Global Aerospace Summit 2016, Abu Dhabi

Civil Aviation Council

AIA’s Bahrami Speaks at UAS forum - AIA Releases New UAS Report

Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Evolution and Opportunity

2015 Executive Report Fourth Quarter

David Zolet

Scott Thompson

Samaresh Swaro

Terry D. Stinson

Craig Pfefferman

Rachel Matthews

Patrick Marotta

Carlo Luzatto

James Hunter

Peter Huber

Mike Grunza

Craig Gaubert

Shane Fleming

Sylvia De Leon Alcala

AIA: Congress Should Pass TPP

AIA Yearend Review Luncheon 2016

Cost Principles Committee Meeting Winter 2016

Fall 2016 Board of Governors meeting

Cost Principles Committee Meeting Fall 2016

Fall 2016 Supplier Management Council meeting

National Aerospace Standards Committee meeting (222)

National Aerospace Week 2016

AIA Welcomes House Vote on Permanent R&D Tax Credit Extension

Significant Progress in 2015 for Aerospace and Defense Manufacturers

Cost Principles Committee Meeting Summer 2016

Farnborough Air Show 2016

Summer 2016 Supplier Management Council meeting

Spring 2016 Board of Governors meeting


AIA Sponsors Wreaths Across America

Achieving AIA’s Goals Through Bold Strategic Planning, Sound Governance

National Aerospace Standards Committee meeting (221)

Team America Rocketry Challenge Finals 2016

Rockets on the Hill 2016

Spring Product Support & Tech Data Workshop

Cost Principles Committee Meeting Spring 2016

Global Aerospace Summit 2016

Global Aerospace Summit 2016

Spring 2016 Supplier Management Council meeting

Singapore Air Show

AIA Welcomes ExIm Bank Reauthorization

AIA Welcomes ExIm Bank Reauthorization

CSIS Panel: The Defense Budget and Industry

AIA: Congress Must Pass Full Appropriation

House Aerospace Caucus Briefing on Importance of Earth Observation

AIA 2016 Strategic Plan

U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council Dinner

DoD Corral tours at 2015 Dubai Airshow

Jason Timm

Flying Displays at Dubai 2015

Current and Potential Member meetings at Dubai

Meetings at Dubai Airshow 2015

AIA at the 2015 Dubai Airshow

Guy Norris Recognized with 2015 Lyman Award

Norris Recognized with 2015 Lyman Award

AIA: House Passage of Budget Deal Good for America

AIA Welcomes House Vote to Reauthorize ExIm Bank

2015 Executive Report Third Quarter

AIA: Defense Related Associations Join to Overturn Budget Caps


AIA urges House to pass ExIm Reauthorization


Research & Defense Groups: Budget Caps Risk National Security and Medical Research Priorities

AIA: ExIm Discharge Petition Most Welcome; Time to Vote!

Q&A With Michael Huerta, FAA Administrator

Global Sustainable Aviation Summit 2015

Melcher Speaks at U.S. DOD-Industry Partnership Forum on Defense Exports

Melcher Speaks at U.S. DOD-Industry Partnership Forum on Defense Exports

Melcher Speaks at U.S. DOD-Industry Partnership Forum on Defense Exports

AIA: The U.S. aerospace industrial base is running out of time

AIA: Consolidation is Market-Driven and Enhances Efficiency

CODSIA urges DARC to withdraw commercial items rule

Wings of Liberty 2015

Who’s Missing The Mark On Emissions?


Ex-Im Bank:  A Key Component for Maintaining America’s Global Influence

National Aerospace Week Highlights-AIA Honors Senators Murray and Moran with Wings of Liberty Award

AIA Presents 2015 Wings of Liberty Award to Senators Patty Murray and Jerry Moran

Why America Needs NextGen

National Aerospace Week highlights – Melcher Opens Aviation, Aerospace & Defense Workforce Summit

Associations Send Congress Letter on Extended CR Impacts

Associations Send Congress Letter on Extended CR Impacts

National Aerospace Week highlights - Melcher Speaks at the AFA Air and Space Conference

Ex-Im Bank foes hurt Ohio jobs, help China


Secretary Pritzker Congratulates Aerospace Industry on National Aerospace Week

Dan Olmes

Bridge Littleton

Leonardo Bodmer

Student Rocketeers Wanted for World’s Largest Rocket Competition 2015-2016

Ambrie Jones

Fall 2015 Supplier Management Council Meeting


NASA and the Spirit of Inspiration

AIA as Aggregator

The Global Aerospace Summit, March 7-8, 2016, is an exclusive, invitation only cross-industry forum for C-level executives, senior decision makers and government officials involved in the aerospace, aviation, defence and space industries. AIA President and CEO Dave Melcher will be attending and participating on a panel.

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.

Since the Aerospace Industry Association’s 2013 report on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), unmanned flight technology and platforms have continued to evolve in new and innovative ways. Small start-ups to major global corporations are establishing UAS-based aviation services and solutions, and there is continued growth projected for military UAS flights and orders.

A cultural shift driven by consumer and commercial use is underway as well. Due to the increasing availability of low-cost unmanned systems and their growing acceptance for uses such as videography, most consumers are now aware of unmanned aircraft and their basic capabilities – beyond their initial adoption as a recreational platform. Today, unmanned aircraft have also earned acceptance as a tool for the creative arts, and as vehicles of personal expression. As a result, negative perceptions are changing.

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: 2016: A Year for Innovation
Q & A With incoming AIA Chairman Marillyn Hewson, Chairman, President and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation
Board of Governors Fall Meeting Recap
TARC honored with Mervin K. Strickler Award
Aerospace Innovation


Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO David F. Melcher in support of Congressional passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association urges Congress to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership and increase international trade substantially in the Pacific Rim region. Nearly 40 percent of U.S. exports and imports are made with the countries participating in this agreement.

Trade in the Pacific region is particularly important to the U.S. Aerospace and Defense industry, as demonstrated by the commitment of companies to participating in the upcoming Singapore Airshow.  According to American organizer Kallman Worldwide, Inc., in 2014 the U.S. International Pavilion at the Singapore Airshow was the largest ever. This year more than 125 American companies are exhibiting at Singapore, ranging from publicly traded stalwarts to privately held small and medium enterprises. That presence is a strong indicator of how important the region is to the U.S. aviation and aerospace business, and how interested countries in the region are to work with U.S. companies to further their security and economic interests.

With federal budgets still constrained by austerity measures imposed under the Budget Control Act of 2010, international trade is more critical than ever to the U.S. Aerospace and Defense industry. We strongly urge Congress to pass this important tool for expanding trade in a region that is rapidly growing in importance to our country.

To: Dec. 9, 2016

To: Nov. 17, 2016

To: Sept. 23, 2016

To: Sept. 22, 2016
Hosted by Raytheon Company

To: Sept. 15, 2016

To: Sept. 16, 2016

Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO David F. Melcher on the House voting to extend the R&D Tax Credit permanently.

Arlington, Va. — AIA welcomes the House vote to permanently extend the research and development tax credit which lapsed at the end of 2014. It provides an important incentive during these times of fiscal austerity for thousands of companies to make long-term investments in innovation and is critical to creating economic growth. Particularly at a time when DOD is actively seeking new sources of innovation, it’s imperative that we do everything in our power to incentivize companies in every sector to invest in innovative ideas and solutions.

This credit supports companies that invest working capital in basic research and in applied research aimed at the creation or improvement of products. More than 70 percent of the credit is used to fund the salaries of R&D workers who hold the kinds of high-quality jobs that fuel our national economy, with the remainder applied to investment in new plant and equipment.

Currently, the U.S. significantly trails other leading countries in providing incentives for companies to conduct research and development.  Making this critical tool for spurring investment and innovation permanent helps maintain the American edge in innovation and provides companies with the certainty they need for long range planning.  The House is to be congratulated for voting to ensure American companies can rely on this credit going forward and we encourage the Senate to pass the bill as soon as possible.

