The Voice of American Aerospace and Defense.
WRITTEN REMARKS BY:
Marion C. Blakey, President and CEO
July 23, 2014
The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) appreciates the opportunity to present our views on the state of domestic aircraft manufacturing in the United States and the challenges we face in maintaining that leadership position. AIA and our members are very proud of the fact that, today, there is no sector of our economy contributing more to U.S. net exports than commercial aviation manufacturing. And in our own country, sales in all sectors continue to climb even as we experience the highest safety record in the history of commercial aviation.
I am Marion Blakey, President and Chief Executive Officer of AIA, the nation’s largest trade association representing United States aerospace and defense manufacturers. Our 350 member companies represent an industry directly employing one million workers, and supporting another 2.5 million jobs either indirectly or as suppliers. Today I will discuss some of the challenges our industry faces in maintaining our manufacturing advantage in the face of stiff competition. But first, I'd like to highlight the prominent and increasing role of technological investment and innovation in aircraft manufacturing.
THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION
U. S. aircraft manufacturers continue to hold strong positions in the world market, in part because of the technological advances that are driving those markets. The Boeing Company estimates that, over the next twenty years, the world's fleet of aircraft will double, and 80 percent of those aircraft will involve non-U.S. purchasers. Right now, our industry exports $72 billion more than we import, a figure that leads all U. S. industries and one that continues to grow with worldwide demand.
U. S. exports of civil aircraft, engines, avionics, and related components are a sign of our strong industrial reputation throughout the world. It is a solid, well-earned reputation for safety, quality, and attention to detail. But it is also a testament to an industry that invests billions of dollars in research and development to remain competitive through the use of increasingly sophisticated technologies. Let me give you a few examples:
Innovative Materials.--To address customer concerns over historically high fuel prices, manufacturers continue to reduce aircraft weight through the use of advanced, lighter weight materials in wing structures, fan blades, fuselage sections, and other parts of the aircraft. For example, by weight about 50 percent of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner's airframe structure is comprised of composites. This compares to about 5 percent from designs of the 1960's. Manufacturers are using carbon and glass fiber composites, ceramic and metal matrix composites, titanium, and new alloys such as aluminum-lithium in a continuing search for
higher-strength, lighter weight materials.
Nanotechnology.—Increasingly, our industry is using a variety of nanotechnologies to improve aircraft durability and performance. These run the gamut from "nano coatings" on windows to reduce aerodynamic drag, advanced turbine blade coatings to provide greater durability, and new, "nano-filler" materials to reduce weight.
Engine Manufacturing.--Our engine manufacturers are breaking new ground to reduce engine weight and emissions while improving fuel efficiency. (And this comes from an industry that has already increased fuel efficiency by 20 percent over the past decade). For example, a number of our manufacturers are using "additive manufacturing", commonly referred to as "3D printing", to make engine parts. They are evaluating and developing different biofuels collaboratively through the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI). And they contribute, dollar-for-dollar, to the FAA's Continuous Low Energy, Emissions and Noise (CLEEN) program. The first phase of CLEEN developed certifiable aircraft technologies that will significantly reduce noise, emissions and fuel burn. To its credit, the FAA program requires industry to demonstrate a path to the commercial market, ensuring the technology benefits will be realized. These are developed to high technology readiness levels (TRL 6-7) to transition them quickly to aviation users.
Our industry today is an engine of national economic growth and innovation. However, aviation is a vibrant, global market that not only emboldens our existing competitors, but is certain to produce new competitors in the coming decades. To retain and strengthen our current leadership, the federal government must do its part. It must provide a streamlined regulatory environment, equitable financial support, international leadership, and government infrastructure for our industry to do what it does best -- innovate and compete. Let me discuss some of these challenges.
FAA's AIRCRAFT CERTIFICATION PROCESS
Product certification delays continue to be a main impediment to our manufacturers' global competitiveness. Recognizing this problem, the FAA launched nine years ago with industry support the Organization Designation Authorization (ODA). ODA creates an extension of the FAA itself within a company by defining an organization, its responsibilities and the associated processes it will follow to ensure compliance with regulations. In short, rather than focus on giving authority to individual experts, the ODA process approves designated organizations and their processes. The FAA then audits the organization’s execution and
compliance. Importantly, ODA does not reduce or diminish the FAA’s safety oversight responsibilities in any way. Rather, it makes more efficient the mechanisms by which the same level of assurance and protection of the flying public is achieved. This systems approach to oversight leverages FAA resources and critical technical knowledge within the manufacturers’ organizations, ensuring a continual two-way exchange of information between the regulator and manufacturer.
Unfortunately we have yet to achieve full benefits of the ODA, as the FAA’s culture at the working level has been slow to embrace this systems approach to certification. We urge the FAA to allow maximum use of delegation, not only to take full advantage of industry expertise, but to increase the collaboration and partnership that leads to improved aviation safety. We hope the Committee will recognize that this approach, when fully implemented, will enhance aviation safety, ensure full technical input into the certification process and allow FAA to focus its limited resources on critical areas of aviation safety.
The industry appreciates the strong support provided by this Committee for the reform of FAA's Aircraft Certification Service. Sections 312 and 313 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 helped jump-start a cultural change in FAA's regulatory system. We believe that FAA leadership is taking this initiative seriously and in line with Congressional intent. But cultural change is difficult. It has to permeate down to the lowest levels of the organization, take root there, and grow back up. The Section 312 Aviation Rulemaking Committee commissioned by Congress has recommended, and the FAA has accepted, a comprehensive change management plan that, if properly implemented, would transition its workforce to focus on a risk-based, systems safety approach for certification and oversight. Of critical importance over the coming year is the development of specific measures of effectiveness, the use of these measures to track progress toward a systems safety approach, and the extent to which FAA modifies its personnel expectations and training to
communicate these changes to the field.
Too many times, as technology changes, we are seeing the FAA's rules and rulemaking procedures unable to keep pace. Let me offer you one example. Several decades ago the FAA specified a requirement for engine manufacturers to put new engine designs through a 150-hour endurance test. These requirements were based on the piston engine technology that was predominant at that time -- in the 1960s. Unfortunately, the test requirements have not been updated to reflect modern technology, where engines are controlled by full authority digital engine control (FADEC) systems, and where huge strides have been made over the decades in engine reliability, safety and emissions. Our manufacturers make artificial, unnecessary changes to the engine's production configuration simply to run this test. And when the test is over, they spend time and resources to put the engine back into its normal state. The FAA has been working to update the fifty year old regulations for some time now, and they hope to have some improvements in place within the next year or two. But it is a
good example of how technology is outpacing FAA's ability to keep up in this field.
If up to 80% of future aircraft purchases are for markets outside the United States, that means our manufacturers will see an increasingly diverse mix of customers, each coming with unique requirements and design preferences. This will lead to workload growth at the FAA. And this growth will be in technological complexity as well as size, for the role of new materials, nanotechnologies, and automation continues to grow. The average age of FAA's safety inspector workforce (flight standards and certification) is 52 and almost 30 percent are currently eligible to retire. Although the agency plans a more aggressive recruitment of younger personnel into safety critical positions, for the past few years they have fallen short of their goal. The agency needs to ensure not only that its retiring workforce is replaced in an effective manner, but that all of its inspectors receive adequate in-service training to remain current on the products and technologies they are regulating. Although we believe the agency has a dedicated workforce today, we do not believe FAA can accommodate the growth and complexity in certification workload without effectively implementing the cultural change called for in the Section 312 ARC. We need this Committee's watchful eye to help to make that happen.
AIA also believes the agency needs to make stronger progress on implementing the findings of the Section 313 ARC, to ensure the consistency of regulatory interpretations and findings among FAA's field offices.
FAA AND INTERNATIONAL CERTIFICATION AUTHORITIES
Another issue that concerns us is the amount of duplicative work that our manufacturers endure when seeking approval of their products by foreign authorities. Today the United States is party to over 30 bilateral agreements that govern the procedures for approval of aviation products between FAA and other authorities including the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). These agreements take years to develop and are intended to leverage the capabilities of the exporting authority (the certifying authority), to eliminate unnecessary and duplicative work by the importing authority (the validating authority). The objective, of course, is to reduce duplication of effort - a critical element for reducing cost. As the ARC stated in its final report, "The efficiency of validation procedures and acceptance of FAA type certificated aerospace products is essential to the competitiveness of U. S. manufacturers".
Unfortunately, our manufacturers are increasingly going through what amounts to multiple certification processes, because overseas validating authorities are reducing their acceptance of FAA's work. As the ARC concluded, "there is an apparent trend of reduced global acceptance of U. S. FAA type certificated products . . . more and more countries are no longer accepting or recognizing U. S. FAA type certificated products as acceptable for import and are requiring a separate certification or validation by their own authorities". The cost of such efforts, including fees and charges for the extra work, can exceed several million dollars, and is a significant and unnecessary burden on U. S. manufacturers. FAA's global leadership and its collaboration with international partners are key elements of changing this unacceptable trend. Industry is eager to work with the FAA to improve the acceptance of FAA approved products globally and provide a seamless transfer across geographical boundaries.
EXPORT CREDIT FAIRNESS
For U. S. manufacturing to thrive, we must have a healthy export policy, because most of the world's consumers are beyond our borders. This is a simple fact that other nations recognize as well. That is why there are more than 60 export credit agencies established by governments around the globe. Our Export-Import ("Ex-Im") Bank is one of them. It is vital for the aerospace industry's global competitiveness, and its authorization to conduct business expires in less than ten weeks. The bank supports a wide variety of U. S. exports, including power turbines, locomotives, agricultural equipment, and satellites. But it should come as no surprise that our nation's largest export sector -- commercial aircraft -- also receives significant support from Ex-Im. Some of the Bank's opponents believe that wide body aircraft should not benefit from Ex-Im support -- even though thousands of U. S. workers owe their jobs to that very support, both directly and indirectly as suppliers. Such exclusions are not made by the three export import banks of Europe that enable the sale of European
wide-body aircraft to the world’s airlines. Nor should our own government unilaterally impose such restrictions on the financing of U.S. manufactured airplanes. Equally important, the employees of our general aviation manufacturers have jobs because of Ex-Im. Statistics from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association indicate that more than 50 percent of the revenue of U. S. general aviation manufacturers in 2013 was derived from exports. A decade earlier, that figure was only 20 percent. Why should we unilaterally disarm and watch those jobs go overseas to workers in other nations?
Earlier this year, I participated at an Ex-Im event at the Gulfstream Aerospace plant in Savannah, Georgia. Ex-Im has now provided over $1 billion in support to our general aviation manufacturers, including Gulfstream. And when you look those workers squarely in the eye, you know this is important, not only for their families, but for our nation. If Congress fails to reauthorize the continued operations of the Export-Import Bank before
September 30, 2014, there will be fewer workers like those at the Gulfstream plant, and more at the plants of our foreign competitors. It is as simple as that.
THE ROLE OF NEXTGEN AND DOMESTIC AIRSPACE
Our industry also benefits from increased domestic air travel in the United States, the world's largest market. And that market continues to grow. Last year, there were 826 million passengers in U. S. airspace. This is the second highest level in history, and the highest since the economic recession of 2007. The average load factor on our nation's airlines last year was more than 83 percent, the highest on record.
However, air travel within the United States is concentrated among a relatively small number of airports and within a small number of peak periods, presenting serious capacity challenges for our nation's air traffic control system. According to the FAA, about 70 percent of all commercial passengers are concentrated at the nation's top 30 airports. Furthermore, FAA projects that the number of U. S. airline passengers will increase over the next few years from 826 million today to over 1.3 billion. This will require, among other things, more civil aircraft.
