Civil Aviation Council

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

AIA: Consolidation is Market-Driven and Enhances Efficiency


CODSIA urges DARC to withdraw commercial items rule

Wings of Liberty 2015

Who’s Missing The Mark On Emissions?


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

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

2015 AIA/NDIA Technical Data Rights Forum

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

Why America Needs NextGen

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

Associations Send Congress Letter on Extended CR Impacts

Associations Send Congress Letter on Extended CR Impacts

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

Ex-Im Bank foes hurt Ohio jobs, help China


Secretary Pritzker Congratulates Aerospace Industry on National Aerospace Week

Dan Olmes

Bridge Littleton

Leonardo Bodmer

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

Ambrie Jones

Fall 2015 Supplier Management Council Meeting


NASA and the Spirit of Inspiration

AIA as Aggregator

2015 Executive Report Second Quarter

Ex-Im Bank Round-up.  And The Next Step

AIA: Senate Passage of Ex-Im Bank Amendment a Good First Step

TARC Star Spotlight: Jordan Stine

AIA’s Ex-Im Advocacy Reaching a Crescendo

Busy week for Ex-Im supporters

A Busy Week for Ex-Im Supporters

Paul M. Paolozzi

John Luddy

William “Doc” Syers

AIA Brings Aboard Three Division Leaders

TARC Star Spotlight: Preston Due


AIA: Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization: A Missed Opportunity

TARC Star Spotlight: Amanda Steckel

Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Myth vs. Reality

Congress Passes TPA Legislation


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

TARC at the Paris Air Show - Day Two


U.S. Team Wins International Rocketry Competition

AIA at the Paris Air Show 2015

AIA at the Paris Air Show 2015

Alabama Rocketry Team Blasts Off to Paris

TARC Star Spotlight: Casey Densmore

Kristie Primmer

Robert E. Durbin

Get the Results of the 2015 A&D Survey Report

Eileen Drake

David J. Castagnola

Robert Murphy

Marion C. Blakey

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

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

TARC Star Spotlight: Victor Murphy

The New American Space Age

Global Positioning System Modernization

Melissa Arndorfer

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

Actualizing S1000D - Making it real


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

TARC Star Spotlight: Lt. Kenneth Johnson

TARC Star Spotlight: Samuel Pullen

Hubble – 25 Years and the Astronomy Continues

Amanda Jaeger


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

Rockets on the Hill 2015 a Great Success

Strategic Plan 2015

Guidelines for Implementing Interoperability Standards for Engineering Data

Why all the applause?

Why all the applause?

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

2015 Executive Report First Quarter

Kathryn Verona

Ronald J. Youngs

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

Army Defense Exports & Cooperation Industry Day

Edward L. Auslander

TARC at White House Science Fair

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

AIA Strongly Supports Higher OCO Funding in Budget Vote

AIA Urges Budget Committees to Raise Defense Caps

Thousands of students participate in world’s largest rocketry competition

Marion Blakey Departs the Aerospace Industries Association

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

AIA Congratulates Ashton Carter on Confirmation

ICCAIA Supports International Consortium Seeking Alternatives to Halon Fire Suppressant

2014 Executive Report Fourth Quarter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Council of Defense and Space Industry Associations (CODSIA), filed comments urging DOD to withdraw their proposed rule on “Evaluating Price Reasonableness for Commercial Items” from consideration. The letter was signed by officials from six organizations, including AIA's Vice President for National Security and Acquisiton Policy John Luddy.

Remarks by David F. Melcher

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remarks by Marillyn Hewson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By John J. Hamre and David F. Melcher

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To: Oct. 16, 2015
Register Now:

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

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

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

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

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

Dave Melcher, President and CEO, AIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 15, 2015 at 5:59 AM


Dave Melcher, President and CEO, AIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Register here:

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

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

Featured this quarter in the Executive Report:

President's Message: Up and Running
Q & A With Jaiwon Shin, NASA Associate Administrator for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD)
AIA Goes All Out for Ex-Im Bank
Making History at Pluto
TARC Winners from Alabama Triumph in Paris
2015 Paris Air Show Highlights

Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO David F. Melcher on the Senate passage of the Transportation Bill with Ex-Im Bank Amendment.