Arlington, Va. – The aerospace and defense industry had a strong year in 2015, achieving a number of its top priorities. Despite a lengthy delay, the Export-Import Bank of the United States was reauthorized for four years; significant relief from the budget caps imposed under the Budget Control Act of 2011 was achieved for 2016 and 2017 with passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015; and there are hopeful signs that a year-long omnibus with an extension of the R&D Tax Credit will pass shortly.

“2015 was a year that saw great progress on a number of initiatives for the aerospace and defense industry,” said AIA President and CEO Dave Melcher. “From Ex-Im to the budget deal, we achieved many of our goals, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”

Ex-Im Bank supports thousands of jobs associated with aircraft, satellite and launch vehicle sales. However, until President Obama and the Senate appoint and confirm a quorum of Directors to the Bank’s Board, it will be unable to process transactions over $10 million. And while the budget deal promises relief from BCA caps, until the omnibus is passed, the threat of a year-long continuing resolution is very real.

Melcher also highlighted AIA’s advocacy objectives for 2016, including achieving robust, balanced and stable U.S. defense spending; advancing thoughtful technology investment to beef up home-grown space capabilities and continuing the development of vital weather satellites; and effectively implementing the NextGen air transportation system program and safely integrating unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace.

Melcher said, “Our aerospace and defense industry is essential to the national security and economic well being of this country, and we need to continue making progress in 2016.  All of these investments help make America stronger, safer and more economically robust.”

To:  July 22, 2016

To: July 16, 2016

To: June 15, 2016
Hosted by Lockheed Martin Corporation

To: May 26, 2016
Williamsburg Inn

AIA has joined Wreaths Across America as a corporate sponsor, and is proud to help Wreaths Across America reach their goal of placing 750,000 wreaths on veterans' graves in 2015.

Message from AIA President and CEO David F. Melcher:

Throughout my career, I’ve been privileged to work in organizations with well-defined cultures such as the U.S. Army, Office of Management and Budget, ITT and Exelis.  In all of these groups, I’ve seen people from all levels work hard to align the organization’s vision, mission and values with bold strategic goals that are executable and achievable.  As noted academic James Q. Wilson wrote about such cultures, “People did not always have to be told what to do; they knew what to do, and what is more important, wanted to do it well.” 

This is the culture I’ve found at AIA.  And I’m pleased that the AIA team has risen to the challenge of rapidly developing a strategic plan for 2016 that ties our unique capabilities and expertise to five strategic goals that will best advance the interests of the aerospace and defense industry and our nation.  Further, we’ve tied AIA’s budgetary planning to our strategic planning, to ensure that we adequately resource the critical activities that will help us best achieve our objectives. We presented the strategic plan and budget at the Board of Governors meeting in San Diego in November, at which our Executive Committee approved our 2016 game plan.

AIA’s Vision, Mission and Values Statements
For the 2016 Strategic Plan, with tremendous staff input and thoughtful advice of member companies, we’ve updated AIA’s vision, mission and values statements to reflect the industry’s current challenges and opportunities and the unique lane in which our association operates.  Our vision statement is: “AIA shapes the American aerospace and defense industry’s future.  We will unite our member companies to ensure safe air transportation systems, make America more secure, extend the horizons of exploration, drive innovation and ensure a vibrant industrial base.”  Flowing from that vision is a clear sense of our mission:  “The Aerospace Industries Association is the collective voice of the U.S. aerospace and defense industry.  We advocate for policies and responsible budgets that keep our country strong, bolster our capacity to innovate and spur our economic growth.” And serving as the bedrock foundation of our activities will be three core values.  Everything we do and say will be done with Credibility, Integrity and Responsibility. I can assure you we will fight hard to win every battle for our industry’s and nation’s interest that loom ahead but we will do so never cutting corners.

Strategic Goals for 2016
Our five strategic goals for 2016 define what AIA seeks to achieve both for our members and the nation, but also in the case of the last goal for ourselves as a vital American organization.  These goals, which the Board of Governors approved in November, do not mark a significant departure from AIA’s past and recent advocacy:

  • Advocate for policies and budgets that strengthen our industry and help grow the economy. 
  • Focus on improving the U.S. aerospace and defense infrastructure and retaining U.S. industrial base capability. 
  • Strive to achieve a level playing field for industry in the global marketplace.
  • Work responsibly to enhance our nation’s safety and security and protect the environment. 

Our last proposed goal of being the community of choice for aerospace and defense stakeholders was suggested with the idea that we will engage with a wider range of stakeholders when issues vital to our industry are on the table. We believe that if other groups and organizations recognize that AIA is a strong and worthwhile partner for policy advocacy, our collective voice can be much more impactful.  Consistent with this view, we’ve already reached out to the think tank community, veterans’ advocates, proponents of increased investment in domestic research, and other defense industries associations to make common cause on issues critical to our industry.

Parallel with our strategic planning process, we used AIA’s priorities as the baseline for preparing the organization’s proposed FY 2016 budget.  Each of AIA’s divisions justified all future projected expenses for the coming year based on the resources they determined are needed to achieve each of their objectives.  We then reviewed the budget submittals to figure out if we have the right number of people and types of expertise needed to achieve these objectives, which we do.  Additionally, we’ve continued to review our councils, committees and working groups and tie each of them back to our strategic priorities.  As a result of this review we have already reduced their numbers from 96 to 84 and may reduce them further if there isn’t a clear linkage to the strategic goals stated earlier.

The result of this strategy and budget review is that AIA has a clear sense of direction entering what appears to be a very challenging period for our industry.  I’m gratified the entire AIA team has embraced the charge to lean forward, and think smartly about our essential tasks.

To: May 19, 2016

For more information, please visit

Capitol Hill

To: May 5, 2016

Sheraton Sand Key

To: March 18, 2016


The Global Aerospace Summit is part of the Abu Dhabi Aviation and Aerospace Week held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The Summit is an invitation-only event for C-level executives, senior decision makers, government and military officials involved in the aerospace, aviation, defence and space industry sectors. With attendance capped at 1,000 attendees, the Summit is an exclusive forum that allows these industry leaders to engage in forward-looking, strategic debate addressing the key challenges facing their respective industries and the potential solutions.

The next edition will be held on 07 - 08 March 2016 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) in Abu Dhabi, UAE under the overarching theme of innovation. The programme will examine new ways of building aircraft, launch systems and satellites, innovative business strategies and financing, disruptive technologies, using new materials and the ground-breaking applications for which they will be used.  AIA President and CEO Dave Melcher will be attending and participating in a panel.

For more information, click here.

To register your interest in attending, click here.


To: March 8, 2016

The Global Aerospace Summit is an exclusive, invitation only cross-industry forum for C-level executives, senior decision makers and government officials involved in the aerospace, aviation, defence and space industries. The upcoming edition will be held on 07 - 08 March 2016 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) in Abu Dhabi, UAE. For more information, click here.

To: March 17, 2016
Hosted by GE Aviation

Meeting information & registration:

To: Feb. 20, 2016

Changi Exhibition Center

AIA is relieved and delighted that Congress reauthorized the Export-Import Bank of the United States December 3.  By reauthorizing the Bank, America is sending a clear signal that we are serious about competing in the global marketplace and will take the necessary steps to ensure American exporters have a level playing field.

Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO David F. Melcher on reauthorization of the Export Import Bank of the United States.

Arlington, Va. — AIA welcomes last night’s passage of a five-year transportation bill – this is the first time in 17 years that the House and Senate have come together to produce a transportation bill of this length and duration and we congratulate them on that accomplishment.