U. S. manufacturers look forward to providing these additional aircraft and the engines, avionics and components that go into them. But if FAA's air traffic control infrastructure is not improved, those passengers will not materialize, and our economy will be held back. That is the purpose of NextGen, to provide the capacity needed to handle this future growth while maintaining or improving upon today’s level of safety.
AIA appreciates the near-term financial relief for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 that Congress provided in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. However, when sequestration returns in fiscal year 2016, we urge Congress to make sure the NextGen program is adequately funded. Deputy FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker testified recently before the Senate that NextGen needs approximately $1 billion a year. Current funding is closer to $850 million, and there are concerns it could be cut even further. In fact, the FAA's NextGen budget request for the coming year is $200 million below the request of only two years ago. If the FAA is constantly hamstrung by budget cuts, the system capacity improvements from NextGen will suffer the most. Future travelers paying user fees into the Airport and Airway Trust Fund have a right to expect a modern, satellite-based system that gets them to their destination safely and usually on time. If the projected level of air travel is to materialize, we will need continued investment in a twenty-first century air traffic control infrastructure.
UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS
Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) represent the newest frontier in the world of aviation, and they promise to both disrupt and transform many of our current ways of doing business. They will create new avenues for our economy by performing jobs that are too "dull, dirty or dangerous" to be performed today. They will change for the better the way we respond to natural disasters, search for missing persons, and fight wildfires. And we appreciate the leadership of Congress in getting us to where we are today in the process of integrating unmanned aircraft into our airspace.
FAA has taken the initial steps on UAS integration, but much more needs to be done. For example, the agency needs to ensure that the development of equipment and operator standards remains on schedule and that the proposed rule for small UAS does not fall farther behind. They need to ensure that ATC automation platforms are modified with appropriate software so the system is ready when the regulations are finalized. And they need to ensure the program has adequate budgetary resources to meet Congressional intent. We see a lot of dots, but more needs to be done to connect them into a coherent picture.
GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE TAX POLICY
The Research and Experimentation Tax Credit (commonly called “R&D Tax Credit”) is an important incentive for national business investment in R&D. This is important for many sectors of our economy, but it is especially important for high-tech companies in the aerospace sector. The innovations I previously described, including activities that improve aviation safety, are strongly fostered and supported by our R&D Tax Credit. Unfortunately, the credit was allowed to expire at the end of last year, a political football caught up in the broader discussion of comprehensive tax reform.
U. S. commercial aerospace manufacturers are at a substantial disadvantage vis-à-vis foreign competitors whose home countries almost universally have more favorable and more predictable R&D tax credits. A permanent R&D credit was proposed by the Administration and has already passed the House. We hope you will urge your Senate colleagues to act favorably on these proposals either separately or as part of comprehensive tax reform legislation. At a minimum, legislation is urgently needed to restart the R&D tax credit and apply its provisions retroactively to the beginning of calendar year 2014.
MAINTAINING A SKILLED AEROSPACE WORKFORCE
With a global market that is growing rapidly, and with the pace of technological innovation increasing, we must maintain an adequate supply of aerospace workers with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines and job-specific manufacturing skills.
Unfortunately, today the United States is simply not producing enough workers with the right technical skills. The U. S. graduates around 300,000 students a year with bachelors or associate degrees in STEM fields. The February 2012 report of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) said this figure falls short of our economic need by one-third. Today, less than 40% of students who start college intending to earn a STEM degree actually complete the degree requirements. And we should not keep our sole focus on four year degrees, for community colleges and career technical education play equally important roles. In fact, one-third of our current STEM employees began their education in community colleges.
Our STEM workforce challenge is exacerbated by the fact that the aerospace industry is, in a word, graying. In 2007, we found that almost 60 percent of the U.S. aerospace workforce was age 45 or older. Today, 9.6 percent of our industry is eligible to retire, and projections are that by 2017 -- just three years from now -- 18.5% of the entire industry will be eligible to retire. At our largest corporations (those employing 100,000 or more), the percentage of the retirement eligible workforce is already 18.6 percent. We are experiencing a shortage of STEM workers today, but the problem will be even greater when the bow wave of actual retirement hits us in the next couple of years. How will we keep these jobs in the U. S. if we cannot find and train enough workers? That is a real concern of many in our industry looking to the future.
I would also like to take a moment to comment on the continuing importance of international Open Skies agreements. For more than 20 years, Open Skies agreements have transformed today’s commercial aviation sector. The broad base of support in the U.S.—in Government and among its many stakeholders—has made it possible for the United States to negotiate agreements with over 110 countries. Today, more than 240 different airlines operate around the globe, carrying more than 3.1 billion passengers last year. Open Skies have created healthy competition in the marketplace, bringing new entrants to the fold, lower fares for consumers, and economic prosperity to airports and their communities around the country. Moreover, these new markets have created a need for new aircraft technologies like Boeing’s 787 and 777X which enable
passengers to travel longer distances in greater comfort. Open Skies agreements have created opportunities for the development and deployment of new technologies and new markets for U.S.-manufactured airplanes and services.
In conclusion, we believe that U. S. aviation manufacturers are in a strong competitive position today, but there are risks to our maintaining this position over the next decade. It is important for the Federal Government to provide the underlying policies that allow us to compete internationally and to grow our domestic air travel here at home. This includes export financing, workforce, and tax policies that are competitive with the policies of other nations, and that allow us to maintain jobs here in the United States. It includes a new infrastructure in air traffic control technology that grows and ensures the safety of our domestic airspace. It includes partnerships in technology programs like CLEEN, and in promoting the next frontier of aviation -- unmanned aircraft.
Thank you for the opportunity to appear today, and I look forward to your questions.
Creekview High School students took home silver in the seventh annual International Rocketry Challenge at the Farnborough International Air Show (Photo Credit: Raytheon).
AIA's President and CEO, Marion C. Blakey, in a recent letter to both chambers of Congress, made a strong case for the reautorization of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S.
We know that not reautorizing hte bank would be equivilent economic unilateral disarmament agains nearly 60 other foreign credit agencies. We hope you will join with us to support the Ex-Im Bank to sustain the American economy and U.S. jobs.
Sign the Petition
Raytheon-sponsored team from Canton, Ga., wins second place in student rocketry challenge at the Farnborough International Air Show
LONDON – Five students from Creekview High School of Canton, Ga.,took home silver medals in the seventh annual International Rocketry Challenge at the Farnborough International Air Show.The U.S. team, sponsored by Raytheon (NYSE: RTN), won second place, while the French team captured first and the U.K. team took third.
Competing teams designed, built and launched rockets with a goal of reaching an altitude of exactly 825 feet during a 48- to 50-second flight window. The payload, two raw hen eggs, had to return to the ground undamaged using two identical parachutes. Scores are determined by how close teams come to the required height and time; cracked eggs disqualify the flight.
The U.S. team in red flanked by the teams from France, Japan and Great Britain.
The five-member team representing the United States consists of Amanda Semler, 18; Andrew White, 16; Nick Dimos, 16; Austin Bralick, 16; and Bailey Robertson, 15. The team posted the top flight score of 9.88 and was just nine feet shy of the target altitude. The team from France posted the next highest flight score of 448.32 followed by the UK team with a flight score of 715.2.
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 score.
“I had a great time being out here with all of the other people from different countries and meeting other people with similar interests,” said Team Captain Amanda Semler.“I hope it will inspire other women to get into the industry and reach their dreams.”
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 of America (AIA); 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 FrancaisesAeronautiques et Spatiales, 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.
“The knowledge, discipline and commitment displayed by students to make it to this level of competition is extraordinary,” said Thomas A. Kennedy, CEO of Raytheon. “By celebrating student achievement on a global stage, Raytheon hopes to inspire more students to challenge themselves to share their knowledge and natural curiosity as they collaborate to uncover winning solutions.”
This is the ninth 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).
“The ingenuity and determination displayed today by the U.S. team is a powerful indicator that young Americans remain committed to excellence in STEM-related fields,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “I am confident that students like these will continue to bolster America’s global leadership in aerospace for generations to come.”
Raytheon's MathMovesU® program is an initiative committed to increasing middle and elementary school students' interest in math and science education by engaging them in hands-on, interactive activities. The innovative programs of MathMovesU include the traveling interactive experience MathAlive!®; Raytheon's Sum of all Thrills™ experience at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®, which showcases math in action as students design and experience their own thrill ride using math fundamentals; the In the Numbers game, a partnership with the New England Patriots on display at The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon; the company's ongoing sponsorship of the MATHCOUNTS® National Competition; and the MathMovesU scholarship and grant program. Follow MathMovesU and other Raytheon community outreach programs on Facebook and on Twitter @MathMovesU.
Raytheon Company, with 2013 sales of $24 billion and 63,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 92 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as cyber security and a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @Raytheon.
This Director is responsible for providing liaison to and coordinating the development of consensus positions among AIA and Member company entities addressing space and related issues and also monitoring and addressing issues pertaining to space, spacecraft and related products.
Nature and Scope of Work:
This position reports to the Vice President, Space Systems.
Responsibilities include monitoring issues, regulations and developments as they relate to and impact industry members in the area of space, and in coordinating the activities of the AIA Space Council, its committees, subcommittees, task groups and panels established to address these issues. These bodies may take the initiative to formulate positions to be presented to federal agencies including DoD, NRO, MDA, OSTP, NASA, FAA/AST and NOAA as well as their various bureaus and commissions; or respond to government inquiries dealing with special areas of concern that require industry input.
Serves as the principal liaison to the National Security Space Committee and supports the Civil Space, and Commercial Space committees, and any working groups, panels and task forces under the jurisdiction of these committees. Works closely with committee chairpersons to plan and execute committee business, and researches various media to identify and clarify issues. Drafts AIA's positions on the various issues and topics under consideration by the council and its committees.
Confers with officials within the Administration, Congress, and agencies to gain attention and favorable consideration of AIA's viewpoint on subjects of current interest. Assists in making arrangements for joint government-industry working groups and project teams within assigned area of responsibility in order to facilitate consensus building on major issues affecting the industry. Drafts testimony and attends congressional hearings impacting committee issues. Collaborates closely with the Director of Legislative Affairs to plan and carry out legislative strategy.
Serves as a subject matter expert and responds to inquiries from member companies and government officials seeking information and background data on incumbent's areas of knowledge with a strong focus on customer service. These inquiries can range from general questions to highly specific requests that may take days to assemble the required data and background information. Works with other divisions within AIA such as Communications to periodically provide expertise on space subjects that inform organization-wide products.
Oversees all arrangements for council operations. This includes developing background information and materials, as well as planning and carrying out Council and committee meetings. Runs day to day operations for the department at the tactical level, and supports the Vice President for all strategic level requirements.
Defense acquisition reform won’t happen overnight; it will require several months if not a year or more of down in the weeds work.
That’s the message we sent to Congress, in response to requests from the House and Senate Armed Services committees for ideas on how to improve the process. That analogy – in the weeds — is an apt one, considering the overgrowth of weedy rules and regulations that inhibits the ability of our procurement system to flourish.
But the situation is far from hopeless. AIA offered three principles for acquisition rebalancing: 1) optimize the use of scarce government resources; 2) allow industry the ability to execute more quickly and more efficiently; and 3) provide greater opportunities for industry to deliver the technologies, products and services our nation demands.
So what does that mean? To answer that question, we dug a little deeper, pointing to specific areas of reform. The first involves Department of Defense audits. The existing audit machine has added layers of complexity, adding time to complete audits, delaying contracts, impacting delivery schedules and key milestones as well as contract closeouts. This especially is onerous on smaller firms who need predictable revenue forecasts to support their operations and financial stability. We recommended that DOD make a greater effort to clear the audit backlog, reduce excessive documentation requirements, eliminate redundant audit and surveillance activity and focus auditors’ efforts on programs that are truly at risk.
