Open Letter to Congress on the Need for Ex-Im Bank

U.S. team captures Silver in 2014 International Rocketry Challenge

Director, Space Systems

What defense acquisition reform looks like

Summer SMC Meeting - Hosted by 3M

May/June eUpdate 2014

TARC Students Rocketing to New Heights Through STEM Education

The New American Space Age: A Progress Report on Human Spaceflight

AIA Presents Space Cost Reduction Paper

Workforce Panel Discussion at SMC Meeting

AIA Promotes Industry at Singapore and Farnborough Air Shows

Williamsburg – 2014 Spring Board of Governors Meeting

Media Attacks on General Aviation, Helicopters, and UAS Require Setting the Record Straight

Supplier Management Council Hosted by 3M

Nytesha Younge

Technical Operations Council

Wide Area Work Flow, UID, RFID e-Business Integration Group Meeting

The Business Technology Council, Information Leadership Forum

Business Technology Interoperability Committee Meeting

ISO/TC 20 Plenary (ISO standards committee for Aircraft and Space Vehicles)

National Aerospace Standards Committee

AIA/NDIA Industrial Security Committee Fall Meeting

Cost Principles Committee

Government Property Systems Committee

DPAP/OFPP/Procurement & Finance Executive Committee

Procurement & Finance Council Executive Committee

Workforce Policy Council Meeting

Workforce Policy Council Chairs’ Meeting with Workforce Working Group Chairs

Conflict Minerals Working Group

Procurement Techniques Committee

Procurement & Finance Council Executive Committee

AIA Executive Committee

Cost Principle Committee

CODSIA OFPP Meeting and GSA Meetings

DPAP/OFPP/Procurement & Finance Executive Committee

Government Property Systems Committee

Procurement Techniques Committee

Procurement & Finance Council Executive Committee

Senate Aerospace Caucus

House Aerospace Caucus

Aerospace Caucuses

“When Drones Fall from the Sky” Story Falls Short

AIA Welcomes Progress On New Alternative Jet Fuel Pathway


Ohio STEM Workforce Call-to-Action Forum

Supplier Management Council

USA Today Flying Blind

Reagan Would Have Fought For Ex-Im Bank

Miles Lifson

Defense Acquisition Resources to Understand Acquisition Reform

Letter From HASC/SASC to AIA

Daniel D. Faoro

AIA Names Faoro Vice President for Membership Services and Business Development

The New American Space Age

All-Girl Rocketry Team Answers Presidential Call for Increased Female Engagement in STEM

Time to reverse the budget caps

AIA Launches Second to None Coalition

Farnborough International Airshow 2014

Events for AIA Members

U.S. Industry Reception

Farnborough Airshow

AIA Supports Lifting of Export Restrictions on U.S. Space Systems

Leveling the Playing Field: The Ex-Im Bank & U.S. Manufacturing

Georgia Students Win Rocket Contest

Georgia Students Take First Place in Team America Rocketry Challenge Finals

Procurement and Finance ExCom Meeting

TARC Teams Flock to Capitol Hill for Rockets on the Hill

Rockets on the Hill

Reauthorize the Export-Import Bank

The U.S. Export-Import Bank

The Ex-Im Bank Makes America Stronger

Playing Politics with National Security is a Transatlantic Mistake


AIA Internship Program

Director, Corporate Events

Public Comments Sought on Acquisition Reform

AIA Conflict Minerals Education Update

2014 Executive Report First Quarter

AIA Encouraged by Meeting Among SASC Members on Sequestration

Business transactions standards

Exchange Agreements

Architecture Standards

Product Data Standards

E-Business Documents


AIA C-TPAT Supplier Database

Aero Caucus Hosts DARPA Director & Industry Displays

Aero Caucus Hosts DARPA & Industry

New Reports From AIA

Defense Research & Development: From the Warfighter to American Consumers, Redefining Everyday Lives Through Innovation

Building a better defense acquisition system

AIA’s Betsy Schmid Receives Navy Award

AIA’s Betsy Schmid Receives Navy Award

Elizabeth L. “Betsy” Schmid

Federal Budgets

National Security Space

The 2014 Team America Rocketry Challenge

U.S. Competitiveness Hearing

The U.S. Aviation Industry And Jobs: Keeping American Manufacturing Competitive

Restoring Balance in the Defense Acquisition System

AIA's President and CEO, Marion C. Blakey, in a recent letter to both chambers of Congress, made a strong case for the reautorization of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S.