In particular, we are relieved and delighted that the bill served as a vehicle for a four-year reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.  The Ex-Im Bank is a valuable tool supporting exports in the aerospace industry – the leading export industry in the U.S. manufacturing sector with a trade surplus of nearly $62 billion.  By reauthorizing the Bank, America is sending a clear signal that we are serious about competing in the global marketplace and will take the necessary steps to ensure American exporters have a level playing field.

One last item remains for the Ex-Im Bank to become fully functional again. Currently the bank does not have the required number Directors on their Board to approve any transaction over $10 million. Filling the other seats requires the cooperation of the U.S. Senate and the White House. We urge President Obama and Senate leadership to nominate and confirm new Members to the Ex-Im Board expeditiously.

We applaud the leadership shown by the champions of Ex-Im Bank.  Without their tireless work and energy, passage of this bill would not have been possible.  We will need their continued support and leadership in future debates impacting the health and global competitiveness of the aerospace industry.

Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO David F. Melcher calling for full appropriation consistent with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

Arlington, Va. — AIA calls on Congress to pass an omnibus appropriations bill in early December that would avoid the specter of a year-long continuing resolution. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 provides badly-needed funds and a measure of stability across all government agencies for the next two years.  Congress should follow the dictates of the budget deal they negotiated less than two months ago and pass a full-year appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016.

A full year continuing resolution – or one that delays decisions into 2016 – could lock in 2015 funding levels and prevent agencies from executing contracts on new programs.  It would inject uncertainty into the budgeting process and prevent both government and industry from making plans and investments to support our longer-term national security and economic objectives.

Military leaders have been sounding the alarm this year about the increasingly chaotic situation in the Middle East and emboldened military actions by Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.  Non-defense agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, NOAA, and the U. S. Coast Guard are critical for our nation's public safety, economy, and global stature in science, exploration and aerospace technology.  The responsible course of action is for Congress to follow through on the commitment made in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 and pass a full appropriation.

Read AIA's newly approved Strategic Plan for 2016 at the link below.

Jason Timm joined AIA as Director of Defense Policy in 2015, after a career in program management and test and evaluation for the United States Air Force and the Department of Defense. 

Prior to joining AIA, Jason served for 22 years as an Air Force acquisition officer.  He has extensive experience in conventional and rapid acquisition, engineering, and flight test functions on a range of important programs, from cruise missiles and reconnaissance systems to space systems and special projects aircraft.  He served on the Air Staff from 2004 to 2008, where he had responsibilities for budgeting and acquisition program reporting.  From 2008 to 2011, he supported the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program as the Low Rate Initial Production Program Manager.  His last active duty assignment was teaching Level II and III Program Management courses at the Defense Acquisition University, from 2011 to 2015.

After his retirement in 2015, Jason provided contractor support to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition in the Office of Transformational Innovation, where he was responsible for soliciting, advocating, and executing innovative concepts with the potential for broad ranging and rapid improvements to Air Force acquisition processes and systems.

Jason has Level III certifications from the Defense Acquisition University in Program Management and Test & Evaluation, and Level I certification in Acquisition Logistics.  He holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Colorado State University, where he graduated in 1992 as a member of Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Detachment 090, and he earned an MBA from Oklahoma City University in 1996.

Guy Norris, a well-respected and award-winning aerospace and defense journalist and author, has been selected to receive the 2015 Lauren D. Lyman Award for outstanding achievement in aerospace communications.

Norris Recognized with 2015 Lyman Award

             Arlington, Va. — Guy Norris, a well-respected and award-winning aerospace and defense journalist and author, has been selected to receive the 2015 Lauren D. Lyman Award for outstanding achievement in aerospace communications.

            “We’re delighted to recognize Guy Norris with this year’s Lyman Award,” said AIA President and CEO Dave Melcher. “His distinguished record of accurate reporting and dedicated focus on our industry exemplifies many of the qualities that Deac Lyman brought to both his reporting and public relations careers.”

             Guy is a Senior Editor for Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine, based in Los Angeles. Before joining Aviation Week in 2007, Guy was first a technical editor based in the U.K. and most recently was U.S. West Coast editor for Flight International. Before joining Flight, he was London correspondent for Interavia, part of Jane's Information Group.

            Guy was awarded the 2013 Jesse H. Neal award for Best Technical Content with fellow Aviation Week journalist Graham Warwick for their Advanced Propulsion feature.  He is a multiple winner of the Royal Aeronautical Society Aerospace Journalist of the Year Award in the Air Transport, Propulsion and Systems/Technology categories, and in 2006 he received the Royal Aeronautical Society Decade of Excellence Award for sustained achievement in aerospace journalism. Guy has also authored more than a dozen books on the air transport industry.
“I am thrilled and deeply honored to be receiving the prestigious AIA Deac Lyman award,” Norris said. “To be counted among the ranks of those previously granted with this accolade is both extremely humbling and unexpected.”

            Norris will receive the award at a special dinner held in his honor Monday, December 14 and will be recognized at AIA's 51st Annual Year-End Luncheon December 15. The award is named after Lauren “Deac” Lyman, a Pulitzer-prize winning aviation reporter with the New York Times who later had a distinguished career as a public relations executive with United Aircraft, a predecessor to United Technologies Corporation. First awarded in 1972, the prize goes to a journalist or public relations professional in aviation who exhibits Lyman’s high standard of excellence. UTC is the longtime sponsor of the award.

# # #

Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO David F. Melcher on the two-year budget deal passing in the House.

Arlington, Va. — AIA is relieved and thankful that the House has passed legislation lifting the Budget Control Act (BCA) caps for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.  The deal provides an additional $50 billion for base defense spending over the next two years and substantial increases in Overseas Contingency Operations funding.  These are significant increases providing badly-needed funds and some measure of stability to the Department of Defense for the next two years. 

Military leaders have been sounding the alarm this year about the increasingly chaotic situation in the Middle East and emboldened military actions by Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.  We owe them a debt of gratitude for their candor, expertise and judgment, and also to Congressional leaders who made this increase in funding possible against tall odds.  Without that leadership, fiscal year 2016 would have represented the fifth consecutive year of cuts for a military asked to do more in an increasingly unstable world geopolitical situation.

The agreement should also grant substantial relief for non-defense agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, NOAA, and the U. S. Coast Guard.  These agencies are important for our nation's public safety, economy, and global stature in science, exploration and aerospace technology.  The FAA needs funds to upgrade its obsolete air traffic control system and respond to the challenge of integrating unmanned aircraft systems into our skies.  NOAA needs funding to improve our prediction of hazardous weather events and help Americans move out of harm’s way with greater notice.

In addition, the agreement paves the way for an omnibus appropriations bill in early December that would avoid the specter of a year-long continuing resolution.  Equally important, in agreeing on new discretionary caps for fiscal year 2017, the compromise package raises prospects for a smoother appropriations process next year, when the nation turns its focus to Presidential and Congressional elections.

We strongly support this legislation and urge the Senate immediately to take up and pass the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 and send it to the President for his signature.

Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO David F. Melcher on the passage in the House of a bill reauthorizing the Export Import Bank of the United States.

Arlington, Va. — Today’s passage of Rep. Fincher’s (R-Tenn.) bill in the House marks an important step in reauthorizing the Export Import Bank of the United States.  The ExIm Bank is a valuable tool supporting exports in the aerospace and defense industry – the leading export industry in the U.S. manufacturing sector with a trade surplus of nearly $62 billion.  We are relieved that common sense has prevailed and the majority has found a way – even using the unconventional “discharge” process – to express its will.

But the work is not yet done.  So far, American companies have lost three space payload orders, billions of dollars in commercial airplane sales are at risk, and several companies are talking about moving operations overseas – all because ExIm Bank financing has not been available since July 1.  Enough is enough – identical language has now passed in both the House and Senate.  Both chambers have expressed their will.  We strongly urge House and Senate leadership to join in a cooperative, bipartisan spirit and do the right thing to restore our country's global competitiveness: take the necessary steps to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.