Our second recommendation addressed the treatment of commercial items. Despite congressional direction and DOD policy expressing openness to using less expensive off-the-shelf commercial items that can leverage private investments in new products, the reality is the actual implementation of this policy is sorely lacking. The increased use by procurement officers of DOD unique or specific requirements stresses the supply chain and dissuades commercial suppliers from participating in the procurement system. Also, uneven interpretations of the definition of commercial items convert an otherwise straightforward commercial purchase as envisioned, into a lengthy DOD unique one. We maintain DOD should not impose rules, regulations and practices making it more difficult for the services to buy commercial items.
Our third recommendation concerns the need for the DOD to take a more active role in protecting company intellectual property rights. Appropriate IP protection will enable increased competition and innovation, provide more opportunity to leverage private investment, and result in a more robust and healthy contractor community and supply change.
Finally, we asserted that federal regulators should make a greater effort to engage experts, stakeholders and interest groups in the formulation of new acquisition rules prior to the rules being written. Explore potential rules with a spirit of collaboration, and government may avoid the messy fights that often occur during a shortened public comment period. An open dialogue with stakeholders will ensure the costs and benefits of potential rules are understood, possible alternative solutions for streamlining a rules implementation are examined, and that industry is able to comply.
That's right, these companies and more will be at the aerospace and defense supply chain event of the year - the Aerospace Industries Association’s summer Supplier Management Council meeting, August 4-6, 2014, at the St. Paul Hotel in St. Paul, Minnesota, hosted by 3M.
As we all know, these are critical times for our industry. Now more than ever, AIA members must work together to preserve and protect the aerospace and defense industry and find opportunities for growth. We look forward to having you with us at the Supplier Management Council as we work together on our most challenging issues.
Click here to register
3M will be scheduling one-on-one business meetings between AIA members and 3M's Business Unit and Sourcing Leaders from across 3M's Aerospace, Defense and Industrial business areas. 3M Representatives will have special expertise in the following:
Please Note: The last day to receive a refund of the registration fee is Monday, July 7th.
We look forward to seeing you in St. Paul!
In response to a request from Congress seeking input on ways to improve the defense acquisition system, AIA is leading the way with a new report that provides guidance on the best ways for the government to rebalance its purchasing power by lowering costs while safeguarding our industrial base.
The Department of Defense (DOD) must change how it acquires weapon systems and services. There is growing recognition from DOD leadership, Congress and the defense industry that it is time to revise the overly complex and burdensome system that drives unnecessary cost into programs and will soon make them unaffordable as defense budgets decline.
Making the acquisition system more economic and more responsive has been an elusive target. The challenges of time-to-delivery and product cost persist despite all attempts to reform the acquisition system over the last 40 plus years.
It’s time to stop tweaking the edges and bring the acquisition system into balance, starting with these core principles:
These principles inform the recommendations presented in this paper, written to address the critical questions asked by the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. How can acquisition be more cost effective? Can delivery be expedited? Can recruitment, retention, and training of acquisition professionals be improved? How can program managers be empowered to make sound decisions, and how can technical expertise be fostered? Oversight and management ideas were also sought, as were recommendations to improve cost and delivery over the life cycle of major weapons systems. This paper is organized to address these questions and requests.
Acquisition Rebalancing: Recommendations for Smart, Efficient & Effective Defense Procurement
Congressman Randy Weber (R-Texas 14th District) at 'Rockets on the Hill' meeting with teams from Clear Falls High School and Jefferson County 4H Club
After six months of rocketry design, simulated flights and test launches, hundreds of middle and high school students from across the country traveled to the nation’s capital in May for the championship round of the Team America Rocketry Challenge.
TARC is the world’s largest student rocket contest and the aerospace and defense industry’s flagship program designed to encourage students to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Organized by the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR), TARC provides middle and high school students the opportunity to design, build and launch model rockets in an annual competition among more than 5,000 students nationwide.
TARC activities began with the competition’s third annual “Rockets on the Hill” congressional reception on Friday, May 10.
Greeting the students were Congressman Mike Honda of California, a member of the House STEM Education Caucus; Dr. John S. Langford, Chairman and CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation; and Leland Melvin, the NASA astronaut who led the space agency’s education mission directorate from 2010 to earlier this year. Following the reception the students visited the offices of their home state Senators and Representatives, bringing with them a strong message that STEM education pays off for America.
On Saturday, May 11, more than one hundred teams gathered at Great Meadow in The Plains, Va. to put their months of hard work to the test at the national finals. Teams had to launch a set of two raw eggs to 825 feet and return them safely to earth undamaged within a flight duration of 48 - 50 seconds using two identical parachutes. After an exciting day of competition, a large crowd gathered inside a tent to hail this year’s champions from Creekview High School in Canton, Georgia. Representing the Creekview Grizzly Bears were captain Amanda Semler, Andrew White, Bailey Robertson, Austin Bralick and Nick Dimos. The champions will share in more than $60,000 in cash and scholarship prizes and will travel to England in July courtesy of Raytheon to represent the U.S. on the world stage and compete against teams from the U.K. and France in the International Rocketry Challenge during the Farnborough Air Show.
The annual TARC activities were made possible by generous support of more than twenty industry partners: Aerojet; ARACON, a Micro-Coax product; Aurora Flight Sciences; Elbit Systems of America; Embraer Aircraft Holding, Inc.; General Electric Company; Harris Corporation; Honeywell Aerospace; Kaman Aerospace Corporation; L-3 Communications Corporation; LMI Aerospace, Inc.; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Parker Aerospace; Raytheon Company; Rockwell Collins; Rolls-Royce North America, Inc.; RTI International Metals, Inc.; Space Exploration Technologies Corporation; The Boeing Company; and Woodward, Inc.
In another TARC related development, we’re very pleased to announce that Miles Lifson, who joined AIA in May, will manage the 2015 competition. Lifson comes to AIA from the Office of Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland. He graduated in May 2013 from Claremont McKenna College with a double major in government and physics. He also interned with the Space Studies Board of the National Academies.
To help counter the media-fed misperception that NASA’s human spaceflight program ended with the retirement of the Space Shuttles, and to help provide a clear understanding of recent program progress, AIA recently published The New American Space Age: A Progress Report on Human Spaceflight.
This publication, released at the AIA Board of Governors meeting in May, provides a highly visual tour of hardware progress and program achievements made in the suborbital commercial market, the International
Space Station Program, Commercial Crew Program, and the Deep Space Exploration Program. The report highlights numerous achievements, including the following:
By informing Washington stakeholders of the impressive progress being made by NASA and the space industry on human spaceflight across 48 states, AIA believes the case for continued policy support and stable budgets for spaceflight programs is strengthened as Congress considers future funding for NASA programs.
AIA hosted in March a panel discussion and open forum with industry and government representatives on AIA’s new space report, Easing the Burden—Reducing the Cost of National Security Space Capabilities. AIA Vice President of Space Systems, Frank Slazer, moderated a lively discussion featuring the following panelists:
The speakers addressed the development of government and industry partnerships in a changing cost environment, with emphasis on new technologies that are making satellite development more cost effective. Trauberman described the upcoming Boeing 702 Satellite Product Line, an all-electric satellite to launch in 2015. The Boeing 702 uses electric thrusters, eliminating the need for chemical propulsion. Similarly, Barnhart described DARPA’s robotics experiments to develop the technology needed to reconstruct old satellites while in orbit. This program, called “Phoenix,” will conceivably lead planners to rethink the morphology and evolution of satellites.
The panelists agreed that the whole cost reduction process is not a “one size fits all” model for satellite development and evolution. When asked what will make the policies and requirements move faster, discussants focused on the need for stable funding to enable both the government and private sector to continue their cost-reduction partnerships. The panel members expressed confidence that new cost-reduction approaches can help create more affordable satellite systems without compromising quality, security, and technology advancement.
Still less than a year old, AIA's Workforce Policy Council has proved to be an aggressive advocate for educating other association members on workforce and STEM-related issues.
In effort to highlight the importance of growing AIA's workforce efforts, one of the sessions at the Spring Supplier Management Council meeting held in Dallas this March focused on STEM education and workforce development. The panel discussion addressed a broad range of topics including: extracurricular programs for K-12 students; skills development through Career Technical Education and other specialized training programs; two- and four-year undergraduate degree programs; and targeted outreach to females, underrepresented ethnic minorities, veterans and the disabled. Moderated by Gina Burns, chair of the AIA Workforce Policy Council and Vice President, Talent & Human Resources Operations at Lockheed Martin, the panel provided a range of perspectives and encompassed a broad spectrum of STEM education and workforce development programs in which AIA member companies are involved.
The panel is just one of a number of activities that AIA’s Workforce Policy Council has sponsored to help smaller aerospace and defense companies leverage efforts underway in their communities to address their workforce challenges. All AIA member companies are eligible to participate in any of the five workforce-related working groups organized under the Workforce Policy Council.
Dr. Brian Fitzgerald, CEO of the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF), emphasized public-private partnerships established with universities by Raytheon and Northrop Grumman to grow particular talent - such as cybersecurity specialists - through regional workforce projects coordinated by BHEF. Dr. Ralph Coppola, President of RKC International, spoke about the Real World Design Challenge, an extracurricular STEM competition to engage high school students in engineering design that he founded as an employee of AIA member company PTC. Brent Weil, Senior Vice President for Education and Workforce at the Manufacturing Institute, provided insight on how manufacturers like Boeing are addressing current technically-skilled worker shortfalls by developing customized training programs implemented by community colleges in areas of high demand. Joan Robinson-Berry, Boeing’s Vice President, Supplier Management for Shared Services Group, described that company's approach and efforts they have underway to attract and develop a diverse and inclusive talent pool. And Scott Thams, CEO, Integrity Aerospace Group, Inc., and a member of AIA’s Executive Committee, spoke to the role that smaller aerospace firms like his can have in developing productive apprentice programs.
This February, AIA and its member companies participated in the 2014 Singapore Air Show. This year's event -the largest air show in Asia- was held at the Changhi Exhibition Centre. The United States' aircraft corral supported by AIA displayed a P-8 Poseidon, an MV-22B Osprey, a C-17 Globemaster, a KC-130J Hercules, and a KC-135R Stratotanker. The C-17, MV-22B, and an F-16C participated in the flying displays.
At the show, AIA provided members the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion on export control reform, which featured: Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Defense Trade Controls Kenneth Handelman; Director of the Defense Technology Security Administration Beth McCormick; and Director of the Munitions Control Division in the Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security, Michael Vaccaro.
AIA also hosted a luncheon address by Under Secretary of Defense for AT&L Frank Kendall. Joining Under Secretary Kendall and a number of AIA member company senior executives at the luncheon were Alan Shaffer, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Elana Broitman, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy and Keith Webster, Director of International Cooperation at AT&L.
Kendall spoke about the need for increased and better-coordinated U.S. government participation at international trade shows, as they provide a forum to engage his direct foreign counterparts and promote U.S. aerospace and defense trade. He outlined the U.S.’ strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region, the role international trade plays in maintaining the health of the domestic defense industrial base, and the importance of a "whole of government" approach to security cooperation engagement and advocacy with our closest allies.
Noting AT&L’s top priorities for 2014, Kendall emphasized the importance of supporting the U.S. war fighter in completing current missions. He also discussed the “Protect the Future” strategy that is designed to emphasize support for small businesses, continue development of a highly-skilled workforce, and increase research and development investments.
At the Farnborough International Air Show (July 14-20), AIA anticipates a similarly robust U.S. government presence. At Farnborough, AIA will support U.S. personnel and equipment participating in the show while also managing the U.S. DOD Corral. Several AIA-hosted events at the upcoming air show will foster a dialogue between the U.S. government and AIA members, as well as promote U.S. aerospace and defense trade and security cooperation with foreign customers. These activities represent the first steps AIA’s proposal for an Aerospace & Defense Trade Initiative, a concept which has been briefed to and is receiving growing interest and support from senior U.S. government officials at the Commerce Department, State Department, DoD, the FAA, and the NSC.