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association is very pleased that the Senate has attached an amendment reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank of the United States to the Transportation bill that passed the Senate today. Ex-Im Bank supports roughly 164,000 American jobs across the United States and is an important tool in enabling U.S. exporters to remain competitive in the global marketplace. The aerospace and defense industry is the single largest net exporter among American manufacturers, but we compete against foreign companies receiving much greater support from their home governments, including direct subsidies. Ex-Im Bank helps offset that foreign advantage.

The vote for the Ex-Im Bank amendment demonstrates the majority support reauthorization enjoys in the Senate; that strong support is mirrored in the House of Representatives. We strongly urge the House to include the Senate Ex-Im language and put an end to the acrimonious and unnecessary debate over reauthorization of an institution that House Republicans voted overwhelmingly to reauthorize only two years ago. Enough damage has been done to American businesses at the behest of a small but vocal minority in the House.

The week of July 13-17 was very busy for supporters of the Ex-Im Bank of the United States.

Paul M. Paolozzi is the Vice President for Communications at the Aerospace Industries Association. He is responsible for overseeing the communications function at AIA, including all internal and external communications, media relations and community outreach.

Paolozzi joins AIA following a 28-year career in the U.S. Army, where he most recently served as Chief of the Under Secretary of the Army’s Initiatives Group in the Pentagon.  He managed a hand-selected team of strategists and policy experts to address research topics and was responsible for presenting analysis of key strategic issues, decisions, projects and studies impacting the 1.1 million member Army. In 2012, he was named the Army’s Senior Fellow to the Brookings Institution, where he authored the published monograph “Closing the Candor Chasm: The Missing Element of Army Professionalism,” later used in senior leadership courses.

His Army service included command of the 18th Engineer Brigade based in Schwetzingen, Germany which was sent to Afghanistan on a yearlong combat deployment. .  There, his communications expertise was instrumental in working with members of the 49 nation coalition supporting the Afghan government and with Afghan Army leaders.   From 2005-2006 he commanded at the battalion level in Afghanistan helping to create roads and airfields, while clearing roads of explosives.  His notable staff assignments include serving as the military assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Reserve Affairs), the aide-de-camp to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, and later a congressional fellow for a US Senator, to whom he routinely provided analysis, advice, and Senate Armed Services Committee notes during the period of U.S. combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Paolozzi holds Masters Degrees from Long Island University in Counseling and Leader Development and the National Defense University in National Security Strategy.  His Bachelor’s Degree is in Construction Management from Utica College of Syracuse University.

John Luddy is Vice President for National Security and Acquisition Policy at the Aerospace Industries Association.  He is responsible for developing AIA’s national security agenda, and for planning and executing advocacy efforts to support it.

Most recently, Luddy directed Aerojet Rocketdyne’s government relations efforts as Vice President of Washington Operations. In addition to coordinating government-related aspects of Aerojet’s successful acquisition of Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne, he established and executed advocacy efforts that successfully increased awareness of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s programs, interests and capabilities throughout the federal government. Prior to joining Aerojet, Luddy ran his own consulting practice for nine years, providing business development, market analysis, and legislative advocacy services to clients ranging from America’s  largest aerospace companies to technology startups.
During 2001 and 2002, Luddy served the Secretary of Defense as a special assistant for legislative affairs, spearheading Department of Defense efforts within Congress on missile defense, strategic weapons, and international security policies and programs.  Prior to his Presidential appointment to DOD, he supported Chairman Donald Rumsfeld as a staff member on the Commission to Assess U.S. National Security Space Management and Organization.

Luddy served for six years in the United States Senate, as a senior defense aide to two subcommittee chairmen on the Armed Services Committee, and as Senior Policy Advisor to a member of Senate leadership.  In these positions, he advised on a wide range of defense, foreign policy, and intelligence matters, and served as the senators’ principal liaison with senior U.S. government and military officials. He has extensive experience drafting significant legislation on a range of national security issues, working with Congressional staff of both parties, and navigating the legislative and policy processes. He began his Washington career in 1992 as a defense analyst with the Heritage Foundation, specializing in power projection, readiness, and personnel issues. 

Luddy holds a Master’s degree in international relations from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, a Bachelor’s degree in history from Bates College, and is a graduate of the U.S. Army’s Ranger and Airborne Schools.  He served on active duty as a Marine Corps infantry officer, and in Reserve policy, operations, and public affairs assignments.