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: Achieving AIA's Goals Through Bold Strategic Planning, Sound Governance
Q & A With Michael Huerta, FAA Administrator
Supplier Manangement Council Fall Meeting
Technology Innovation Focus
Highlights fron National Aerospace Week

Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO David F. Melcher on Defense Related Associations joining to urge Congress to pass a two-year budget deal.

Arlington, Va. — Today, in a spirit of cooperation, the heads of twelve Defense Related Associations joined to send a letter urging Congress to pass a two-year budget deal offsetting budget caps under the Budget Control Act of 2011.  Such a deal would avoid the disruptions inherent in a full-year continuing resolution and provide adequate resources for our military to conduct today’s missions and prepare for the next crisis.

The letter stated, “Chaos in the Middle East and aggressive military activity by Russia, China, Iran and North Korea all pose serious national security threats to our nation, threats that require a well-trained military force with state-of-the-art equipment … We urge you in the strongest possible terms to ensure that those responsible for securing our nation are provided adequate, balanced and stable funding.”

To read the full text of the letter, please visit our website at:

The signatories include:

David F. Melcher,
Lieutenant General, USA (Ret.)
President & CEO
Aerospace Industries Association

Craig R. McKinley
General, USAF (Ret.)
President & CEO
National Defense Industrial Association

Elliot Holokauahi Pulham
Chief Executive Officer
Space Foundation

Larry O. Spencer
General, USAF (Ret.)
Air Force Association

Brian Wynne
President & CEO
Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems

Dr. Sandra Magnus
Executive Director
American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics

Al Runnels
Executive Director
American Society of Military Comptrollers

John Totushek
Vice Admiral, USN (Ret.)
President & CEO
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation

William Erickson
Executive Director
Surface Navy Association

Guy C. Swan
Lieutenant General, USA (Ret.)
Vice President
Association of the U.S. Army

Garry E. Hall
Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.)
President & CEO
Association of the U.S. Navy

Bruce Butler
National Executive Director
Navy League of the United States

With a series of important votes on Ex-Im Bank reauthorization coming during the evening of Monday, Oct. 26, AIA put on a big push to convince representatives to vote for reauthorization.

The Aerospace Industries Association, the National Defense Industrial Association, Research!America and United for Medical Research joined October 21 to send Congress a letter urging America’s elected representatives to work together on responsible funding of our national security and medical research priorities.

Joint Statement by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Defense Industrial Association, Research!America and United for Medical Research urging Congress to raise budget caps restraining vital investments in national security and medical research.

Arlington, Va. — Today the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Defense Industrial Association, Research!America and United for Medical Research joined to send Congress a letter urging all of America’s elected representatives in the House and Senate to work together to move forward with responsible funding of our national security and medical research priorities.  The letter states “We must base spending priorities on current and future threats and opportunities, or American security, prosperity, and global leadership will be compromised.  Among these priorities are preserving global stability, defending our homeland and fighting diseases that rob Americans of life, health, independence and time.”

“The aerospace and defense industry provides the equipment that keeps our economy moving and protects our warfighters in harm’s way,” said AIA President and CEO LTG David F. Melcher, U.S. Army (Ret.). “That is why the Federal Reserve’s recent revision downward of U.S. annual industrial production, based on a deeper than previously reported downturn in the output of defense and space equipment, is both relevant and alarming.  Our industry is feeling the bite of budget caps imposed under the Budget Control Act.”

“Medical research is vital to the health of our citizens and our economy,” said American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network President Chris Hansen on behalf of United for Medical Research.  “To truly gain control over federal health spending, we must prevent and stop the diseases that engender it.  We need more medical research.”

“At a time when global threats are advancing, not receding, and the United States has more than 200,000 young men and women serving in more than 130 countries, in nearly 60 named operations, we must remain industrially strong  and able to deter malicious and destabilizing adversaries,” said National Defense Industrial Association President and CEO Gen. Craig R. McKinley, USAF (Ret.). “The irony of cuts to the discretionary budget is that they will have no meaningful impact on the U.S. debt and deficit, which are driven by imbalances between the revenues we collect and our spending on entitlements. So we will materially harm our national security strength without getting our fiscal house in order. That outcome is the worst of all worlds.”

“The NIH has nearly 25 percent less purchasing power today than in 2003, representing lost opportunities for advancing research to combat our most vexing diseases and threatening America’s global leadership in the life sciences,” said Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley. “Before we lose any more ground, Congress must take steps to ensure that the NIH budget catches up from the past decade of neglect.”

To read the full text of the letter, please visit:

# # #


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

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)
Alissa Crispino
(202) 661-5772 office
(240) 498-7233 mobile

United for Medical Research
Jim Manley
(202) 255-3736

National Defense Industrial Association
Rene Bardorf
(703) 247-9473

Anna Briseno
(571) 482-2737

Founded in 1919 shortly after the birth of flight, the Aerospace Industries Association 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.

United for Medical Research is a coalition of leading research institutions, patient advocates, medical professional organizations, and biomedical companies united in support of robust funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Learn more at


The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is America’s leading Defense Industry association promoting national security. NDIA provides a legal and ethical forum for the exchange of information between industry and government on national security issues. NDIA members foster the development of the most innovative and superior equipment, training and support for warfighters and first responders through its divisions, local chapters, affiliated associations and events.

Research!America is the nation’s largest nonprofit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, Research!America is supported by member organizations representing 125 million Americans. Visit


Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO David F. Melcher on the passage of a discharge petition allowing Congress to hold a vote to reauthorize the Export Import Bank of the United States.

Arlington, Va. — We are delighted with today’s passage of a discharge petition on Rep. Fincher’s (R-Tenn.) bill reauthorizing the Export Import Bank of the United States.  The ExIm Bank is a valuable tool supporting exports in the aerospace and defense industry – the leading export industry in the U.S. manufacturing sector with a trade surplus of nearly $62 billion.

So far, American companies have lost three space payload orders, billions of dollars in American commercial airplane sales are at risk, and several companies are talking about moving operations overseas – all because ExIm Bank financing has not been available since July 1.  Enough is enough – Congress must hold the vote and reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.

Remarks by David F. Melcher

Good morning and thank you Michael for that very kind introduction.  In making up my schedule, I had the choice of staying in Washington and trying on our industry’s behalf to convince members of our United States Congress to break the current budget impasse.  Or, I could fly to Geneva, meet some of the world’s most dynamic aviation leaders, and participate in a vibrant dialogue about meaningful issues. And no, this was not a difficult choice.

So on behalf of the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations, or ICCAIA, I appreciate the opportunity to highlight the critical technology improvements aerospace manufacturers are spurring to help guide us towards our sustainability goals.

But first, I want to talk to you about values.  This industry is very proud to help make robust global commerce possible, and to enable for the first time in history people-to-people exchanges between all nations on a massive scale.  We believe we’re a vital force for good in modern society.  In carrying forth our work, we’re alert to our responsibility to make air travel the safest form of mass transportation, and to set the pace in environmental stewardship.

At the Aerospace Industries Association, where I represent manufacturers from the United States, we embrace the core values of credibility, integrity and responsibility.  I can assure you all of ICCAIA’s members share this approach in providing aviation solutions for environmental challenges.

The time is certainly ripe for our entire aviation community to continue pushing for greater environmental performance.  As fuel costs are the single largest operating cost today, from a competitive standpoint, manufacturers are battling to gain further fuel efficiency and outshine one another on environmental performance metrics.  And this is a game where everyone wins.

But we don’t just compete with one another.  We also cooperate within the manufacturing community and with our fellow aviation colleagues.  Our industry has set ambitious CO2 reduction goals that we’re working hard to accomplish, even in the face of increasing passenger numbers.   As you can see in ATAG’s recent publication, “Aviation Climate Solutions,” the combination of new composite structures, improved aerodynamics, alternative jet fuels, breakthrough propulsion concepts, and more efficient operations are making leapfrogging advancements possible.