AIA’s Spring Board of Governors and Membership Meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia attracted executives from 88 of the association’s full member companies. The extensive program featured an excellent lineup of senior administration and industry officials and seasoned commentators and experts, including: Anthony Foxx, Secretary of Transportation; Robert O. Work, Deputy Secretary of Defense; Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L); author and political pundit Charlie Cook; Tony Tyler, Director General and CEO, International Air Transport Association; Fred Hochberg, Chairman, Export-Import Bank of the United States; and author, professor Jonah Berger.
This is first time that we’ve featured both the Deputy and Under Secretary of Defense on the podium before the full Board of Governors. They focused on existing threats, resources to address such threats, the acquisition system, and working more closely with the private sector to meet the war fighters' needs in these budget-constrained times. Members of the Executive Committee also met with both officials during breakfast prior to the sessions.
The Board meeting included two panel discussions – both centered on budgets, funding and finance, topics of great importance to our member companies during this time of legislative budgetary uncertainty. The first panel on the future of discretionary spending for the aerospace and defense industry was moderated by Steve Bell, Senior Director, Economic Policy, Bipartisan Policy Center (former senior staff official, U.S. Senate). The panelists included G. William Hoagland (Senior Vice President, Bipartisan Policy Center, former senior staff official, U.S. Senate), Douglas Holtz-Eakin (Former Director, Congressional Budget Office, and President, American Action Forum), Charlie Houy, (Former Senate Appropriations Committee Staff Director); and Kathleen Peroff (Former Deputy Associate Director for National Security, Office of Management and Budget, and Head of Peroff & Associates, LLC). The panelists provided an in depth discussion of the challenges facing the federal budget. In particular, they focused on trends in the defense budget that are squeezing out investment in the modernization and operating accounts, such as a reluctance on the part of Congress to accept proposals to bring down the benefit and excess facility costs. They discussed the challenges inherent in reversing the Budget Control Act caps again in 2016 and suggested that Congress and the White House must address the real cause of the budget deficit and not continue to turn to discretionary federal budgets to find minimal savings.
The second panel was titled The Financial Frontier – New Space Business Opportunities in the 21st Century. Hosted by Carissa Christensen, Managing Partner of the Tauri Group, the panel included Tim Hughes (Space X), Lesa Roe, (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), and Jim Simpson (the Boeing Company). Their discussion brought out the new opportunities that are emerging - from traditional markets such as communications satellites and NASA-run programs, to new markets such as suborbital passenger and research missions and commercial crew transportation. Their conclusion - the space market is growing and changing in exciting ways and US industry is leading the way.
Breaking mid-day for lunch, the Civil Aviation Leadership Council heard from former Secretary of Transportation James Burnley and former FAA Chief Operating Officer David Grizzle regarding the current state, reform and restructuring of the U.S. air traffic control system, and NextGen implementation. This was a timely discussion given FAA’s reauthorization is up once again in 2015.
Concurrently, the Space Council held a special lunch with Lesa Roe, Deputy Associate Administrator for NASA. She discussed the Technical Capabilities Assessment Team, or TCAT - an initiative launched in 2012 and designed to ensure the agency has the right mix of skills, facilities and equipment to execute its missions in coming years - keeping America the world leader in space.
Rounding out the speakers’ program was Wharton marketing professor Berger with a presentation on how ideas, slogans and product allegiance catch on. A number of member company representatives commented that Berger was one of the best featured speakers we’ve had during our two-day Board of Governors program. It also gave a boost to the importance of social media in driving brand following, especially our Second to None Coalition.
After a long day of business sessions, attendees were surprised with a last-minute schedule change that proved to be quite the presentation. While the special dinner speaker General Stanley McChrystal was delayed by weather and only able to attend the after-dinner reception, Rear Admiral and Seal commander Scott Moore stepped in and shared some of his experiences on high-profile missions. Among the stories he told to the captive audience were the rescue of Danish Aid workers Jessica Buchanon and Poul Hagen Thisted from Somalia hostage takers, Captain Richard Phillips’ on-the-water rescue from Somalia pirates, and the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound.
Other highlights from the Board meeting included the premier showing of a four-minute video on the 2014 Team America Rocketry Challenge competition and the unveiling of the AIA Second To None Coalition website.
We look forward to seeing AIA members for the fall Board of Governors meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona November 19-20, 2014 – details to follow.
We recognize that many subjects related to our industry can be very complex. Accordingly, for reporters covering aerospace and defense, it often pays to take the time to provide them with detailed and useful information about their focus of interest. At AIA, we are committed to working closely with journalists to give them the background they need to get their stories right. Our communications department fields dozens of calls every day from reporters and either responds directly to information requests, sets up interviews with myself and/or our policy experts, or if appropriate, have them reach out to member companies.
Our open and helpful approach to dealing with journalists has yielded many articles we view positively including pieces in major publications about aviation safety, the implications of the budget cuts for national security, progress in space activities, and our advocacy for the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
Unfortunately, there are times when a reporter with a predisposition toward a certain and often sensationalist conclusion writes a piece without coming to us for comment or assistance in getting the facts straight. This happened twice recently, when USA Today ran a lengthy and often misleading cover story about general aviation and helicopter safety, and when the Washington Post ran a three part series implying that the domestic use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems would be unsafe based on unrelated and nonfatal incidents involving military unmanned aircraft systems often operating in the theater of war.
In cases like these, we quickly suit up and sprint out with our version of the truth, heeding the dictum of Mark Twain, who wrote, “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Accordingly, after the publication of both offending articles, AIA quickly put out strong statements to set the record straight. You can find our responses in the news and media section of the AIA web site.
In response to the USA Today piece, “Unfit for Flight,” we pointed out that the story’s author had cherry-picked from the earliest period of aviation safety records for the last five decades to paint a sensationalist picture of general aviation safety, when in fact general aviation and helicopter operations have been documented to be much safer during the past 15 years, and manufacturers are working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board to make more safety improvements as new technologies come on line.
With respect to the Washington Post series, we noted that the safety record for military uses of Unmanned Aircraft Systems has markedly improved as these craft have moved from the development to operational stage. We also stated that it’s wrong to conflate the performance of far heavier systems, largely operated in combat zones and in more extreme weather and terrain conditions, with the kinds of limited UAS operations FAA is currently contemplating in the domestic air space.
On this and all subjects related to our industry, we will continue to work hard to make sure that reporters and their editors get the facts and context needed to make informed judgments about vital aerospace and defense matters.
Where will BAE Systems, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon and other industry leaders be this August 4-6? At AIA's summer Supplier Management Council meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota.
For more information, please contact Ny Younge at email@example.com.
To: Oct. 22
To: Oct. 8
Please contact Audrey Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Unted States House and Senate Aerospace Caucuses are made up of members of Congress who have a strong interest in public policy issues that affect the aerospace and defense community. These bipartisan organizations serve as forums for industry briefings to members of Congress and their staffs on the major issues that impact growth, innovation and security in the nation’s civil aviation, defense and national security and space secors of the economy.
Statement by AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey on Washington Post article on unmanned aircraft systems’ safety record
Arlington, Va. — Today’s Washington Post story, “When Drones Fall from the Sky” ignores critical factors regarding safety of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in a misguided article that could frighten readers about the impending integration of UAS into the national airspace system. From the opening sentence, the author refers to “a record of calamity that exposes the potential dangers of throwing open American skies to drone traffic,” when in fact, the safety records of military aircraft – which the author admits are improving and haven’t cost a single life – have little to do with future safe commercial operations of unmanned systems in domestic airspace on which the FAA is working diligently.
The FAA UAS integration roadmap and launch of the six designated UAS test sites highlight a systematic approach to safely integrate UAS. We cannot overstate the importance that FAA places on safety, its primary mission. Later this year FAA will issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on small UAS, beginning the process for seeking public comment and ultimately issuing regulations governing the use of UAS under 55 pounds. Those systems – which are the first FAA plans to certify for domestic use – will operate within strict guidelines and only when they meet the new standards.
It’s wrong to conflate the performance of far heavier systems, largely operated in combat zones and in more extreme weather and terrain conditions, with the kinds of limited operations FAA currently is contemplating in the United States. Military aircraft loss rates are higher when in the development and test phase; as they mature and enter full production and normal operations, loss rates decline. Moreover, the loss rates that major military UAS systems are experiencing compare very favorably to the loss rates of manned systems at the same point in their development cycle. Nothing leads us to believe unmanned aircraft will not be as safe or safer than manned aircraft over the long term.
Unmanned systems are an important new technology, and can perform vital safety operations as well as opening new markets for commercial enterprises. From precision agriculture and advanced tornado research to shooting movies and photojournalism, UAS have a wide variety of future applications. Scaring the public with unfounded comparisons will not contribute usefully to progress on integrating UAS safely into the national airspace system.
Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey on approval of new cleaner, alternative jet fuel
Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association and its member companies welcome the continued progress towards the commercialization of sustainable alternative jet fuels, with the approval for use of a third alternative fuel specification. As new pathways are identified and certified for aircraft use, U.S. and world operators step closer to the use of cleaner alternative fuels to meet projected passenger growth.
ASTM International, a standards-development organization, has approved a new bio-derived fuel annex that ensures the properties of a new fuel, produced from hydroprocessed fermented sugars, when blended with conventional jet fuel. When used, the blended fuel does not require changes to the aircraft or aircraft systems.
The previously approved alternative fuels are produced from plant oils and animal processing waste and conversion of biomass and fossil fuel feedstocks. Combined government and industry research and development efforts are resulting in alternative fuels that are likely to produce 80 percent lower lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.
Developing sustainable alternative fuels is an integral part of the industry goal to achieve carbon neutral growth from the year 2020. It also contributes to the U.S. government goal of producing one billion gallons of alternative jet fuel by 2018. AIA supports the continued efforts to develop new fuel pathways that encourage increased commercial production of alternate fuels.
New DoD requirements for identification of parts and consignments demand that information is gathered and aggregated up the supply chain. These guidelines offer a range of alternative file formats and transfer mechanisms that will facilitate companies of all sizes delivering the necessary information electronically in conjunction with their products, expediting compliance and payment.
For more information, please contact Susan Lavrakas at email@example.com.
Please contact Shannon Mulhern at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Statement by AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey on misleading article on general aviation’s safety record
Arlington, Va. — Today’s USA Today story, “Unfit for Flight” ignores overwhelming evidence of improving general aviation safety in a misguided effort to paint aerospace manufacturers in a bad light. Going back through five decades of accident data significantly distorts the marked decline in both fatal and non-fatal accidents that occurred from 1999 to 2011, with fatal accidents falling 24 percent and non-fatal accidents falling 29 percent over that time period according to GAO’s October 2012 report on general aviation safety. In fact, according to the GAO, the majority of general aviation accidents result in no injuries at all – a far cry from USA Today's screaming headlines.
Looking for corporate villains, the story irresponsibly implies that the aircraft manufacturing industry is an overwhelming contributor to general aviation accidents. This ignores the facts and cherry-picks anecdotal data to present a grossly misleading picture. The aviation industry is engaged in ongoing efforts in close cooperation with NTSB and FAA to improve safety both in terms of equipment and pilot training. For instance, FAA’s Alaskan Capstone project deploys ADS-B technologies in places where radar cannot work to provide better guidance and reduce the accident rate. Many Alaskan communities are dependent on general aviation services to connect them with the world; the effort to increase safety in that area stands as just one example of industry partnering with government to improve the lives of everyday citizens.