Doc Syers is the Vice President for Legislative Relations at the Aerospace Industries Association. He and his team are responsible for leading the Association’s legislative policy advocacy work including the effective and timely communication of industry priorities to Members of Congress and key congressional staffers. 

Prior to joining AIA, Syers was Vice President for Congressional Relations for ITT/Exelis for 13 years. Before joining ITT/Exelis, he lobbied defense and environmental issues for six years at Hughes Electronics and Newport News Shipbuilding. He served for 11 years as a staffer on Capitol Hill. 

Syers came to Washington just after President Reagan’s reelection in 1984 as an American Political Science Association fellow and promptly went to work for Congressman Dick Cheney (R-Wyoming) who also came to Capitol Hill through the APSA’s competitively awarded congressional fellowship program. Syers worked with Cong. Cheney as a domestic policy analyst on the House Republican leadership staff for two and one half years. From 1988-1995, he worked as an Appropriations Associate on the House VA-HUD and Defense subcommittees for ranking member and then-Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-California).

Syers holds masters’ degrees from both the University of Denver in International Studies (1980) and the University of Oklahoma in Congressional Studies (1985). He did his undergraduate work at Bradley University (1976).

Arlington, Va. —The Aerospace Industries Association is pleased to announce that three leaders with extensive government and industry experience will be joining the AIA team.  John Luddy has been named Vice President for National Security and Acquisition Policy (NS&AP), William ‘Doc’ Syers joins AIA as Vice President for Legislative Affairs and Paul Paolozzi will lead the Communications team as Vice President of Communications.

“I’m delighted to welcome John, Doc and Paul to the AIA team,” said AIA President and CEO Dave Melcher. “Collectively they bring outstanding leadership capabilities to AIA and will serve our members well in their new capacities.”

Luddy comes to AIA with extensive experience as president of his own consulting practice, Vector Solutions, representing several of our major member companies including Raytheon Missile Systems, Northrop Grumman, as well as the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.  He was previously Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Vice President for Washington Operations.

Syers joins AIA from ITT/Exelis, where for thirteen years he served as Vice President for Congressional Relations. Previously he served as Director of Congressional Relations for Northrop Grumman’s Newport News Shipbuilding operation and Hughes Electronics/Raytheon.   He also served for seven years as Legislative Director for Congressman Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.).

Paolozzi currently serves as Initiatives Group Chief for the Under Secretary of the Army, where he helps inform senior Army leaders’ decision making on key strategic issues, decisions, projects and studies. He has extensive military and government experience, including positions as Commander of the Army’s 18th Engineer Brigade in Germany and Afghanistan, Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense and Military Legislative Fellow to a U.S. Senator.

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

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

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

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

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

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

# # #

CONTACT:  Keith Mordoff

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download bio here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Actualizing S1000D - Making it real!."

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

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

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

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

To register for the event go to:

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

Amanda Jaeger works as AIA's Communications Intern. She is responsible for managing AIA's social media platforms, editing internal and external communications, and crafting articles for AIA's Aerospace Blog. Amanda has also assisted with trade show and association-event planning, association and program communications, as well as Web site and Blog management.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Check out photos here:

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

NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan answers student questions


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



(Photos by Dan Stohr)


Graphic Overview

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

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

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

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

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

AIA’s Five Priorities for 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Establish and advocate for industry priorities in FAA reauthorization legislation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Featured this quarter in the Executive Report:

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


Kathryn Verona is Director, Legislative Affairs, coordinating the International Legislative Affairs portfolio and working closely with the International Affairs Policy Team.

She joined AIA from the American Chemical Society, where she worked on Member Engagement, the State Government Affairs portfolio and the Defense and Innovation Federal portfolio. In addition to her duties at ACS as a manager for Member Engagement, she worked closely with a variety of state and federal government leaders in different portfolios ranging from R&D issues, STEM Education and Veterans.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in political science, international studies and economics from George Mason University.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Government speakers included (in order of appearance):

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

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

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








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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Diamond Sponsor:         The Raytheon Company

Platinum Sponsors:       Lockheed Martin Corporation and Thales USA

Gold Sponsor:                  Microsemi Corporation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Featured this quarter in the Executive Report:

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