Our industry’s $15 billion a year annual research investment is helping meet the 1.5 percent per year improved fuel efficiency goal, and will help us cross the goal line of carbon neutral growth by 2020.  For those of you keeping score, that $15 billion in investment is five times the estimated value of Manchester United, so we’re talking real money here.

Let me give you some examples of the innovation occurring due to this investment.  Winglets, sharklets—whatever we would like to call these small efficiency boosters—reduce lift induced drag and save between 380,000 and 570,000 liters of fuel per year.

On the ground, taxiing aircraft that utilize new electric taxiing systems reduce the use of main engines, saving up to 85 percent of fuel normally emitted before they take flight.

And on the shop floor, we’re witnessing a revolution in the use of 3D printing for the design and production of aircraft and engine parts.  Next year, one company [GE Aviation] will introduce the first 3D-printed parts in an aircraft engine platform.  Parts produced with this method are already beginning to appear on the latest generation of aircraft, resulting in components that weight 30 to 55 percent less than traditional metal parts.
Our industry is also finding common ground with government air transportation agencies, the airlines and airports to promote more efficient operations and improved infrastructure, resulting in significant environmental benefits.

Indeed, the Single European Air Traffic Management Research Program, SESAR, combined with the U.S. NextGen national airspace system modernization program is making aviation safer, more efficient, and environmentally friendly.

In the U.S. the industry-government NextGen partnership has led to the introduction of several satellite-based flight guidance technologies and new flight procedures that are appreciated by the flying public.  For example, at Seattle-Tacoma Airport, due to more efficient take offs and landings, flight times have been reduced on average by nine minutes, and CO2 emissions have been reduced by over 14,000 tons per year.

Similarly, I commend the organizers of the SESAR public private partnership for making air traffic modernization a strategic priority for Europe.  They’re making significant progress in harmonizing air operations between multiple national authorities and ATM centers.  Achieving the goal of a “Single European Sky” will certainly be a big deal.  In addition, I applaud SESAR’s ambition to promote environmentally optimized Trans-Atlantic flights which hold the promise of saving up to a half ton of fuel or the equivalent to 1.6 tons of CO2.  Let me add that to register further gains it is incumbent upon the aviation community to ensure that there is greater interoperability between NextGen and SESAR systems.

Now in addition to furthering our objectives through technological innovation, it’s also clear that our community must work with other industry groups, governments and NGOs to help shape the best and most effective global environmental policy for aviation.

As such, ICCAIA endorses the role of the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, as being the proper venue for international discussions of aviation-specific environmental issues including the issue of CO2 emission standard setting.  ICAO has the right bandwidth for thoughtful discussions and decision making about technical feasibility, economic viability, environmental benefits and interdependency considerations. In addition, when ICAO sets aviation environmental standards, we have faith they will be adopted by the widest possible group of governments across the globe in a way that keeps our industry operable, and most importantly recognizes the non-negotiable element of safety.

In this light, we’re confident that in 2016 ICAO member states will agree on a practical global framework for market-based measures, and endorse a CO2 aircraft certification standard to further reduce aircraft emissions in the most effective, safe and environmentally-friendly way.  Such an agreement, along with our commitment to continue efforts to innovate will provide, in our judgment, the best way forward.

I trust that if this group meets up again in five years we will have met or even exceeded these significant industry goals.  And if that is the case, we should all lift our glasses and toast this great industry for a wonderful, impactful achievement.

In closing, I wish to thank all the members of the aviation community for participating in this important summit and for the opportunity to speak today.  I look forward to working with you as we continue to make progressive achievements that are emblematic of an industry that always lifts—literally and in spirit—the people of this planet.

AIA President and CEO Dave Melcher helped launch the U.S. DOD-Industry Partnership Forum in Washington D.C. today.

Arlington, Va. — With the news today that a $1.1 billion order for Boeing jetliners by a South African airline is at risk of cancellation, and the recent announcements of three lost U.S. commercial satellite sales, it is clear that the failure of Congress to re-authorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank is causing the American aerospace industry to lose ground against its foreign competitors, and potentially thousands of workers to lose their jobs.

U.S. companies large and small have been telling members of Congress for months now that overseas customers are going to buy from foreign competitors in the absence of ExIm Bank financing. This is because our industry faces direct competition from other countries that also offer credit financing. By having our own credit financing, we had a level playing field to compete - and when the playing field is level, no competitor stands against the quality of a U.S. made aerospace product. It is incredibly frustrating that all of our warnings have been ignored, and that an ideologically extreme minority can force delay and inaction.

The purchase and payment lead times in our industry are long, and the clock is ticking.  The price for delay of the vote to re-authorize the ExIm Bank is going up every second, and our nation will ultimately bear the cost. Hold the vote and reauthorize the Export-Import Bank!

Statement by AIA President and CEO Dave Melcher on recent DOD comments regarding mergers and consolidation

Arlington, Va. — TheWhile we understand Undersecretary Kendall’s broad concern regarding the impact of defense industry consolidation on competition, we feel consolidation is occurring as a natural result of decades-long trends in defense acquisition.  Consolidation is market-driven and enhances the efficiency with which we deliver the world’s best equipment to the American warfighter.

We’re seeing fewer and fewer new programs which start farther and farther apart.  With fewer programs for which to compete, the stakes for individual companies grow ever higher – loss of a contract competition could mean the end of a company’s ability to compete for defense work.  In this environment, it’s no surprise that industry is looking to become leaner and more efficient.  We’ve seen how this works in the past – sweeping defense industry consolidation happened during the last downturn in defense spending in the 1990s.  Many of the same conditions are apparent now.  Companies should be judged based on their performance.  The size of the prime contractor shouldn’t matter in any case, as most of the work flows into the supply chain through subcontracts.

Budget Control Act caps combined with frequent use of continuing resolutions are causing significant uncertainty in defense budgets.  To encourage competition and a healthy and strong industrial base, we need stable, predictable and sufficient budgets to support our national security strategies. We urge Congress to overturn the Budget Control Act caps, enact a budget deal that supports investment in American capability and return to a budgeting process that promotes stability and predictability in contract awards.

Remarks by David F. Melcher

Good afternoon.  And welcome to a highlight of National Aerospace Week, AIA’s tribute to our 2015 Wings of Liberty Awardees.   For those of you new to this event, Wings of Liberty is our industry’s highest award given to a member or members of Congress who have made significant contributions to the strength of our industry.   Starting off, I’d like to thank Honeywell’s Vice President for Global Government Relations Rick Graber and the entire Honeywell team for graciously hosting us.

Today, we’re delighted to honor two true champions of our nation’s leadership in aerospace and defense, Senator Patty Murray of Washington, and Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas.

Today is special for this and a related reason steeped in our nation’s history.  We’re gathered at Honeywell, fittingly located on Constitution Avenue, on our nation’s Constitution Day, recalling how 228 years ago, 39 founding fathers including Franklin, Hamilton, Madison, and Washington signed the historic document that declares the supreme law of the United States. 

Some folks often overlook that providing for the common defense and promoting the general welfare are the bedrock purposes of government.  And we can’t meet the founders’ intentions without leaders the caliber of these two senators to translate these purposes into action.

A prime example of that leadership was The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 which Senator Murray and Representative Paul Ryan successfully negotiated. This was significant for two important reasons. 
First, it gave meaningful, two year budget relief for the people who work day and night providing for our common defense, and for the other functions of government like NASA, NOAA, and the FAA, that contribute to our well being and public safety. 

The second reason to laud Senator Murray is this agreement was the product of genuine bipartisan give-and-take.  Seventy years ago, Michigan’s Senator Arthur Vandenberg, the Republican Foreign Relations Committee leader, famously stated, “We must stop partisan politics at the water’s edge.” Today, you could build a dam as big as the Grand Coulee and the partisanship that poisons our political discourse would flood over its spillways. To her credit Senator Murray is helping to bridge that divide.