As a former Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, I also know from personal experience that the picture of these dedicated agencies painted by USA Today is inaccurate and unfair. General aviation performs a vital role in our economy, linking American communities, helping save countless lives in emergency situations and providing early training for the pilots who fly our commercial and military aircraft. Fair reporting would show nationwide trends, include recent data and recognize laudable manufacturing industry efforts to improve safety in close coordination with our government. The public, and the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on our aircraft, deserve better.
A version of this article appears in the June 9 edition of Aviation Week & Space Technology and in Aviation Week online on June 17.
In the decade since Ronald Reagan’s death, appraisals of the U.S.’s 40th president have focused on his policies’ bold colorings. To help end the Cold War, he first demonstrated to Soviet leaders the folly of trying to keep up with a technologically advanced American military. Reagan’s economic policies also unapologetically advanced the interests of American workers and businesses when he saw foreign competitors had the advantage of an unlevel playing field.
As someone who proudly served President Reagan, I believe it is important to address his legacy now, precisely because some members of his party in Congress are turning their back on it. They have accepted excessive national security cuts in an increasingly dangerous world due to their stubborn adherence to fiscal austerity. And they refuse to support government institutions such as the Export Import Bank (Ex-Im) of the United States, which allows American companies to compete for business abroad and create jobs here at home.
Ex-Im goes toe-to-toe against other nations’ export credit agencies to enable American companies to compete internationally based on price, product and quality instead of favorable financing. Ex-Im supports U.S. exports when private finance is unable or unwilling to step in. During his presidency, Reagan strongly backed Ex-Im, albeit with necessary reforms. He requested an increase in Ex-Im’s lending limit on loan guarantees by more than 12% or $1.1 billion. One of his budget requests stated that supporting export financing on a “substantial scale” is “consistent with the [Ex-Im] Bank’s legitimate role in overcoming limitations in private credit markets.” That does not sound like someone who opposed the Bank.
Also consistent with Reagan’s views is Ex-Im’s critical role today in assisting Main Street U.S. businesses. In 2013, the bank aided more than 3,400 companies—nearly 90% of them small businesses—and supported more than 205,000 U.S. jobs in all 50 states. The indirect impact of the bank is also substantial when considering the small- and medium-sized supply chain companies that benefit when a product is exported. The bank evaluates all transactions it receives for potential adverse economic impact. And last year, Ex-Im earned more than $1 billion for the U.S. Treasury. In addition, a newly released Congressional Budget Office report estimates that Ex-Im would earn $14 billion over 10 years using the accounting methods currently required by law. That, along with a 0.0237% default rate, is an enviable record of achievement.
The U.S. aerospace industry, which must expand exports in order to mitigate somewhat the negative effects of excessive budget cuts, relies greatly on Ex-Im. The Bank ensures that the suppliers for manufacturers of aircraft, helicopters, commercial satellites, spacecraft and launch vehicles are able to participate in an ever-expanding global marketplace. And if you add to original equipment sales the significant orders for aftermarket parts and components generated by U.S. aerospace exports, it is clear that Ex-Im contributes significantly to the strength of our nation’s industrial manufacturing base and to our industry’s track record of generating the largest trade surplus of any manufacturing sector.
Despite Ex-Im’s positive role, the bank’s small, but vocal group of opponents in Congress seeks to block its required reauthorization this fall. They assert Ex-Im financing represents the government picking winners and losers. This is not the case: Any U.S. company that wants to compete globally can come to the bank to help turn good export opportunities into sales. If Ex-Im’s opponents are successful, their blocking move would amount to economic unilateral disarmament against 60 other nations whose export credit agencies aggressively support their businesses, often with massive subsidies. Certainly our foreign competitors would love to see it eliminated and the playing field tilted in their favor, but the job of our government is to advance American competitiveness. Who would have thought that some elected officials and “think” tanks would take foreign competitors’ side of the argument?
I urge readers to reach out to their members of Congress to call for action to reauthorize Ex-Im prior to Oct. 1. As President Reagan said in his 1983 State of the Union Address, “We must have adequate export financing to sell American products overseas.”
Miles Lifson is the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) manager of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). He is responsible for the planning and execution of all aspects of TARC - the aerospace industry’s signature science, technology, engineering and mathematics program. TARC is the world’s largest model rocket competition for middle and high school students. Lifson coordinates sponsorships and partnerships; and works with hundreds of schools across the country. He regularly interfaces with the National Association of Rocketry, NASA and DOD. Additionally, Lifson collaborates with partner countries to sustain and expand the International Rocketry Challenge.
Lifson also supports AIA's Workforce Policy Council and Industrial Base initiatives.
Prior to joining AIA, Lifson interned with Congresswoman Donna Edwards and the Space Studies Board of the National Academies.
Lifson holds bachelor’s degrees in physics and government from Claremont McKenna College.
This letter from the House and Senate Armed Services oversight committees informed AIA that the Congress is looking into ways to improve the defense acquisition system. Specifically:
Dan Faoro is Vice President of Membership and Business Development for the Aerospace Industries Association. He is responsible for recruitment and retention activities of AIA’s membership, new business development and executing and improving member services to include corporate events.
Dan brings extensive association experience in membership outreach, marketing and revenue generation. Prior to joining AIA in 2014, he served as the Vice President and Assistant to the President for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) where he was responsible for major outreach programs to critical segments of AOPA’s broad membership and a variety of business development initiatives. Prior to AOPA, Dan spent six years as Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores where he worked extensively on activities to sustain and generate revenue. He also served as the Director of Communications for the Office of Management and Administration at the White House during President George W. Bush’s first term and he spent five years as Director of Marketing for a DC based publishing company.
Dan has a private pilot certificate and holds a B.A. in Economics from George Mason University.
Arlington, Va. — Daniel D. Faoro has joined the Aerospace Industries Association as Vice President for Membership Services and Business Development, bringing extensive association experience in membership outreach, marketing and revenue generation.
“Dan is an outstanding addition to the AIA team and we’re delighted to bring him on board,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “We are a multi-faceted industry with many opportunities and challenges – his experience in aviation and large association management will help us maintain outstanding service to our members.”
Most recently, Faoro served as the Vice President and Assistant to the President for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association where he was responsible for major outreach to AOPA’s broad membership and a variety of business development initiatives. Prior to AOPA, he spent six years as Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores where he worked extensively on activities to sustain and generate revenue.
Faoro also served as the Director of Communications in the Office of Management and Administration at the White House during President George W. Bush’s first term. He has a private pilot certificate and holds a B.A. in economics from George Mason University.
Across the government and private sectors, more vehicles are now being built for human spaceflight than at any other point in history. Today’s NASA human spaceflight program is an ecosystem of diverse activity – developing both exploration systems and commercial transportation services. These elements are strategically linked to one another and vital to the success of the overall human spaceflight program.
In the field of suborbital spaceflight, private companies are developing spacecraft to take hundreds of paying customers briefly into space. If current trends continue, the suborbital market is predicted to have baseline revenue of $600 million over the first 10 years of operations. Already, one suborbital space transportation company, Virgin Galactic, is nearing 800 deposits for paying customers.
In low Earth orbit, three companies have won the most recent round of NASA funding, known as Commercial Crew Integrated Capabilities to develop new space transportation systems to the International Space Station (ISS) and open potential new markets for space transportation: Boeing, Sierra Nevada and SpaceX. All three have made steady progress to build U.S. domestic access to
the ISS and end our dependency on the Russians.
For deep space exploration, the space industry is building vehicles to extend our reach further into the solar system than we have ever gone before. To expand human access to the solar system, two foundational vehicles are being built – a new heavy lift rocket called the Space Launch System and the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle called Orion. Orion will serve as the primary spacecraft to send NASA astronauts to destinations beyond low Earth orbit. Just as the Space Shuttle was a vehicle with many uses – from scientific experimentation, satellite servicing and space station construction – NASA’s next generation exploration vehicles will be equipped to take on multiple mission types for deep space exploration.
The human spaceflight programs established in the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 and agreed upon by the White House and Congress have made incredible progress. By continuing steady and consistent support for these programs, exploration programs and commercial space transportation services will extend our reach farther than we’ve ever gone before – all for the benefit of life on Earth.
Students showcase rockets for President Obama at fourth White House Science Fair
Washington, D.C. – Team Rocket Power, an all-girl team from Maryland that competed in the 2014 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), exhibited their rockets for President Obama at the White House Science Fair this morning. The three-girl team was invited to join the White House's celebration of a range of national programs that encourage students to engage and excel in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
This year's Fair hosts students from a number of competitions across the country and there is a specific focus on girls and women who are excelling in STEM-related fields and inspiring younger students with their work. Tenth graders Jasmyn Logan and Nia'mani Robinson and high school senior Rebecca Chapin-Ridgley are doing just that.
“These girls have truly answered the President's call for closing the gap for women and other underrepresented groups to excel in STEM-related fields,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “This is the fourth year one of our teams has been invited to participate in the White House Science Fair and the second all-girl team to exhibit. I think this speaks volumes of the positive influence STEM programs like TARC have on our future workforce.”
Representing Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties in Maryland, Team Rocket Power was one of 18 all-girl TARC teams in this year's competition. The 2014 TARC competition challenged students to design and build a rocket that could fly to 825 feet and back within 48 to 50 seconds while carrying precious cargo — two raw eggs that must return to the ground undamaged with the assistance of two parachutes.
TARC has proven to be an invaluable source of inspiration over its 12-year history, attracting young talent to STEM-focused areas of study and, ultimately, careers. A 2010 survey of TARC alumni found that 80 percent of respondents went on to major in related technical fields. Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) and more than 20 industry partners, TARC provides middle and high school students the opportunity to design, build and launch model rockets in an annual competition among more than 5,000 students nationwide.
We’re often asked why the aerospace and defense industry and groups advocating for government’s core domestic functions are jointly fighting the severe cuts to defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs imposed by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011.
From Fiscal Years 2016 to 2019 the cuts will cap the defense budget at a level $115 billion below what the Defense Department says is minimally required to meet our national security needs, and place similar shackles on the ability of domestic federal agencies to invest in the health and well being of our people. Yet, many assume we are polar opposites battling each other for slices of the shrinking budget pie.
The truth is our groups have much in common, and we don’t believe the status quo is tenable. NDD United recognizes without the contributions of aerospace and defense companies, such vital domestic government activities as weather forecasting, air traffic management, and medical research on the International Space Station wouldn’t be possible. Further, the aerospace and defense industry knows the education, health, job training, and research programs that NDD-United champions in addition to benefitting society, bolster our industrial base.
To keep America strong and avoid doing long-term damage to the economy, we both understand there’s a point at which mindless budget cutting harms the nation’s security in an increasingly volatile world, and undermines the potential of the economy to grow and improve everyone’s life. And we also believe it is bad policy, as the BCA requires, for the Defense Department and the domestic agencies, which represent only 40 percent of the federal budget, to be forced to shoulder nearly 100 percent of the budget cuts.
The potential impacts of the cuts were illustrated in stark relief recently when the Pentagon issued its report, “Estimated Impacts of Sequestration-Level Funding,” fulfilling Defense Secretary Hagel’s commitment to lay out in specific detail the effects on national defense of the budget caps. Under the budget law, “Our forces will assume substantial additional risks in certain missions and will continue to face significant readinesss and modernization challenges,” warns the report. “These impacts would leave our military unbalanced and eventually too small to meet the needs of our strategy fully.” The specifics are sobering: The Army and Marine Corps will be forced to shrink to pre-World War II levels, training will be sacrificed yet again, and the part of the budget that provide our war fighters with the equipment that they need to survive in modern day and future warfare will be slashed by more than $66 billion.