We know that not reautorizing hte bank would be equivilent economic unilateral disarmament agains nearly 60 other foreign credit agencies. We hope you will join with us to support the Ex-Im Bank to sustain the American economy and U.S. jobs. 

Sign the Petition


Raytheon-sponsored team from Canton, Ga., wins second place in student rocketry challenge at the Farnborough International Air Show

LONDON – Five students from Creekview High School of Canton, Ga.,took home silver medals in the seventh annual International Rocketry Challenge at the Farnborough International Air Show.The U.S. team, sponsored by Raytheon (NYSE: RTN), won second place, while the French team captured first and the U.K. team took third.

Competing teams designed, built and launched rockets with a goal of reaching an altitude of exactly 825 feet during a 48- to 50-second flight window. The payload, two raw hen eggs, had to return to the ground undamaged using two identical parachutes. Scores are determined by how close teams come to the required height and time; cracked eggs disqualify the flight.

The five-member team representing the United States consists of Amanda Semler, 18; Andrew White, 16; Nick Dimos, 16; Austin Bralick, 16; and Bailey Robertson, 15. The team posted the top flight score of 9.88 and was just nine feet shy of the target altitude. The team from France posted the next highest flight score of 448.32 followed by the UK team with a flight score of 715.2.

The students also gave a presentation on their rocket design to a panel of international judges at Raytheon’s air show headquarters. The judges’ score counted for 40 percent of their total score.
“I had a great time being out here with all of the other people from different countries and meeting other people with similar interests,” said Team Captain Amanda Semler.“I hope it will inspire other women to get into the industry and reach their dreams.”

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

“The knowledge, discipline and commitment displayed by students to make it to this level of competition is extraordinary,” said Thomas A. Kennedy, CEO of Raytheon. “By celebrating student achievement on a global stage, Raytheon hopes to inspire more students to challenge themselves to share their knowledge and natural curiosity as they collaborate to uncover winning solutions.”

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

“The ingenuity and determination displayed today by the U.S. team is a powerful indicator that young Americans remain committed to excellence in STEM-related fields,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “I am confident that students like these will continue to bolster America’s global leadership in aerospace for generations to come.”

About MathMovesU
Raytheon's MathMovesU® program is an initiative committed to increasing middle and elementary school students' interest in math and science education by engaging them in hands-on, interactive activities. The innovative programs of MathMovesU include the traveling interactive experience MathAlive!®; Raytheon's Sum of all Thrills™ experience at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®, which showcases math in action as students design and experience their own thrill ride using math fundamentals; the In the Numbers game, a partnership with the New England Patriots on display at The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon; the company's ongoing sponsorship of the MATHCOUNTS® National Competition; and the MathMovesU scholarship and grant program. Follow MathMovesU and other Raytheon community outreach programs on Facebook and on Twitter @MathMovesU.

About Raytheon
Raytheon Company, with 2013 sales of $24 billion and 63,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 92 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as cyber security and a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at and follow us on Twitter @Raytheon.


This Director is responsible for providing liaison to and coordinating the development of consensus positions among AIA and Member company entities addressing space and related issues and also monitoring and addressing issues pertaining to space, spacecraft and related products.

Nature and Scope of Work: 

This position reports to the Vice President, Space Systems.

Responsibilities include monitoring issues, regulations and developments as they relate to and impact industry members in the area of space, and in coordinating the activities of the AIA Space Council, its committees, subcommittees, task groups and panels established to address these issues.  These bodies may take the initiative to formulate positions to be presented to federal agencies including DoD, NRO, MDA, OSTP, NASA, FAA/AST and NOAA as well as their various bureaus and commissions; or respond to government inquiries dealing with special areas of concern that require industry input.

Serves as the principal liaison to the National Security Space Committee and supports the Civil Space, and Commercial Space committees, and any working groups, panels and task forces under the jurisdiction of these committees.  Works closely with committee chairpersons to plan and execute committee business, and researches various media to identify and clarify issues. Drafts AIA's positions on the various issues and topics under consideration by the council and its committees. 

Confers with officials within the Administration, Congress, and agencies to gain attention and favorable consideration of AIA's viewpoint on subjects of current interest. Assists in making arrangements for joint government-industry working groups and project teams within assigned area of responsibility in order to facilitate consensus building on major issues affecting the industry.  Drafts testimony and attends congressional hearings impacting committee issues. Collaborates closely with the Director of Legislative Affairs to plan and carry out legislative strategy.