Let me turn to Senator Moran.  While this is just his first term in the Senate, he’s already demonstrated that the citizens of Kansas chose wisely in selecting the person who would fill the seat once held by Bob Dole.  While a member of Congress he’s traveled to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan to visit deployed American forces and meet with foreign leaders.  He currently serves on the Air Force Academy’s Board of Visitors.  And in taking over the co-chairmanship of the Senate Aerospace Caucus, he rightly noted, “Safeguarding our nation for future generations means both a strong national defense and a strong economy.  The aerospace industry is where these two priorities converge.” 

Indeed, we appreciate both Senator Moran’s and Murray’s enthusiastic support of the Senate Aerospace Caucus.  Through the Caucus we’ve been able to engage your fellow Senators and Senate staff about our workforce development efforts and exciting technological developments.  For example, through their leadership and the hands-on activism of their key staffers Caroline Prosch and Adam Goodwin, this summer we held a standing room only event on Unmanned Aerial Systems.  At the event, Amazon detailed their package delivery dreams and the Atlas All-Terrain Land and Air Sphere flew inside a packed Senate caucus room.  

It’s also worth mentioning that both of these distinguished Senators have voted to support the continued operations of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, a key priority of our industry. 
It’s now my pleasure to ask AIA Board Vice Chairman Marillyn Hewson, the CEO, President and Board Chairman of Lockheed Martin to give brief remarks and join me for the award presentation.

Remarks by Marillyn Hewson

Thank you, David and good afternoon everyone. AIA Chairman David Joyce was disappointed that he was not able to be here… however he asked that I extend his best wishes with all of you and his congratulations to our honorees.

I’m delighted to be here with you today, particularly during National Aerospace Week.  This is a wonderful opportunity for our industry—and its supporters—to recognize the enormous contribution that aerospace makes to America’s economy, competitiveness and national security.  

And speaking of supporters, Senator Murray and Senator Moran, let me add my sincere appreciation for all that you do on behalf of the aerospace community.  Your willingness to tackle the most complex issues and advocate on our behalf in Congress is all the more crucial today—particularly as we head into another challenging budget cycle.

Your efforts on the Senate Aerospace Caucus have been of vital importance in making sure that the American aerospace industry remains strong, secure, and globally competitive.

As long as we have leaders like you… leaders who are committed to the security of our country and to the strength of our industry … we have every reason to be optimistic about the future of both. Senator Murray… Senator Moran… Congratulations on your well-deserved Wings of Liberty Awards.  We look forward to your continued leadership… and thank you for all that you do for our nation. Congratulations!

Four industry groups wrote this collective statement on fuel efficiency and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA) is the global organization of aerospace industry associations. The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 250 member airlines account for 83% of the world’s air traffic. The International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) represents and promotes business aviation industry. And the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) is a group of 80 of the world’s leading manufacturers of general aviation aircraft, engines, avionics, components and related services.

AIA Director for Environmental Policy Leslie Riegle played an active role in drafting and editing the piece and coordinating among the four signatory organizations.

The world aviation sector is well on its way to meeting the planned fuel-efficiency targets set for 2020. Despite the Aviation Week Leading Edge column to the contrary (AW&ST Sept. 14-27, p. 19), ICCAIA, IATA, IBAC and GAMA agree that the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) fuel-efficiency goals are within reach and supported by the aviation industry’s strong record to date and commitments going forward.

While we recognize the acknowledgment in the column of the significant achievements in aircraft technology, we would like to clarify that the ICAO goals involve participation by the whole aviation sector using a broad array of measures, not just aircraft technology. The ICAO CO2 emissions goal states that: “States and relevant organizations will work through ICAO to achieve a global annual average fuel-efficiency improvement of 2% until 2020 and an aspirational global fuel-efficiency improvement rate of 2% per annum from 2021 to 2050, calculated on the basis of volume of fuel used per revenue tonne kilometer performed.”

Despite already having a strong fuel-efficiency and emissions-savings record, our industry was the first global transport sector to adopt concrete CO2 emission reduction goals. The industry is working to meet these through a basket of measures consisting of improved aircraft fuel efficiency—through the introduction of new aircraft models and propulsion systems and operational efficiencies; air traffic management (ATM) system modernization and improvements; and greater use of sustainable aviation biofuels. Since making these commitments in 2009, the aviation industry has improved its fuel efficiency by an average of more than 2% per year up to 2014.

An International Council on Clean Transportation report—and the Leading Edge column based on it—create an impression that the goals agreed by the ICAO Assembly are for new technology alone. This is a mischaracterization. They are actually for overall efficiency, taking into account the range of measures described above.

Today’s commercial aircraft consume 70% less fuel per passenger mile than aircraft did 50 years ago. Even as it has grown, the aviation industry continues to invest billions of dollars every year in the development and deployment of new technologies to further fuel efficiency gains and lower emissions. New aircraft bring this technology to the world with greater fuel efficiency; for example, the Boeing 787 is 20% more fuel efficient than its predecessor, and the Airbus A320neo improvements result in 20% fuel savings per seat compared with the A320 current engine option. These aircraft are not just improving their fuel efficiency but are designed to address other key, and frequently interdependent, environmental issues such as local air quality and noise, alongside the paramount safety requirement. And airlines are keenly focused on operating their aircraft as fuel efficiently as possible.

The global CO2 standard and market-based measure both under development at ICAO represent major steps for the aviation industry toward carbon-neutral growth. Governments, industry and civil society are all working together under this organization to achieve global agreement. This is founded upon four key ICAO principles: to establish global standards that are environmentally beneficial, technically feasible, economically viable and take account of interdependencies with other environmental standards. We are confident that together we can meet these principles and reach the goals on top of an already impressive fuel-efficiency and CO2-savings record.

Defense News published an opinion piece co-signed by AIA's Dave Melcher and former Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre discussing the importance of ExIm Bank to the defense industrial base.  They also made the point that ExIm is an effective use of soft power -- enhancing America's security interests and global influence through trade.

Appeared in the Sept. 14, 2015 edition of  Defense News, on page 37.

By John J. Hamre and David F. Melcher

America’s robust export growth has been crucial in helping our nation recover from the worst economic recession since the Great Depression.  Three major factors have contributed to the United States’ improved balance of trade performance. 

First, the U.S. is undergoing a high-tech manufacturing renaissance.  Our  superior products are highly valued in the global market.  Second, recent reforms of restrictive export controls have enabled American manufacturers of commercial satellites and commercially-available parts in military systems to begin recovering lost market share. And thirdly, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) has played an indispensable role in providing loan guarantees and financial assistance to U.S. companies of all sizes competing for foreign sales, especially when the private sector is unable or unwilling to assume credit risk.

Indeed, Ex-Im’s significance in spurring our economic recovery was tangible during the 2007-2010 credit crisis when a paralyzed banking system lacked the capacity to underwrite even low-risk loans.  

In any international competition, unilateral disarmament is never a good idea.  Yet the renewal of Ex-Im’s authority to operate has become a victim of an ideological minority on Capitol Hill whose purist vision of keeping government out of the marketplace doesn’t recognize that competing nations – including China, Russia, Japan and the major European states – offer substantially greater export credit financing assistance then the U.S.   In any international competition, unilateral disarmament is never a good idea. 

Since July 1st congressional inaction has prevented Ex-Im from processing new loans, leaving American firms at a substantial disadvantage in competing for foreign sales.  And after a flurry of activity in Congress in late July, attempts to move forward on the Bank’s reauthorization fell one vote short in the House Rules Committee following Senate passage of a favorable Ex-Im  amendment.