The public also deserves to know the implications of the BCA caps on the domestic side of the ledger, including activities such as air traffic control, medical research and innovative treatments, Coast Guard search and rescue, border patrol, food and water safety inspection, jobs training and national parks management. Unfortunately, we don’t have that information from the other agencies, but the American people need it so they know what choices they are being forced to make by indiscriminate caps to the federal discretionary budget.
The good and underreported news as policy makers consider alternatives to the budget caps is that substantial progress is being made toward reducing the debt and deficit. A recent Congressional Budget Office report notes the U.S. government’s deficit has fallen almost a third below fiscal year 2013 and will shrink again next year. Now is a time to recalibrate and recognize that cutting away our nation’s investments in future security, innovation and the well being of our people is not a recipe for long-term success.
Decision makers need to recognize that the arbitrary and unchanging budget caps have real consequences in the lives of Americans. They need to recognize that times and circumstances have changed since the BCA was signed. We have all watched Congress contort itself into knots, consuming valuable time searching for piecemeal workarounds to make austerity workable, while our military, police, scientists, teachers, elderly and children get less support even as the global environment grows more competitive and more dangerous. It’s time to eliminate the BCA caps, and empower future Congresses to perform one of their most fundamental missions – reviewing and providing for the needs of the nation, each year, based on current economic, social and national security circumstances.
This brand new Coalition was formed to unite America's aerospace and defense workers, active and retired military personnel and broad supporters of national security, aviation and space in a common cause to preserve America’s role as the global leader in aerospace and defense.
Non-AIA Members click here to register for the U.S Industry Reception.
On behalf of the Aerospace Industries Association, it is our pleasure to invite you to attend AIA's premier events during the Farnborough Air Show, July 13-20, 2014. We truly appreciate your support and involvement in AIA, and we hope you'll be able to join us.
Please read carefully the following details regarding AIA's events. Contact Audrey Murphy, Manager of Corporate Events, at 703-358-1094 or email@example.com with any questions.
AIA's premier events are open to ALL AIA members - both Full and Associate - including the AIA Grand Reception in Honor of the President's Representative.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The deadline to purchase tickets for the U.S. Industry Reception (Ambassador's Reception) is July 8, 2014 - no exceptions. The Embassy has stated only the names submitted by July 8 will have the security clearance to enter the residence. In addition, there cannot be any changes made to the names after July 8. DO NOT DELAY IN REGISTERING FOR THIS EVENT.
The deadline to purchase tickets for the AIA Grand Reception in Honor of the President's Representative is July 10, 2014.
No refunds will be given after Friday, June 6.
Tickets for both events will be emailed to those who register.
SUNDAY, JULY 13, 2014
Aerospace Industries Association's Grand Reception in Honor of the U.S. President's Representative
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Grosvenor House Hotel
Park Lane, London
TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2014
U.S. Industry Reception (Ambassador's Reception)
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
U.S. Ambassador's Residence
Note: No refunds will be given after Friday, June 6, 2014.
The U.S. Corral is open to all AIA members (both Full and Associate) on Monday through Friday, July 14-18, 2014. Please stop by the AIA chalet and sign out a corral pass with our receptionist. The AIA member must show an official U.S. government issued picture ID (driver's license or passport). The corral pass must be returned to the receptionist at the end of your tour. Five people can accompany an AIA member on the tour.
AIA Members click here for details about the U.S Industry Reception.
On behalf of the Aerospace Industries Association, it is our pleasure to invite you to attend AIA's premier event during the Farnborough Air Show, July 13-20, 2014.
Please read carefully the following details regarding AIA's event. Contact Audrey Murphy, Manager of Corporate Events, at 703-358-1094 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The deadline to purchase tickets for the U.S. Industry Reception (Ambassador's Reception) has been extended to July 8, 2014. The Embassy has stated only the names submitted by July 8 will have the security clearance to enter the residence. In addition, there cannot be any changes made to the names after July 8. DO NOT DELAY IN REGISTERING FOR THIS EVENT.
Tickets will be emailed to those who register.
Together with Ex-Im Reauthorization later this year, the Interim Final Rule will open the door to increased international space-related sales
Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey
Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association applauds the Administration’s issuance of revisions to Category XV of the U.S. Munitions List (USML) that will end excessive restrictions on space systems like commercial satellites and related articles. After a six month delayed implementation, the interim final rule will remove many of these less sensitive technologies from the USML and place them under the more appropriate controls of the Commerce Control List.
In a 2012 report, AIA estimated that U.S. manufacturers lost $21 billion in satellite revenue from 1999 to 2009, costing about 9,000 direct jobs annually once USML controls were applied to commercial satellites. This rule implements legislation passed by Congress in early 2013 allowing the Administration to once again have discretion to control these technologies for export.
This revision, together with the re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank by Congress later this year, would dramatically level the global market playing field and greatly enhance the prospects for U.S. companies selling space related goods and services overseas. As indicated in our new report on ExIm Bank, the projected international market outside the United States for satellite manufacturing and launch services through 2021 is $132 billion, with developing markets in South America and the Middle East experiencing a steady increase in growth. Ex-Im Bank increasingly provides the export financing that helps U.S. space manufacturers compete on a level playing field for foreign customers.
Both actions are required for the United States to maintain a strong industrial base, support our efforts in manned space flight and boost space-related jobs. In 2012, the Administration’s budget request for 2013 non-classified military space programs was $8 billion. Through sequestration-related cuts that number has been reduced $7.2 billion – a 10 percent reduction even as potential adversaries continue to grow their space investments and capabilities. While government spending on space has declined, the space market is rapidly changing with new opportunities in commercial space emerging. It therefore has become even more important to increase the space sector’s sales in the commercial arena and enhance its global competiveness.
AIA expresses its appreciation to the Administration and Congress for the removal of these stringent export controls on essentially commercial space technologies, and encourages them to work together again to make our companies and their space products and services more competitive in the international marketplace by supporting the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank.
In the wake of an uneven global economic recovery, countries are competing in an unprecedented race to create jobs and stimulate economic growth through increased exports. In this competition, not all countries abide by the same set of rules that the United States follows to support their companies' exports. Indeed, American companies often come up against government-owned, government-protected or government-subsidized competitors from countries such as China, Brazil, India and various European nations, making for a brutally competitive and uneven playing field.
In this race, the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) serves as a critical engine for U.S. jobs by leveling the playing field and helping American companies to compete toe-to-toe against their competitors in the global marketplace. Ex-Im Bank is acting as a vital catalyst of U.S. economic growth, enabling billions of dollars of exports and supporting hundreds of thousands of export-related U.S. jobs. In 2013 alone, Ex-Im Bank transactions promoted $34.7 billion of exports in fields such as power turbines, locomotives, agricultural equipment and satellites, and sustained or created more than 205,000 American jobs.
AIA believes that American companies can continue to compete and win in the global marketplace against their overseas counterparts, but they cannot do it with one hand tied behind their backs. Foreign competitors continue to enjoy significant financial assistance from their governments. To protect the competitiveness of our industry and American manufacturing, we need to ensure the Ex-Im Bank has the long-term support from Congress it needs to support and grow the American manufacturing workforce.
Students from Creekview High School of Canton, Ga. outperformed hundreds of their peers from across the country Saturday to earn first place at the twelfth annual Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC).
STEM contest winners to represent U.S. at international fly-off in England
Contest winners with Raytheon's Rick Hunt, Vice President of Navy and Marine Corps Programs, in front of the Raytheon exhibit. Winners left to right: Andrew White, 16; Bailey Robertson, 15; Amanda Semler, 18; Austin Bralick, 16; Nick Dimos, 16.
The Plains, Va. – Students from Creekview High School of Canton, Ga. outperformed hundreds of their peers from across the country Saturday to earn first place at the twelfth annual Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). Champions Amanda Semler, 18; Andrew White, 16; Nick Dimos, 16; Austin Bralick, 16; and Bailey Robertson, 15; bested more than 700 other teams representing 48 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands to earn the national title.
TARC is the world’s largest student rocket contest and the aerospace and defense industry’s flagship program designed to encourage students to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) and more than 20 industry partners, TARC provides middle and high school students the opportunity to design, build and launch model rockets in a competition among more than 5,000 students nationwide.
“I’m a senior, so this is a dream come true,” said Semler, who is also the team’s captain. “We’re so thankful for the chance to come to the nation’s capital, and to Raytheon for the chance to go to England.”
The 2014 challenge was one of the most difficult in TARC’s history. Students were tasked with designing and building a rocket that could fly to 825 feet and back within 48 to 50 seconds while carrying precious cargo — two raw eggs that must return to the ground undamaged. The dual-parachute requirement combined with the tight timing window and other structural criteria required nearly six months of diligent preparation by the teams.
“We are very proud of our 2014 champions and the incredible effort all of the teams put into the competition this year,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “Many of these students spent months developing and perfecting their rockets for the finals. That level of drive and perseverance will serve them well in college and as they prepare to enter the workforce. Our industry feels very fortunate to have such a talented incoming cohort.”
As a strong supporter of women in STEM, TARC is proud of the many all-girl teams that compete each year. Here the Purple Pumas, from Clear Falls High School in TX, leave the Raython sponsored community tent.
Over its 12-year tenure TARC has proven to be an invaluable contributor of young talent to STEM-focused areas of study and, ultimately, careers over its tenure. A 2010 survey of TARC alumni found that 80 percent of respondents went on to major in related technical fields.
With all teams aiming for a perfect score of zero, the Creekview High School logged a combined score of 14.88. They will travel to England in July to compete in an international fly-off against student teams from the U.K. and France at the Farnborough Air Show. In addition, $60,000 in scholarships and other prizes will be split among the competition's top 10 placing teams.
AIA has partnered with Raytheon to broaden the TARC program to the global stage. The 2014 champions will be the ninth consecutive team Raytheon has supported to travel to the international air show as part of the company’s broad-based MathMovesU® initiative to encourage students to pursue careers in STEM. Additional funding and prizes are provided by more than 20 industry partners including Lockheed Martin Corporation and Space Exploration Technologies Corporation.
For additional information on TARC, complete competition results and a full list of this year's sponsors, please visit www.rocketcontest.org.
For more information, please contact Ny Younge at email@example.com.
Rocket contest teams stand in front of the "Mountains and Clouds" sculpture in the Hart Senate Office Building.
Hundreds of middle and high school students descended on Capitol Hill the morning of Friday, May 9, for the third annual Rockets on the Hill reception. Part of the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) National Finals festivities, Rockets on the Hill is an opportunity for students to meet with their elected representatives and talk about the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.
Guest speakers included Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), representing technological hotbed Silicon Valley; Dr. John Langford, Chairman and CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences; and former astronaut and Associate Administrator for Education at NASA Leland Melvin. Several members of Congress attended or sent staff members to meet with the students from their district and hear their youthful perspective on aerospace and hands on experience with rocket science.
The TARC National Final flyoff will be held Saturday, May 10, at Great Meadow at The Plains, Va. One hundred teams will compete for the right to be called national champions and to compete against teams from the UK and France at the Farnborough International Airshow outside of London in July. The winners will receive a fully-sponsored trip to Farnborough courtesy of the Raytheon Company.
Hundreds of middle and high school students descended on Capitol Hill the morning of Friday, May 9, for the third annual Rockets on the Hill reception.
The Export-Import Bank has, for more than 80 years, stood as a bipartisan institution that has fueled economic growth in the U.S. by helping businesses export goods globally. In 2013, the Bank earned $1.1 billion dollars for American taxpayers, supported more than $37 billion of U.S. exports, and maintained 205,000 American jobs.
Even as the Bank’s benefits are clearly defined, certain elected officials still stand in the way of American growth and seek to impede the success of small businesses. It is past time that these elected officials wakeup to the need for the Bank and support its reauthorization.
That is why AIA is dedicated to spreading the word about the need to reauthorize the Bank and we have highlighted just a few of those efforts below.