Serves as a subject matter expert and responds to inquiries from member companies and government officials seeking information and background data on incumbent's areas of knowledge with a strong focus on customer service.  These inquiries can range from general questions to highly specific requests that may take days to assemble the required data and background information.  Works with other divisions within AIA such as Communications to periodically provide expertise on space subjects that inform organization-wide products.

Oversees all arrangements for council operations. This includes developing background information and materials, as well as planning and carrying out Council and committee meetings.  Runs day to day operations for the department at the tactical level, and supports the Vice President for all strategic level requirements.



  • Excellent interpersonal, research, and communications (verbal and written) skills with a demonstrated ability to to build consensus and unity in a group with divergent perspectives and interests
  • Bachelor’s degree in a technical discipline, political science, government affairs, international affairs or related field required
  • Graduate/advanced degree (or degree in progress) in political science, government affairs, international affairs or related field strongly preferred
  • 5+ years work experience in a related area (e.g. aerospace industry, NASA, NOAA, DoD or trade association); national security related credentials strongly preferred
  • Military service or support experience valued

Defense acquisition reform won’t happen overnight; it will require several months if not a year or more of down in the weeds work.

That’s the message we sent to Congress, in response to requests from the House and Senate Armed Services committees for ideas on how to improve the process. That analogy – in the weeds — is an apt one, considering the overgrowth of weedy rules and regulations that inhibits the ability of our procurement system to flourish. 

But the situation is far from hopeless. AIA offered three principles for acquisition rebalancing: 1) optimize the use of scarce government resources; 2) allow industry the ability to execute more quickly and more efficiently; and 3) provide greater opportunities for industry to deliver the technologies, products and services our nation demands.

So what does that mean? To answer that question, we dug a little deeper, pointing to specific areas of reform. The first involves Department of Defense audits. The existing audit machine has added layers of complexity, adding time to complete audits, delaying contracts, impacting delivery schedules and key milestones as well as contract closeouts. This especially is onerous on smaller firms who need predictable revenue forecasts to support their operations and financial stability. We recommended that DOD make a greater effort to clear the audit backlog, reduce excessive documentation requirements, eliminate redundant audit and surveillance activity and focus auditors’ efforts on programs that are truly at risk.

Our second recommendation addressed the treatment of commercial items. Despite congressional direction and DOD policy expressing openness to using less expensive off-the-shelf commercial items that can leverage private investments in new products, the reality is the actual implementation of this policy is sorely lacking. The increased use by procurement officers of DOD unique or specific requirements stresses the supply chain and dissuades commercial suppliers from participating in the procurement system. Also, uneven interpretations of the definition of commercial items convert an otherwise straightforward commercial purchase as envisioned, into a lengthy DOD unique one. We maintain DOD should not impose rules, regulations and practices making it more difficult for the services to buy commercial items.

Our third recommendation concerns the need for the DOD to take a more active role in protecting company intellectual property rights. Appropriate IP protection will enable increased competition and innovation, provide more opportunity to leverage private investment, and result in a more robust and healthy contractor community and supply change.
Finally, we asserted that federal regulators should make a greater effort to engage experts, stakeholders and interest groups in the formulation of new acquisition rules prior to the rules being written. Explore potential rules with a spirit of collaboration, and government may avoid the messy fights that often occur during a shortened public comment period. An open dialogue with stakeholders will ensure the costs and benefits of potential rules are understood, possible alternative solutions for streamlining a rules implementation are examined, and that industry is able to comply.

Where will BAE Systems, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon and other industry leaders be this August 4-6?

That's right, these companies and more will be at the aerospace and defense supply chain event of the year - the Aerospace Industries Association’s summer Supplier Management Council meeting, August 4-6, 2014, at the St. Paul Hotel in St. Paul, Minnesota, hosted by 3M.

As we all know, these are critical times for our industry. Now more than ever, AIA members must work together to preserve and protect the aerospace and defense industry and find opportunities for growth. We look forward to having you with us at the Supplier Management Council as we work together on our most challenging issues.