The failure to keep Ex-Im open for business is already having a substantial ripple effect throughout our economy. U.S. satellite sales are being threatened or even lost and American exporters are having to scramble to find private financing to replace Ex-Im programs.  If those sources were readily available, the exporters wouldn’t have had to go to Ex-Im in the first place.  And small and medium-sized companies in the supply chain that depend on large-scale projects financed by Ex-Im are rightfully concerned about what will happen next in a post-Ex-Im marketplace. 

Shutting down Ex-Im would also threaten American national security interests. American aerospace and defense companies have relied on overseas markets, particularly commercial markets serviced by Ex-Im loans, to keep the defense industrial base healthy as U.S. defense spending has declined.  Without Ex-Im, U.S. industrial production will decline, with fewer revenue and jobs throughout the aerospace and defense supply chain, leading to higher unit costs for the military systems our armed forces buy. The same dynamic occurred in the shipbuilding sector in the 1980s with devastating results that continue to be felt today.

A final often overlooked point in this debate is that Ex-Im allows our companies to bolster America’s presence abroad and draw developing countries closer to our values through its financing of projects such as water filtration, solar power and transportation infrastructure development.  Do we really want to undermine the usefulness of U.S. manufactured exports in helping us build long-term strategic relationships when countries like China use their support of overseas trade to bolster their political and diplomatic interests abroad?   

The Senate and House of Representatives now need to refocus on this pressing issue.  Ex-Im financing has helped America boost its economic prosperity and strategic influence at a critical time in our history.  We must keep Ex-Im’s doors open and use this important tool to advance our national interests.

Dr. John J. Hamre is the former Deputy Secretary of Defense

David F. Melcher (LTG U.S. Army-Ret.) is the President and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association.

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association presented Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) with its prestigious Wings of Liberty Award September 17.  The Senators were recognized for their leadership of the Senate Aerospace Caucus, which enables Senate members and staff to engage with industry and government leaders on a number of subjects related to maintaining U.S. leadership in national security technology, civil aviation and space research and exploration.  They were also honored for their individual contributions to the health of America’s aerospace and defense industry.

“Senator Murray, the Senate Democratic Conference Secretary, is a key member of the Senate Appropriations, Budget and Veterans’ Affairs Committees, and throughout her four terms has been a stalwart supporter of our industry,” said AIA President and CEO David F. Melcher.  “It is an honor to present this award to Senator Murray, who demonstrated in this era of excessive partisanship that Congress can get things done in the national interest, when she negotiated with Rep. Paul Ryan the agreement to provide relief for the people who work day and night providing for our common defense, and for the other functions of government like NASA, NOAA, and the FAA, that contribute to our well-being and public safety.”

Melcher added, “Senator Moran, now serving in his first term, and holding important positions on the Senate Appropriations, Commerce, Science and Transportation and Veterans’ Affairs Committees, is a respected voice in the Senate Chamber.  He’s proven worthy of this award through his staunch advocacy for the aerospace industry, which he’s stated is vital for ensuring that we safeguard our nation for future generations through a strong defense and a strong economy.

In response to receiving the Wings of Liberty Award, Sen. Murray said, “This caucus has done great work to further this critical industry, and I believe Congress needs to provide the certainty and investment to make sure our businesses continue to lead the world in the 21st century economy. I look forward to working to keep Washington State and our country at the forefront of the global aerospace industry.”  Sen. Moran said the following: “Although Kansas and Washington have immense contributions in aviation, every state is touched and impacted by the aerospace industry – it is important that Members of Congress support innovation and help the aerospace industry thrive.”

The Wings of Liberty award is presented annually to a member or members of Congress who have made significant contributions to help bolster aerospace and national defense.  The award, which embodies the spirit of America and the drive to achieve any dream, was made at an event hosted by Honeywell Corporation as part of National Aerospace Week (September 13-20).  Past honorees include Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.).

Dave Melcher, President and CEO, AIA

In 1919 a young Army lieutenant colonel took part in the “Cross-Country Motor Transport Train,” a convoy of military vehicles from New York City to San Francisco.  This was no joy ride as the procession took 62 days, with trucks, tanks and other vehicles constantly slipping off America’s unpaved roads into ditches, getting flat tires or damaged axles.

Thirty-seven years later, US President Dwight Eisenhower drew on the lessons he learned from that trip—plus the Allied forces’ use of the advanced German autobahn network to speed World War II’s conclusion—to propose the Interstate Highway System.

Today, when we look at a US national air transportation system that in many ways is still dependent upon mid-20th century era radars and other technologies, the same message applies: the system needs to modernize.

That’s the vision of an ongoing effort to upgrade the US national air transportation system called NextGen. NextGen is improving aviation safety, security, efficiency, quality and affordability using new ground- and satellite-based communications, navigation and surveillance technologies to accommodate and encourage growth in air transportation.

When NextGen is fully implemented—hopefully by 2025—airline passengers will notice significant changes in the way they fly.  With new tools aiding our pilots and air traffic controllers, those frustrating delays while taxiing to the runway will diminish, flights will be smoothly diverted around rough weather and routes will be more precise—saving time, fuel and money. 

Many of these benefits are already being seen with NextGen systems such as Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, Required Navigation Performance and DataComm advanced flight controller and crew communications having a positive impact around some of the US’ busiest air traffic corridors. For example in Atlanta, GPS-enhanced wake turbulence categories and separation standards have reduced average taxi time by 2.5 minutes.  In Memphis, a new airplane routing system that allows for shorter gaps between takeoffs of similar types of aircraft has resulted in a 17% increase in traffic.  And at Sea-Tac Airport, use of NextGen-related precision routes by Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines have reduced flight times by four to eight minutes. 

The potential long-term benefits of NextGen are considerable. A Deloitte study predicts that its full implementation will provide more than $281 billion in net benefits to the economy by 2035; in 10 years, it will save 27 million hours in flight delays and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 216 metric tons.  FAA studies project that NextGen will reduce flight delays by 35%, even as the number of passengers in the US rises from nearly 850 million to a billion.

Despite the progress that has been made so far, there remains considerable frustration about technical issues—such as the recent glitch that snarled East Coast traffic over an August weekend—and over the time it is taking to implement the system.  But it is important to note that with any major infrastructure development system, problems will occur and will be solved.  To the end of smoother implementation, last year the FAA and industry reached agreement on specific near-term priorities (i.e., Performance Based Navigation, Surface Operations, Multiple Runway Operations and the Controller Pilot Data Link Communications aspect of the Data Comm program), and are focused on continuing progress while increasing transparency and accountability.

Funding is also an issue as under the rigid strictures of the Budget Control Act of 2011, FAA’s long-range Capital Investment Plan is being underfunded by almost a billion dollars a year.  Congress can play an important role in moving the program forward by lifting the budget caps on FAA and by passing the FAA’s Reauthorization Bill, thus providing clear guidance and support for the next stages of the program. 

NextGen, and those it will serve, deserve our support.  The US has a well-deserved reputation as having the safest air transportation system in the world.  But just as Ike saw from his experience with the US highway system, it can be made even better.

The heads of the Air Force Association, the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Guard Association of the United States, the National Defense Industrial Association and the Navy League sent a joint letter to congressional leadership September 14, urging them to avoid putting America's national security in a "CR trap" by passing a bipartisan multi-year budget deal.

July 15, 2015 at 5:59 AM


Dave Melcher, President and CEO, AIA

Last year, 124 Ohio companies did $427 million worth of business selling transportation equipment, motor vehicle parts, manufactured chemicals, wood products and other goods to foreign purchasers with the help of financial assistance from the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Over an eight-year period, Ex-Im has led to more than $3 billion in Ohio company export sales. And for 81 years, Ex-Im, supported by both political parties, has enabled U.S. businesses — small, medium and large — to compete for overseas sales against foreign companies that enjoy aggressive support from their countries' export credit agencies.