AIA's ad supporting the Ex-Im Bank shows how it has been supported by well known figures from both political parties for decades and why it should still be supported today.
AIA's Ex-Im Bank Ad
This infographic is a helpful resource to learn more about the Ex-Im Bank.
AIA's latest report on the Ex-Im Bank highlights the importance that the organization plays in boosting America's ability to compete in global manufacturing.
Leveling the Playing Field
The Export-Import Bank of the U.S. is responsible for allowing businesses to export their products globally. It has for decades helped level to playing field for domestic export, build the U.S. economy by being a self-sustaining organization that returns money to American taxpayers and supports small businesses and jobs in America.
American presidents from both parties have supported the Ex-Im Bank for more than 80 years; including Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy and George W. Bush.
Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey
Arlington, Va. — These past few days we’ve observed a particularly high level of concern from both Secretary of Defense Hagel and former Secretary Panetta about the magnitude of current global threats. In addition to the escalating Russian aggression in the Ukraine, still with us is the conflict in Syria, and challenges from North Korea, Iran, Al Qaeda and others. What has largely fallen off the radar of our news, and to a large degree the attention of the American Congress, is the fact that the draconian budget caps still threaten our national security. The Defense Department warns that funding under the budget caps in FY 16 and beyond is well below what is minimally required to meet our national security needs.
Noting this year’s mid-term elections, former Secretary Panetta said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed this week, “our national leaders cannot just give up until the next election.” “Events in a dangerous world will not wait for the next election.” Echoing his predecessor’s concern, today Secretary Hagel addressed the ill-conceived perception that the “age of aggression in Europe” is over, stating that “Russia’s actions in Ukraine shatter that myth.” Secretary Hagel went on to call on NATO members in Europe to “step up” and begin shouldering a greater share of the cost of our alliance. Clearly, playing political games with national security budgets is a transatlantic flaw shared by the U.S. government and our NATO allies.
And a key voice of European industry also weighed in this week. Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus addressed the Atlantic Council and directed his concern with investment in NATO to his own European leaders. Enders said “perhaps the events in Ukraine are more effective in halting the downward trend” in defense spending.
America and our allies must not let history repeat itself. As Secretary Panetta said this week, “after every major conflict in recent history, deep defense cuts hollowed out the military.” Once again, our industry calls on Congress and the Administration to break with this dangerous tradition. Events worldwide demand action now. We must find a solution to the $115 billion in defense cuts slated to begin in the coming years, now. The cuts are sending a message of weakness to aggressors. Mr. Putin, Mr. Kim and Mr. al-Assad are highly unlikely to stand down while we conduct our mid-term elections.
Today, civil aerospace manufacturers produce some of the most powerful aircraft engines in the world which accompany the most advanced navigation equipment, best structural designs, and most fuel efficient systems ever created.
At AIA we are committed to remaining up to date with changing business environments. To do this it is necessary from time to time to reevaluate the need for certain councils, committees and working groups.
The International Division at AIA is responsible for promoting domestic an international policies and practices that help American companies compete in the global marketplace and cooperate with our allies and foreign partners.
Our space capabilities are a source of national pride and an investment in the science and R&D needed to maintain U.S. global competitiveness.
AIA relies on interns to support a wide array of activities, ranging from policy and regulatory advocacy to marketing and event support. the subject line. To apply, please submit a resume and to jobs[at]aia-aerospace.org and include your requested department.
AIA is looking to fill internships in all of our major functional areas including:
Aerospace Research Center
National Security and Acquisition Policy
Internships are flexible depending on students’ schedules. Interns are eligible to receive a monthly stipend. All submissions should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Research Intern contributes to all activities undertaken by the Research Department, under the guidance of the Research Manager. Projects typically involve quantitative research related to the U.S. and foreign aerospace markets. While the majority of projects are quantitative in nature, many involve presenting the research findings in written reports, briefs, and position papers. Consequently, strong writing skills are also frequently utilized.
• Researches and prepares Aerospace Facts and Figures, a statistical handbook used worldwide as the authoritative compendium of U.S. aerospace industry data
• Maintains AIA databases; this frequently involves use of Microsoft Excel and Access
• Produces written, tabular, and visual materials for research reports, presentations, and publication
• Summarizes, revises, or interprets complex or specialized literature for general audiences
• Composes and edits specialized reports for internal or external circulation; proofreads material for publication
AIA is seeking a dynamic, motivated individual to join the communications team for an internship. AIA represents the largest aerospace and defense industry players before Congress and the administration. The communications team facilitates that interaction through publicity, media outreach and coordinating efforts among members with a broad diversity of interests. We have a number of special events this year, including the first-ever National Aerospace Week, an Executive Committee meeting and our 45th Annual Year-End Review & Forecast Luncheon. We are looking for a communications or journalism major to help out in all aspects of our busy office. Duties include: writing articles for newsletter, web site features and press releases; helping organize meetings and other event planning; and special projects. Join us for a first-hand look at the conjunction of industry and policy!
Work with an exciting team at the most prominent aerospace related association in the United States. AIA’s membership department manages, coordinates and supports AIA’s over one-hundred full members – companies like Lockheed Martin, The Boeing Company, ITT, GE, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Textron, Rolls Royce, and a host of other top notch global aerospace primes and suppliers make up the regular membership. One of membership’s most critical tasks is organizing and staffing AIA’s annual Members and Board of Governors Meetings. There are two major meetings held by AIA during the year. To assist and support our annual events, AIA is looking for an intern that is motivated, well organized, has a pleasant personal and telephone demeanor, writes well, and can work at a fast pace with a great team of AIA professionals. Reaching out to members, assisting with organizational and administrative aspects of the event, attending and supporting the events, assisting our civil, space, and international divisions organize CEO and senior management briefings, and many other tasks make up the duties. We also have an exciting membership campaign underway and a host of other tasks.
AIA has an open position for an intern who could assist on a project in the technical operations area. This project is coordinated by AIA for a group of experienced aerospace engineers who are responsible for the maintenance of the National Aerospace Standards (Fasteners) of the aerospace industry.
The project requires digitizing several hundred drawings, transferring text data and technical drawings into a standardized electronic template, and preparing a document for release to the NAS Committee. The AIA assumes professional responsibility for the work being done.
We are looking for someone who is familiar with general engineering principles, such as product specifications and technical drawing skills. The candidate should have experience with AutoCAD systems. The workflow of the project includes electronic, virtual as well as paper-based documentation and discussion; good communication skills are therefore very desirable.
The Director of Corporate Events position at Aerospace Industries Association reports to the Vice President of Membership & Business Development. The ideal candidate must demonstrate the ability to multi-task; be responsive to the needs of the membership, providing all the members with outstanding customer service; be exceptionally organized and have the ability to prioritize, with the flexibility to shift work and priorities, as needed. Good communication skills are a must, as well as strong leadership skills. Must be a pro-active and creative thinker; a problem solver with the ability to “think on your feet.”
Nature and Scope of Work:
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following items:
Management and Finance:
Event Management and Administration:
The Federal government’s acquisition regulations have grown into a demanding and complicated regime costing the nation millions of dollars just for compliance.
This week, the Chief Acquisition Officers Council, in collaboration with the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, the Chief Information Officers Council and the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council launched a new website seeking public comments to help craft “an efficient and effective acquisition system that maximizes the value of every taxpayer dollar.”
This is a welcome dialogue. AIA has been urging government to eliminate the unnecessary burdens on both industry and government that are present in today’s contracting process. Reducing the acquisition burden on industry and government will do more than just lower all-around costs, it will also help ensure the health and security of the industrial base is sustained.
The Chief Acquisition Officer’s Council is asking for feedback on reporting and compliance, procurement rules, and barriers to participation in federal contracting by small companies as well as those who traditionally don’t do business with government. They are asking the questions many of us ask too – and they’ve provided an opportunity for many voices to be heard. Let’s work with the Council to create an acquisition environment where our government benefits from our best while reducing costs, improving delivery times, leading innovation and technology, and build outstanding products for those who keep us safe.
Visit the Office of the Chief Acquisition Officer’s Council website to learn more and to submit your comments on how you would change the acquisition process.
All comments are due by May 5, 2014.
This document serves to inform AIA members and their supply chains about the first round of pending Conflict Minerals Specialized Disclosure filings to the SEC. With the complicated nature of the Conflict Minerals Report format and audit protocol, AIA has prepared this document as a training guide to help answer some of the most common questions about the process.
In addition, based on the AIA Conflict Minerals Working Group Charter, this training document completes one of key goals of this collective group. In order to provide our member companies and their supply chains with the necessary guidance, we have released this information broadly to allow for review and consider prior to the SEC filing deadline of June 2, 2014 for the first Conflict Minerals Specialized Disclosure.
Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey on the meeting of Senate Armed Services Committee members to discuss solutions to sequestration budget cuts.
Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association is encouraged by the news that members of the Senate Armed Services Committee are meeting to discuss solutions to the threat posed to our national security by indiscriminate budget cuts under sequestration during fiscal years 2016 through 2019. Senior Pentagon leaders have repeatedly warned that failure to address sequestration would impact readiness, troop levels and modernization, leading to an unacceptable loss in military capabilities. The Quadrennial Defense Review released last month states that defense is underfunded by $115 billion in that timeframe.
AIA has warned for years that these caps will force bad choices at a time of increasing global instability. We must make smart decisions regarding our country’s vital national security interests. We commend Senator Angus King’s (I-Maine) leadership in calling for this series of bipartisan meetings among the group of senators most intimately in tune with our nation’s armed forces and national security needs. We hope that the exchange of proposals in these meetings leads to a budget agreement that sets aside sequestration and protects the investments our nation needs to make to preserve our military capabilities and the industrial base that equips our warfighters.
The standards define a set of common business transactions in the ANSI X.12 format, profiling the general standards for use in the aerospace and defense environment.
These standards will soon be sold through the IHS portal.
e-Agreements provide global parties with a common set of rules by which they agree to exchange electronic data or to collaborate electronically. These rules supplement the basic underlying agreements for goods, services or collaborative efforts providing a framework for electronic trading and collaboration. Use of a standard template provides benefits to both Prime and Supplier. The terms and conditions in these templates can be reused by all Parties eliminating the need to re-negotiate independent terms and conditions for every new situation.
Architectural standards are intended to support the design and implementation of eBusiness solutions.
These standards provide the capability to exchange engineering information between different organizations, computer systems and functions in the aerospace and defense environment.
These guidelines provide strategic and tactical guidance for the adoption by industry of a common standard-based information backbone for engineering data, using the ISO 10303-239 (PLCS) standard. This will enable interoperability for product definition data across the aerospace industry supply network and throughout the product life cycle, from design and production to consumption and operation, reducing the cost, risk and complexity and increasing the speed of working with suppliers and partners at any level.
Download the document
All participants in the aerospace value chain should be able to exchange information relative to product design, business relationships, transactions, and product support across an information backbone which is open and accessible to all.
To achieve this, AIA has, through industry agreements, helped eliminate the need for common IT tool adoptions across the industry. The AIA eBusiness center provides a single source for industry recommended solutions to online buiness interoperability which identify standards-based approach to components that help eliminate the cost of developing individual point-to-point solutions and delivering business benefits to prime contractors and suppliers.
The recommendations for eBusiness are maintained by AIA's Electronic Enterprise Integration Committee (EEIC), and chartered jointly by the eBusiness Steering Group and the Supplier Management Council. The methodology and framework for recommendationas being made is described in detail in the AIA eBusiness Implementation Guidebook.
The defined business scenarios and recommended solution components are below and enumerated in the e-Business subpages.
The EEIC Radar Chart (Powerpoint required to view) provides a simple reference for the various technology standards and initiatives that are under the attention of the EEIC.