Click here to register



3M will be scheduling one-on-one business meetings between AIA members and 3M's Business Unit and Sourcing Leaders from across 3M's Aerospace, Defense and Industrial business areas.  3M Representatives will have special expertise in the following:

  • Metalworking and fabrication
  • Bonding and adhesives
  • Paint prep and finishing
  • Erosion protection and prevention
  • Worker safety
  • Various technologies to enable lighter, safer, quieter and faster aircraft
  • And much more


  • Technology Fair and Product Expo is sponsored by 3M Defense and will feature cutting edge technologies, applications and products for the Aerospace and Defense industries.
  • Technical and Business leaders from key 3M divisions will be on hand to show AIA members how 3M technology can be incorporated into their processes to drive higher productivity, lower costs, improve worker safety and solve their toughest design in problems.


  • Elliott Branch, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Acquisition and Procurement (confirmed)
  • Brett Lambert, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy and Senior Fellow, NDIA (invited)
  • Congresswoman, Betty McCollum (D-MN), member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee (confirmed)
  • Charity Golf Outing & Reception to Benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, hosted by 3M Monday, August 4th
  • St. Croix River Boat Reception & Dinner Cruise, hosted by 3M on Wednesday, August 6th

Please Note: The last day to receive a refund of the registration fee is Monday, July 7th.

We look forward to seeing you in St. Paul!

Click here to register

In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Cost Principles Committee Meeting
Location: San Francisco, CA
Event Date: Jul. 16-18, 2014
Procurement & Finance Council Executive Committee
Location: McLean, VA
Event Date: Jul. 24, 2014
Procurement and Finance ExCom Meeting
Location: McLean, VA
Event Date: Jul. 24, 2014
Supplier Management Council
Location: St. Paul, MN
Event Date: Aug. 04-07, 2014
Procurement Techniques Committee
Location: Seattle, WA
Event Date: Aug. 07, 2014 
Government Property Systems Committee
Location: Ft. Lee, VA
Event Date: Aug. 19-20, 2014
DPAP/OFPP/Procurement & Finance Executive Committee
Location: TBD
Event Date: Aug. 21, 2014
CODSIA OFPP Meeting and GSA Meetings
Location: Washington, D.C.
Event Date: Sep. 03, 2014
Cost Principle Committee
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Event Date: Sep. 17-19, 2014
AIA Executive Committee
Location: Arlington, VA
Event Date: Sep. 18, 2014n
Cost Principle Committee
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Event Date: Sep. 17-19, 2014
Procurement & Finance Council Executive Committee
Location: Falls Church, VA
Event Date: Sep. 18, 2014
AIA/NDIA Industrial Security Committee Fall Meeting
Location: Orlando, FL
Event Date: Sep. 21-23, 2014
National Aerospace Standards Committee
Location: Portland, OR
Event Date: Sep. 30-Oct. 2, 2014
Marion C. Blakey
President and CEO
We recognize that many subjects related to our industry can be very complex. Accordingly, for reporters covering aerospace and defense, it often pays to take the time to provide them with detailed and useful information about their focus of interest. At AIA, we are committed to working closely with journalists to give them the background they need to get their stories right. Our communications department fields dozens of calls every day from reporters and either responds directly to information requests, sets up interviews with myself and/or our policy experts, or if appropriate, have them reach out to member companies.
Top News
 AIA’s Spring Board of Governors and Membership Meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia attracted executives from 88 of the association’s full member companies. The extensive program featured an excellent lineup of senior administration and industry officials and seasoned commentators and experts.
 This February, AIA and its member companies participated in the 2014 Singapore Air Show. This year's event -the largest air show in Asia- was held at the Changhi Exhibition Centre. The United States' aircraft corral supported by AIA displayed a P-8 Poseidon, an MV-22B Osprey, a C-17 Globemaster, a KC-130J Hercules, and a KC-135R Stratotanker. The C-17, MV-22B, and an F-16C participated in the flying displays.
Still less than a year old, AIA's Workforce Policy Council has proved to be an aggressive advocate for educating other association members on workforce and STEM-related issues. In effort to highlight the importance of growing AIA's workforce efforts, one of the sessions at the Spring Supplier Management Council meeting held in Dallas this March focused on STEM education and workforce development.
AIA hosted in March a panel discussion and open forum with industry and government representatives on AIA’s new space report, Easing the Burden—Reducing the Cost of National Security Space Capabilities.
To help counter the media-fed misperception that NASA’s human spaceflight program ended with the retirement of the Space Shuttles, and to help provide a clear understanding of recent program progress, AIA recently published The New American Space Age: A Progress Report on Human Spaceflight.
After six months of rocketry design, simulated flights and test launches, hundreds of middle and high school students from across the country traveled to the nation’s capital in May for the championship round of the Team America Rocketry Challenge.
AIA Spotlight: Director for International Affairs, Dak Hardwick
Congratulations to AIA's Dak Hardwick on his recent appointment to the Virginia Aviation Board by Governor McAuliffe! Dak, along with other board appointees, will join the Governor's administration with the focus of growing Virginia's economy and creating more jobs across the Commonwealth.

