engaging Ex-Im’s foes by starkly pointing out the hazards of unilateral economic disarmament.  And we knew we were having an impact when at a key congressional hearing Ex-Im President and Chairman Fred Hochberg held up one of our print ads to make a vivid point.  What our ad essentially said is that the Chinese, Russians and French will eat our lunch, or more aptly, take away American jobs, if Congress doesn’t reauthorize the Bank. 

Such advocacy helped win the battle, as Ex-Im was extended for nine months, but we’ve not yet won the war. You can count on AIA carrying forward the fight for a full reauthorization until a decisive victory is obtained.

AIA will also be very proactive when the FAA reauthorization bill comes up next year.  We’re hoping for a solid bill that further streamlines the aircraft certification process, accelerates air traffic system modernization, and facilitates integration of unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System.  Further, we want the FAA enabled to freely support our superior aviation products in international forums.  If we truly want a safer and more efficient global aviation system, buy American is a good place to start.

Turning to the Executive Branch, AIA will be pounding the pavement to push the Administration to produce tangible results for our industry.  We hope to see in 2015 real movement on a National Defense Export Strategy and a broader aerospace and defense trade initiative. 

We’re continuing to work with the State Department to reform the remaining categories of export controls.  By the way, since the reforms started a year ago, there has been a sixty-four percent reduction in the number of ITAR licenses submitted to the State Department to export aircraft and aircraft engine parts.  That corresponds to $14 billion in these less sensitive technologies being licensed through the more appropriate, less onerous Commerce system. 

Next year we’ll also be working to ensure the Pentagon moves forward on needed defense acquisition system reform.  Ash Carter is no stranger to this issue.  We’re looking forward to his confirmation and we’re expecting he’ll provide the clear leadership that we need to achieve meaningful changes to a very cumbersome and inefficient system.  The current system hurts our smaller firms, inhibits innovation and makes it harder to get needed equipment in the hands of our war fighters.

I suspect some of you may be thinking, Marion, you’ve spoken about a lot of policy issues but haven’t touched on your annual forecast numbers.  Yes, this speech is a departure from the past, but we don’t want you to go away empty handed.  In front of you is a card with simple directions that will allow you to download our entire year end review and forecast report. 
I would like to mention one highlight from the report.  Despite the downward pressure the federal budget situation has exerted on our industry, with a big boost from civil aircraft and space sales abroad, overall aerospace exports grew from roughly $111 billion in 2013 to nearly $119 billion. This resulted in a net surplus of nearly $61.2 billion, our best aerospace trade balance in history. 

As you know, the Administration promised five years ago to double U.S. exports by next year.  Make no mistake this industry is doing its part to make that pledge come true.
Let me close with a few thoughts as we look back on the past few years of paralyzing gridlock in Washington.  An era I think it’s fair to describe as wrought with political polarization and dangerous procrastination. 

I will offer two simple messages for members of the incoming 114th Congress, and say the same to the current Administration as well as to candidates gearing up for the 2016 elections.  First, on behalf of the aerospace and defense industry, we make one simple request – please start listening.

So to the new Congress, remember the saying “Ideology knows the answer before the question has been asked.”  Look at the polls – the American people are fed up with Washington, fed up with elected officials letting ideological extremism serve as an excuse for failing to listen to the public as opposed small factions of party activists.  They demand that you ask the right experts the right questions.

Let me put my advice in the context of our industry.  When the small business owner from your district tells you failure to reauthorize Ex-Im puts his workers at risk, listen first to this all-important voice from back home.  Be sure you remember those words when folks at the Club for Growth tell you that your “club score” will go down if you don’t vote against the Bank.  You know they’re hinting you might not see as many PAC dollars next cycle. 

When the Joint Chiefs tell you American lives will be lost if we don’t restore defense investment to adequate levels….When an intelligence analyst tells you that defeating ISIS requires new strategies and new technologies for the war fighter….And when the wounded warrior at the VFW back home tells you that his mine resistant, ambush protected vehicle saved his life…listen very carefully. 

And may the words of these real experts ring clearly in your ears when it’s time to go to the negotiating table and weigh America’s national security and investment needs up against our fiscal challenges. 

Yes we can have a “grand bargain,” but one that doesn’t force us to sacrifice the very activities that make our nation strong and secure.

My final message for the 114th Congress and all candidates looking at a run in 2016 – is remember those sixty-nine percent of voters who want to back candidates who support more spending on national security.   Ask yourself; am I ready to make the tough decisions in the next twelve months to protect America? 
If not, we respectfully suggest you consider the words of Winston Churchill, who in a more dire time said, “the Americans will always do the right thing…after they’ve exhausted all the alternatives.”  I sincerely hope you’re at that point.

With that, thank you again for the tremendous opportunity to speak to you at this, my eighth year end luncheon, and I’ll be happy to take your questions.  When you step up to the microphones please identify yourself and your organization.

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association released data today from a study conducted on their behalf by Harris Poll showing that after discussing present and future security threats facing the United States, more than two thirds of registered voters (69 percent) say that given the evolving and increased threats to America’s security, the U.S. government should increase spending on America’s national security relative to the caps set more than three years ago. The same number (69 percent) says they would be more likely to support a candidate for public office who supports increased spending on national security. The study was conducted by telephone in November among over 800 registered voters.

“These numbers don’t surprise me one iota – the public understands the need to invest in national security, and the aerospace technologies that help provide that security and propel economic advancement,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “The new Congress should sit up and listen to them attentively.”

A majority of voters across party lines (83 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of Independents and 60 percent of Democrats) share the sentiment that the U.S. government should increase national security spending relative to current budget caps. In addition, nearly four out of five voters (78 percent) say they believe threats to American security raised by increased activity from ISIS/ISL, al Qaeda and other groups in Syria and Iraq are increasing, including majorities of Republicans (90 percent), Independents (75 percent) and Democrats (69 percent). Finally, 73 percent say they believe the United States is less secure due to cuts of nearly $1 trillion over the 2012-2022 timeframe in planned budgets for the military, including majorities across the entire political spectrum (Republicans – 90 percent, Independents – 71 percent, Democrats – 55 percent).

“Public polls are at historic lows in terms of voter perceptions of Congress,” Blakey said. “If this new Congress is to restore any faith in our political process, they can start in January by revisiting the budget caps to reflect today's national security needs.”

The study was conducted November 13 – 16th, 2014 by telephone by Harris Poll on behalf of AIA among 818 registered voters nationally, with a sampling error of +/-3.6%. A full methodology is available upon request. Results are weighted to be representative of voters demographically and geographically across the United States.