The radar chart illustrates the maturity of the recommendation for each standard or initiative, with the outer ring populated by work that is being actively tracked by the EEIC, the inner ring showing work that is a candidate for adoption as part of the eBusiness Framework, and the central circle showing components that have been adopted as AIA recommendations.
The four quadrants of the chart show the AIA strategy for each component. In decreasing order of preference, the strategies include:
The following standards and initiatives have been adopted, or are under consideration:
AIA member companies have cooperated to develop and implement a program that will assist your company, other international aerospace suppliers, and U.S. importers in complying with U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) supply chain security goals while minimizing the impact and effort needed, particularly for international suppliers with multiple U.S. customers.
International suppliers to AIA companies benefit from participation in AIA's C-TPAT Initiative with a reduced paperwork burden and a venue for suppliers to market a competitive advantage to potential customers in the United States.
Benefits of completing the AIA C-TPAT Self-Assessment Questionnaire include:
On April 1, 2014, Aerospace Caucus co-chairs, Senators Patty Murray and Saxby Chambliss, hosted an event on the importance of defense research and development (R&D) on innovation. The event featured Dr. Arati Prabhakar the Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), who spoke to the innovations that have entered the commercial marketplace because of defense R&D investments.
The caucus event also featured industry R&D partners who had some of their innovative technologies on display. These displays included technologies such as satellite air traffic management, ejection seats and GPS equipment from aerospace and defense manufactures ATK, Harris Corp., Honeywell, Rockwell Collins and UTC.
AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey
“The tangible benefits we’ve obtained from healthy federal investment in R&D programs yield strong economic growth and significant technological advances,” said AIA’s President and CEO, Marion C. Blakey, as she opened the event. “Many of these technology innovations improve our everyday life through advances in cell phone and automobile capabilities, life saving medical science equipment and consumer electronics.”
The spinoffs made possible through defense related R&D are also highlighted in AIA’s latest report, Defense Research and Development: From the Warfighter to the American Consumer, Redefining Everyday Lives Through Innovation.
“We can’t afford to sacrifice these investments, and we can’t afford to lose our global leadership in innovation,” said Senator Murray. “If we were a business the last place we would look to cut back is where our future economic growth will be coming from, which is exactly what R&D represents.”
Senator Murray’s recognition of the need for further investment in R&D spending was followed by calling for more budgetary certainty in federal spending to ensure national security capabilities, strengthen the economy, and “close the innovation deficit.”
In the aerospace and defense marketplace it is innovation through R&D that has allowed the United States to stay ahead of its global competition and enabled it to respond to security threats around the world.
“The threats [we face as a nation] demand unconventional solutions,” said Senator Chambliss acknowledging America’s need to promote innovative ideas across borders, disciplines, institutions and ideologies. “We have to think, prepare, research, and build not just for the world we are in, but for the world that we will be in tomorrow and beyond.”
Senator Chambliss went on to discuss the need to provide the Defense Department with a more streamlined acquisition process that provides for better partnerships between government and industry; citing DARPA as an agency who has lead the way in delivering innovative technologies through strong industry partnerships. These partnerships have helped lead the way for the future.
DARPA Director, Dr. Arati Prabhakar
“Through more than five decades of tumultuous geopolitical and technological change, [DARPA] delivered outsized impact by focusing on our mission of breakthrough technologies for national security,” said DARPA’s Director, Dr. Prabhakar, speaking to the imaginative processes that have enabled the agency to advance new technologies for defense applications.
How the agency is approaching today’s national security problems also requires a rethink according to Dr. Prabhakar. The agency is looking to achieve far greater capabilities at lower cost by rethinking the next generation of defense systems, incorporating information at scale, looking to biology for technological and human understanding, and keeping an eye on the next horizon in defense technologies.
On April 1, 2014, Aerospace Caucus co-chairs, Senators Patty Murray and Saxby Chambliss, hosted an event on the importance of defense research and development (R&D) on innovation. The event featured Dr. Arati Prabhakar the Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), who spoke....
AIA helps ensure that the aerospace and defense industry remains on the cutting edge of technology and innovation by being strong advocates for our industry. This includes publishing periodic reports and white papers on matters important to our industry.
Federal investments in science and technology research and development are threatened by the current budget environment. The Aerospace Industries Association is embarking on an education effort to inform policymakers, elected leaders and the American public on the impact of federal R&D dollars on the innovations that redefine our everyday lives.
This report – the first in a series that examines the impact of federal investment programs – highlights four case studies of private sector technologies and products that have been largely defined or influenced by defense R&D spending. These case studies include the cellular smart phone, the hospital operating room, the modern automobile and the flat screen television. Each case study provides a narrated illustration of
the product and its connections to defense R&D.
The President’s budget for fiscal year 2015 requests a reduction in science and technology funding across both defense and non-defense discretionary accounts. This would reinforce existing reductions from the past several budget cycles. If sequestration is not addressed in fiscal year 2016 and beyond, this downward angle could turn into a nosedive. AIA believes policymakers must ensure a robust and balanced defense
research program, not only for the substantial benefits it provides to America’s warfighters, but also for the resulting commercial innovations that help grow our productivity and our economy.
Over the past six decades, federal investment in R&D programs has acted as an incubator for innovation, producing an immeasurable array of technological advancements that have come to define modern life and society at large. These investments have provided the basis for a revolution in electronic systems, communications, materials and medical science, the results of which have served as the building blocks for today’s most common technologies, including transistors, the Internet, GPS navigation and liquid crystal technology, to name a few.
The connection between research programs and commercial deployment of technologies is often multi-faceted. Program requirements can provide both the research impetus and critical opportunity for technology to mature through production and continual improvement. However, not all technologies that follow this path spill into the private market. Those that do are defined both by market demand and by calculated private investments that enable them to emerge as profitable products. These disparate paths demonstrate how investments made in advanced research can result in enormous contributions to the nation’s economy and industrial competitiveness.
During this age of austerity, the need for change to the status quo is clear. Dollars spent on burdensome compliance requirements that provide little value are funds not spent on sustaining America’s technological superiority, or preserving the readiness of our military.
Today’s acquisition system can be daunting. Its array of rules focuses on compliance and eradicating the risk of malfeasance in contracting. But it also discourages some companies from selling to the government, and it erects barriers to innovation and investment by the companies we rely on to innovate and deliver equipment needed by our armed forces. The costs of developing and enforcing a “zero-defect” acquisitions apparatus are steep: increased compliance expenses, diminished innovation, and delayed delivery of equipment needed by front-line troops.
Of course, we understand the importance of oversight. Our industry has a strong ethical commitment to working closely with our government customer to deliver the most effective and safest product at a fair price.
However, the mindset that “getting tough” on industry somehow looks out for the taxpayer negates the fact that it is actually the taxpayer – and ultimately the warfighter – who pay the price for a burdensome acquisition system. It creates significant barriers to participation in defense acquisitions, especially for mid and small-tier suppliers. It raises costs and does not add commensurate value.
The Department of Defense’s complex audit requirements are a case in point. They take much longer to complete than in the past, and lead to delays in contract awards and closeouts. While audits aren’t the only reason for the long time it takes to award contracts, they contribute to delays ultimately felt by the warfighter. And industry feels the effect too. Uncertainty makes financing more difficult for smaller firms who need predictable revenue projections to support operations. The backlog in incurred cost audits and contract closeout impacts payment – delaying critical revenue firms need to sustain their businesses.
We’re encouraged by the DOD’s Better Buying Power 2.0 initiative, which acknowledges audit requirements are a major factor driving lengthy procurement cycles, and with them, cost growth. And we are heartened by the willingness of the Defense Contract Audit Agency to listen to industry’s views and work to resolve issues. Clearing the audit backlog, reducing documentation reporting requirements, and focusing auditors’ efforts on problematic aspects of contracts will help remove barriers to participation.
The issue of protecting company intellectual property rights is another concern in defense contracting. Companies invest considerable capital – human and dollars – to develop intellectual property. They do so because the investment is intended to return value to their shareholders and owners. However, current DOD practices threaten to undermine these investments and are another negative influence on the defense industrial base. While DOD’s intention of reducing long-term costs and introducing as much competition as possible for contract awards is sound, current rules and policies could result in competitors reaping substantial rewards by having access to technical data they did not pay for or develop.
And these are only two examples. The fact is that defaulting to the most risk adverse regulatory environment creates a chilling effect on initiative and openness on both sides of the contractual relationship. And it drives some companies away.
Betsy Schmid, AIA’s new Vice President for National Security and Acquisition Policy, has received the U.S. Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award. Presented by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus in a March 19, 2014 ceremony, the award is the highest honor given to those outside of naval service.
“It is a tremendous honor to receive this award from Secretary Mabus, and especially for work that supported the men and women of the United States Navy and Marine Corps,” Schmid said. “It was the privilege of a lifetime to ensure that adequate resources and force structure were provided to our sailors and Marines when defense budgets were declining and global threats were growing more complex.
Schmid was recognized for “exceptional service to the Department of the Navy as a professional staff member and Staff Director for the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. Ms. Schmid’s selfless service and compassion for the nation’s sailors and marines ensured they were provided the resources necessary to support and defend our nation’s interests around the globe.”
Schmid’s career has put her at the center of defense and intelligence committee budgets and policy over the last 12 years. As the senior defense budget advisor for the U.S. Senate on many of the most critical defense spending issues before the Nation, Schmid worked and consulted closely with senior officials in the Pentagon, intelligence community, and defense industry. She served both former and current Chairmen of the Appropriations Committee and Defense Subcommittee – the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye and now Senator Barbara A. Mikulski and Senator Dick Durbin. In this capacity, she was the lead Senate staff member responsible for oversight of half of the country’s discretionary budget and annual passage of the approximately $600 billion defense appropriation bill.
Prior to joining the Senate staff, Schmid worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense on a variety of major issues and projects including the Quadrennial Defense Review and other defense planning guidance in support of our warfighters. She also supported research on national security issues for the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century, and the Center for the National Interest.
Schmid holds a master’s degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from West Chester University.
Betsy Schmid is Vice President of National Security and Acquisition Policy for the Aerospace Industries Association. Prior to joining AIA, she served for 12 years on the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, including most recently as the Staff Director responsible for analyzing and passing the annual defense appropriation bill. Betsy was a Presidential Management Fellow in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where she had assignments in the offices of OSD Policy, Comptroller, and Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. In addition, she was a Research Associate for the U.S. Commission on National Security.
Betsy has a Masters degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science/International Relations from West Chester University, Pennsylvania.
The U.S. Government is responsible for developing an annual budget and appropriating funds for critical programs and activities that include some of our most basic constitutional principles such as to "provide for the common defense [of the United States]." At AIA we follow this process closely as it relates to the interests of our members and the aerospace and defense industry at-large. Of critical importance in every annual spending bill of the federal government, is that funding be maintained to ensure the future of our nation's national security, aviation infrastructure and safety and space programs.
For more than five decades, our national security space assets have grown tremendously more capable and essential to our nation’s armed forces and national security decision makers. They have been invaluable for they have provided our military with a uniquely asymmetric advantage. Unfortunately, the space sector – as the Pentagon noted in the 2011 National Security Space Strategy - is increasingly becoming “congested, competitive and contested.” As a consequence, current American space capabilities will be increasingly difficult to sustain in the face of declining defense budgets.
AIA is proud that our space industry has helped to assure that the United States’ armed forces are second to none and we remain committed to that objective.
The Team America Rocketry Challenge, or TARC as it is know by its faithful followers, is hosted anually by AIA and poses a different challenge every year. In 2014 the scoring criteria make this contest the most difficult one of the competition’s 12-year history. Check out the infographic that explains this year’s competition and flight of the rocket! For more complete rules visit www.rocketcontest.org.