Congressman Randy Weber (R-Texas 14th District) at 'Rockets on the Hill' meeting with teams from Clear Falls High School and Jefferson County 4H Club

After six months of rocketry design, simulated flights and test launches, hundreds of middle and high school students from across the country traveled to the nation’s capital in May for the championship round of the Team America Rocketry Challenge.

TARC is the world’s largest student rocket contest and the aerospace and defense industry’s flagship program designed to encourage students to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Organized by the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR), TARC provides middle and high school students the opportunity to design, build and launch model rockets in an annual competition among more than 5,000 students nationwide.

TARC activities began with the competition’s  third annual “Rockets on the Hill” congressional reception on Friday, May 10.

Greeting the students were Congressman Mike Honda of California, a member of the House STEM Education Caucus; Dr. John S. Langford, Chairman and CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation; and Leland Melvin, the NASA astronaut who led the space agency’s education mission directorate from 2010 to earlier this year. Following the reception the students visited the offices of their home state Senators and Representatives, bringing with them a strong message that STEM education pays off for America.

On Saturday, May 11, more than one hundred teams gathered at Great Meadow in The Plains, Va. to put their months of hard work to the test at the national finals. Teams had to launch a set of two raw eggs to 825 feet and return them safely to earth undamaged within a flight duration of 48 - 50 seconds using two identical parachutes. After an exciting day of competition, a large crowd gathered inside a tent to hail this year’s champions from Creekview High School in Canton, Georgia. Representing the Creekview Grizzly Bears were captain Amanda Semler, Andrew White, Bailey Robertson, Austin Bralick and Nick Dimos. The champions will share in more than $60,000 in cash and scholarship prizes and will travel to England in July courtesy of Raytheon to represent the U.S. on the world stage and compete against teams from the U.K. and France in the International Rocketry Challenge during the Farnborough Air Show.

The annual TARC activities were  made possible by generous support of more than twenty industry partners: Aerojet; ARACON, a Micro-Coax product; Aurora Flight Sciences; Elbit Systems of America; Embraer Aircraft Holding, Inc.; General Electric Company; Harris Corporation; Honeywell Aerospace; Kaman Aerospace Corporation; L-3 Communications Corporation; LMI Aerospace, Inc.; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Parker Aerospace; Raytheon Company; Rockwell Collins; Rolls-Royce North America, Inc.; RTI International Metals, Inc.; Space Exploration Technologies Corporation; The Boeing Company; and Woodward, Inc.

In another TARC related development, we’re very pleased to announce that Miles Lifson, who joined AIA in May, will manage the 2015 competition. Lifson comes to AIA from the Office of Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland. He graduated in May 2013 from Claremont McKenna College with a double major in government and physics. He also interned with the Space Studies Board of the National Academies.

To help counter the media-fed misperception that NASA’s human spaceflight program ended with the retirement of the Space Shuttles, and to help provide a clear understanding of recent program progress, AIA recently published The New American Space Age: A Progress Report on Human Spaceflight.

This publication, released at the AIA Board of Governors meeting in May, provides a highly visual tour of hardware progress and program achievements made in the suborbital commercial market, the International

Space Station Program, Commercial Crew Program, and the Deep Space Exploration Program. The report highlights numerous achievements, including the following:

  • The International Space Station is now in its 13th year of continuous habitation by American astronauts, with numerous research breakthroughs to its name - including a trial vaccine for the Salmonella pathogen.
  • Companies competing in the Commercial Crew Program are prototyping and testing flight hardware that will end our dependence on Russia for astronaut transportation.
  • Progress on the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle will culminate in the first flight of an uncrewed Orion later this year on the Exploration Flight Test-1 mission.
  • State of the art tooling including a large new friction-stir welding machine is being built to support construction of the Space Launch System, which will be the largest launch vehicle ever built.