Unfortunately, some lobbyists with a rigid ideological agenda want to kill off the bank without regard for the good Ohio jobs that will be lost in the process. They might just get their way.

Sadly, these anti-bank lobbyists work for the same organizations that have been pouring thousands of dollars into ad buys meant to influence members of Congress. They've succeeded so far in blocking a congressional vote to continue the bank's operations, causing American firms to compete for foreign sales with one hand tied behind their backs since July 1.

This deed was accomplished despite the fact that majorities in the House and Senate are ready to vote in favor of the bank. In fact, 65 members of the Senate just voted in support of the bank's operations. They know that America can't declare unilateral economic disarmament in the increasingly competitive international marketplace. Last year alone, the bank:

  • Supported $27.5 billion in U.S. manufacturing exports, including $10.7 billion of exports from U.S. small businesses.
  • Returned $675 million dollars to the U.S. Treasury.
  • Helped level the playing field for U.S. companies competing abroad against 60 foreign export credit agencies.
  • Supported 164,000 private sector jobs, while indirectly supporting thousands more in the supply chains of the Bank's customers – generating economic growth in local communities in the form of jobs for restaurants, pharmacies, gas stations etc.

The bank's opponents use clever slogans to claim they are economic purists. But capital markets don't operate with textbook perfection. Sometimes the private sector is unable or unwilling to assume credit risks, and the bank is needed to step in to fill gaps in the trade financing picture. Just ask those workers who benefited from Ex-Im financing during the 2007-2010 credit crunch, when even low-risk loans could not get financing from a paralyzed banking system.

The aerospace industry is greatly dependent upon Ex-Im financing to allow American manufacturers of commercial, general aviation and business airplanes, helicopters, satellites, spacecraft and launch vehicles to sell our goods abroad and help maintain and expand the largest positive trade balance of any sector in the U.S. economy. And for every major aerospace product sold abroad, thousands of medium and small supply-chain companies throughout the country also benefit.

Without the bank, many U.S. exporters will not be able to compete in the global marketplace, and good U.S. jobs will be the next critical item we export.

To illustrate the competition we are up against, in 2013, the Export-Import Bank of China provided more than $430 billion in loan guarantees for Chinese goods sold worldwide. Our Ex-Im Bank provided $36 billion that year.

Failure to allow a vote in Congress on the future of the bank will have only one result — losing business to China, Russia and other economically aggressive nations. Indeed, a senior Chinese official recently said Ex-Im going away would be "a good thing" for China.

Ex-Im financing has helped Ohio boost jobs in difficult economic times when every new job is important. Contact your congressional representatives and tell them it's time they stopped playing D.C. politics and listening to ideologues. Ask them to support the bank, and make the statement that we are proud to build products for the global market in Ohio.

David F. Melcher, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, is president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association based in Arlington, Virginia.

Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker issued a statement this week congratulating the U.S. aerospace industry on the occasion of National Aerospace Week.  She also thanked AIA and its member companies for our partnership with the Commerce Department in our shared mission of promoting U.S. interests around the globe.

Dan Olmes came to AIA in August of 2015 and is the Director of the Supplier Management Council and Membership Services. He is responsible for advising and assisting the SMC on a broad range of issues affecting the Aerospace & Defense (A&D) supply chain industry. The SMC is a non-attributional forum within AIA where senior supply chain representatives from system integrators and manufacturers work together to address issues impacting the A&D supply chain. The SMC also delivers value to the AIA membership through a combination of international initiatives, legislative and policy analyses and coordinated regional meetings and industry working groups.

Previously Olmes spent 8 years with Exelis as a Finance Manager for DOD and FAA programs and most recently as a Category Manager, managing the operation and procurement strategy of engineering and technical services across the enterprise. This role identified and implemented operational improvement initiatives and sourcing strategies across the company to drive cost reductions and increase value to Exelis’ customers. He was directly responsible for delivering approximately $35M in cost reductions across Exelis’ direct programs and proposals.

Prior to Exelis, Olmes' experience includes Freddie Mac as a Senior Financial Analyst for their retained investment portfolio, the Logistics Management Institute as a Research Fellow for DOD transportation logistics analysis and PricewaterhouseCoopers, as a Senior Consultant for DOD transportation reform and redesign.

Olmes received his B.S. in Biology from Virginia Tech in 2000. He is a certified Value Based Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and a 2014 recipient of the Exelis Gold Ring of Quality, the company's highest award for individual achievement.

Bridge Littleton is the Vice President for Membership & Business Development for AIA and is responsible for overseeing all membership activities, business development into new markets and lead the Supplier Management Council for the Association.

Previously he served as the Chief Contracts Officer, Contracts & Subcontract for Exelis Inc., located in McLean, Va. While there he was responsible for the overall operations of the Contract, Subcontracts/Supply Chain function across all divisions of Exelis. This encompassed more than 400 staff professionals in 31 different locations throughout the United States and overseas with $4 billion in contracts and $1.6 billion of supply chain activities. His primary responsibilities included corporate-wide contracts & subcontract leadership, compliance, standard training, process improvement, implementation, customer support and issue resolution. Bridge joined Exelis in 2003 supporting the intelligence community program area. In 2005 he left Exelis and spent 3 years with General Dynamics as a contracts manager to support their SETA business area to the NRO. He returned to Information Systems Division of Exelis in January of 2008 and became its Vice President of Contract in 2012.

Bridge received his B.S. in History and Political Science at Radford University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Richmond School Of Law, with one term of his law school career attending Kings College School of Law in Aberdeen, Scotland, studying comparative legal systems. Bridge is also a certified Value Based Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and two-time recipient of the Exelis Gold Ring of Quality Award for outstanding performance, the company's highest service award.

Team America Rocketry Challenge Registration Open to 7-12th Graders

Arlington, Va. — Although the end of summer indicates the beginning of classes for students across the country, it also signals the kickoff of the world's largest annual student rocketry contest. Registration for the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) is now open for teams of 7-12th grade students through December 4.

TARC is the U.S. aerospace and defense industry’s flagship program designed to encourage students to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Structured to emulate the aerospace industry's design, fabrication and testing process, TARC requires teams to build and fly a model rocket that meets challenging design requirements and precise targets for altitude and flight duration.

Each year, TARC's rules and scoring parameters change to challenge the students' ingenuity and encourage a fresh approach to rocket design. This year's rules require teams to build and launch a rocket carrying two raw eggs to 850 feet and return them to Earth unbroken within a flight duration of 44 to 46 seconds. A new requirement this year calls for the eggs to be placed perpendicularly to each other, thus complicating how teams protect the eggs in flight. Damaged eggs disqualify the flight.

The 100 top-scoring teams from across the country will be invited to compete in the National Finals in Washington D.C. next spring. The winners will then represent America in the International Rocketry Challenge, competing against student teams from the United Kingdom and France at the Farnborough International Airshow near London next July.

The Aerospace Industries Association and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) sponsor the annual competition in partnership with NASA, the Department of Defense, the American Association of Physics Teachers and a number of AIA member companies. For additional information on TARC and complete competition results, please visit

Fall 2015 Supplier Management Council Meeting - Atlanta, GA
Hosted by UPS  September 29 - October 1, 2015


Business-to-Business Meetings with key division representatives from UPS on Tuesday, September 29th (AIA members only)
Panel Discussions and Guest Speakers featuring industry leaders and government experts on Wednesday, September 30th
UPS Georgia Distribution Center Tour, a state-of-the-art aerospace logistics facility, provides critical order fulfillment for Pratt & Whitney  
Networking Opportunities to develop new business connections and strengthen existing relationships
Much more!

Register here:

One key role AIA plays is as an aggregator -- bringing together stakeholders to dicuss topics of importance to the aerospace and defense industry.  Last week was a busy one for AIA in that role -- we hosted meetings and participated on a panel that demonstrated AIA's value contributing to policy debates on the major issues of the day.