By informing Washington stakeholders of the impressive progress being made by NASA and the space industry on human spaceflight across 48 states, AIA believes the case for continued policy support and stable budgets for spaceflight programs is strengthened as Congress considers future funding for NASA programs.

AIA  hosted in March a panel discussion and open forum with industry and government representatives on AIA’s new space report, Easing the Burden—Reducing the Cost of National Security Space Capabilities. AIA Vice President of Space Systems, Frank Slazer, moderated a lively discussion featuring the following panelists:

  • Keith Robertson, National Reconnaissance Office
  • Jeff Trauberman, Vice President, Space, Intelligence and Missile Defense, Boeing
  • David Barnhart, Phoenix Program Manager, U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
  • Rick Skinner, Director, Business Development, SATCOM, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems

The speakers addressed the development of government and industry partnerships in a changing cost environment, with emphasis on new technologies that are making satellite development more cost effective. Trauberman described the upcoming Boeing 702 Satellite Product Line, an all-electric satellite to launch in 2015. The Boeing 702 uses electric thrusters, eliminating the need for chemical propulsion. Similarly, Barnhart described DARPA’s robotics experiments to develop the technology needed to reconstruct old satellites while in orbit. This program, called “Phoenix,” will conceivably lead planners to rethink the morphology and evolution of satellites.

The panelists agreed that the whole cost reduction process is not a “one size fits all” model for satellite development and evolution. When asked what will make the policies and requirements move faster, discussants focused on the need for stable funding to enable both the government and private sector to continue their cost-reduction partnerships. The panel members expressed confidence that new cost-reduction approaches can help create more affordable satellite systems without compromising quality, security, and technology advancement.

Still less than a year old, AIA's Workforce Policy Council has proved to be an aggressive advocate for educating other association members on workforce and STEM-related issues.

In effort to highlight the importance of growing AIA's workforce efforts, one of the sessions at the Spring Supplier Management Council meeting held in Dallas this March focused on STEM education and workforce development. The panel discussion addressed a broad range of topics including: extracurricular programs for K-12 students; skills development through Career Technical Education and other specialized training programs; two- and four-year undergraduate degree programs; and targeted outreach to females, underrepresented ethnic minorities, veterans and the disabled. Moderated by Gina Burns, chair of the AIA Workforce Policy Council and Vice President, Talent & Human Resources Operations at Lockheed Martin, the panel provided a range of perspectives and encompassed a broad spectrum of STEM education and workforce development programs in which AIA member companies are involved.

The panel is just one of a number of activities that AIA’s Workforce Policy Council has sponsored to help smaller aerospace and defense companies leverage efforts underway in their communities to address their workforce challenges. All AIA member companies are eligible to participate in any of the five workforce-related working groups organized under the Workforce Policy Council.

Dr. Brian Fitzgerald, CEO of the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF), emphasized public-private partnerships established with universities by Raytheon and Northrop Grumman to grow particular talent - such as cybersecurity specialists - through regional workforce projects coordinated by BHEF. Dr. Ralph Coppola, President of RKC International, spoke about the Real World Design Challenge, an extracurricular STEM competition to engage high school students in engineering design that he founded as an employee of AIA member company PTC. Brent Weil, Senior Vice President for Education and Workforce at the Manufacturing Institute, provided insight on how manufacturers like Boeing are addressing current technically-skilled worker shortfalls by developing customized training programs implemented by community colleges in areas of high demand. Joan Robinson-Berry, Boeing’s Vice President, Supplier Management for Shared Services Group, described that company's approach and efforts they have underway to attract and develop a diverse and inclusive talent pool. And Scott Thams, CEO, Integrity Aerospace Group, Inc., and a member of AIA’s Executive Committee, spoke to the role that smaller aerospace firms like his can have in developing productive apprentice programs.

This February, AIA and its member companies participated in the 2014 Singapore Air Show. This year's event -the largest air show in Asia- was held at the Changhi Exhibition Centre. The United States' aircraft corral supported by AIA displayed a P-8 Poseidon, an MV-22B Osprey, a C-17 Globemaster, a KC-130J Hercules, and a KC-135R Stratotanker. The C-17, MV-22B, and an F-16C participated in the flying displays.

At the show, AIA provided members the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion on export control reform, which featured: Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Defense Trade Controls Kenneth Handelman; Director of the Defense Technology Security Administration Beth McCormick; and Director of the Munitions Control Division in the Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security, Michael Vaccaro.

AIA also hosted a luncheon address by Under Secretary of Defense for AT&L Frank Kendall. Joining Under Secretary Kendall and a number of AIA member company senior executives at the luncheon were Alan Shaffer, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Elana Broitman, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy and Keith Webster, Director of International Cooperation at AT&L.

Kendall spoke about the need for increased and better-coordinated U.S. government participation at international trade shows, as they provide a forum to engage his direct foreign counterparts and promote U.S. aerospace and defense trade. He outlined the U.S.’ strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region, the role international trade plays in maintaining the health of the domestic defense industrial base, and the importance of a "whole of government" approach to security cooperation engagement and advocacy with our closest allies.

Noting AT&L’s top priorities for 2014, Kendall emphasized the importance of supporting the U.S. war fighter in completing current missions. He also discussed the “Protect the Future” strategy that is designed to emphasize support for small businesses, continue development of a highly-skilled workforce, and increase research and development investments.

At the Farnborough International Air Show (July 14-20), AIA anticipates a similarly robust U.S. government presence. At Farnborough, AIA will support U.S. personnel and equipment participating in the show while also managing the U.S. DOD Corral. Several AIA-hosted events at the upcoming air show will foster a dialogue between the U.S. government and AIA members, as well as promote U.S. aerospace and defense trade and security cooperation with foreign customers. These activities represent the first steps AIA’s proposal for an Aerospace & Defense Trade Initiative, a concept which has been briefed to and is receiving growing interest and support from senior U.S. government officials at the Commerce Department, State Department, DoD, the FAA, and the NSC.

AIA’s Spring Board of Governors and Membership Meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia attracted executives from 88 of the association’s full member companies. The extensive program featured an excellent lineup of senior administration and industry officials and seasoned commentators and experts, including:    Anthony Foxx, Secretary of Transportation; Robert O. Work, Deputy Secretary of Defense; Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L); author and political pundit  Charlie Cook; Tony Tyler, Director General and CEO, International Air Transport Association; Fred Hochberg, Chairman, Export-Import Bank of the United States; and author, professor Jonah Berger.

This is first time that we’ve featured both the Deputy and Under Secretary of Defense on the podium before the full Board of Governors. They focused on existing threats, resources to address such threats, the  acquisition system, and working more closely with the private sector to meet the war fighters' needs in these budget-constrained times. Members of the Executive Committee also met with both officials during breakfast prior to the sessions.

The Board meeting included two panel discussions – both centered on budgets, funding and finance, topics of great importance to our member companies during this time of legislative budgetary uncertainty. The first panel on the future of discretionary spending for the aerospace and defense industry was moderated by Steve Bell, Senior Director, Economic Policy, Bipartisan Policy Center (former senior staff official, U.S. Senate). The panelists included G. William Hoagland (Senior Vice President, Bipartisan Policy Center, former senior staff official, U.S. Senate), Douglas Holtz-Eakin (Former Director, Congressional Budget Office, and President, American Action Forum), Charlie Houy, (Former Senate Appropriations Committee Staff Director); and Kathleen Peroff (Former Deputy Associate Director for National Security, Office of Management and Budget, and Head of Peroff & Associates, LLC). The panelists provided an in depth discussion of the challenges facing the federal budget. In particular, they focused on trends in the defense budget that are squeezing out investment in the modernization and operating accounts, such as a reluctance on the part of Congress to accept proposals to bring down the benefit and excess facility costs.  They discussed the challenges inherent in reversing the Budget Control Act caps again in 2016 and suggested that Congress and the White House must address the real cause of the budget deficit and not continue to turn to discretionary federal budgets to find minimal savings.

The second panel was titled The Financial Frontier – New Space Business Opportunities in the 21st Century. Hosted by Carissa Christensen, Managing Partner of the Tauri Group, the panel included Tim Hughes (Space X), Lesa Roe, (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), and Jim Simpson (the Boeing Company).  Their discussion brought out the new opportunities that are emerging - from traditional markets such as communications satellites and NASA-run programs, to new markets such as suborbital passenger and research missions and commercial crew transportation. Their conclusion - the space market is growing and changing in exciting ways and US industry is leading the way.

Breaking mid-day for lunch, the Civil Aviation Leadership Council heard from  former Secretary of Transportation James Burnley and former FAA Chief Operating Officer David Grizzle regarding  the current state, reform and restructuring of the U.S. air traffic control system, and NextGen implementation. This was a timely discussion given FAA’s reauthorization is up once again in 2015.

Concurrently, the Space Council held a special lunch with Lesa Roe, Deputy Associate Administrator for NASA. She discussed the Technical Capabilities Assessment Team, or TCAT - an initiative launched in 2012 and designed to ensure the agency has the right mix of skills, facilities and equipment to execute its missions in coming years - keeping America the world leader in space.

Rounding out the speakers’ program was Wharton marketing professor Berger with a presentation on how ideas, slogans and product allegiance catch on. A number of member company representatives commented that Berger was one of the best featured speakers we’ve had during our two-day Board of Governors program. It also gave a boost to the importance of social media in driving brand following, especially our Second to None Coalition.

After a long day of business sessions, attendees were surprised with a last-minute schedule change that proved to be quite the presentation. While the special dinner speaker General Stanley McChrystal was delayed by weather and only able to attend the after-dinner reception, Rear Admiral and Seal commander Scott Moore stepped in and shared some of his experiences on high-profile missions. Among the stories he told to the captive audience were the rescue of Danish Aid workers Jessica Buchanon and Poul Hagen Thisted from Somalia hostage takers, Captain Richard Phillips’ on-the-water rescue from Somalia pirates, and the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound.

Other highlights from the Board meeting included the premier showing of a four-minute video on the 2014 Team America Rocketry Challenge competition and the unveiling of the AIA Second To None Coalition website.

We look forward to seeing AIA members for the fall Board of Governors meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona November 19-20, 2014 – details to follow.

We recognize that many subjects related to our industry can be very complex. Accordingly, for reporters covering aerospace and defense, it often pays to take the time to provide them with detailed and useful information about their focus of interest. At AIA, we are committed to working closely with journalists to give them the background they need to get their stories right. Our communications department fields dozens of calls every day from reporters and either responds directly to information requests, sets up interviews with myself and/or our policy experts, or if appropriate, have them reach out to member companies.

Our open and helpful approach to dealing with journalists has yielded many articles we view positively including pieces in major publications about aviation safety, the implications of the budget cuts for national security, progress in space activities, and our advocacy for the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Unfortunately, there are times when a reporter with a predisposition toward a certain and often sensationalist conclusion writes a piece without coming to us for comment or assistance in getting the facts straight. This happened twice recently, when USA Today ran a lengthy and often misleading cover story about general aviation and helicopter safety, and when the Washington Post ran a three part series implying that the domestic use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems would be unsafe based on unrelated and nonfatal incidents involving military unmanned aircraft systems often operating in the theater of war.

In cases like these, we quickly suit up and sprint out with our version of the truth, heeding the dictum of Mark Twain, who wrote, “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  Accordingly, after the publication of both offending articles, AIA quickly put out strong statements to set the record straight. You can find our responses in the news and media section of the AIA web site.  

In response to the USA Today piece, “Unfit for Flight,” we pointed out that the story’s author had cherry-picked from the earliest period of aviation safety records for the last five decades to paint a sensationalist picture of general aviation safety, when in fact general aviation and helicopter operations have been documented to be much safer during the past 15 years, and manufacturers are working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board to make more safety improvements as new technologies come on line.   

With respect to the Washington Post series, we noted that the safety record for military uses of Unmanned Aircraft Systems has markedly improved as these craft have moved from the development to operational stage. We also stated that it’s wrong to conflate the performance of far heavier systems, largely operated in combat zones and in more extreme weather and terrain conditions, with the kinds of limited UAS operations FAA is currently contemplating in the domestic air space.

On this and all subjects related to our industry, we will continue to work hard to make sure that reporters and their editors get the facts and context needed to make informed judgments about vital aerospace and defense matters.

Where will BAE Systems, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon and other industry leaders be this August 4-6? At AIA's summer Supplier Management Council meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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The Unted States House and Senate Aerospace Caucuses are made up of members of Congress who have a strong interest in public policy issues that affect the aerospace and defense community. These bipartisan organizations serve as forums for industry briefings to members of Congress and their staffs on the major issues that impact growth, innovation and security in the nation’s civil aviation, defense and national security and space secors of the economy.

Statement by AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey on Washington Post article on unmanned aircraft systems’ safety record

Arlington, Va. — Today’s Washington Post story, “When Drones Fall from the Sky” ignores critical factors regarding safety of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in a misguided article that could frighten readers about the impending integration of UAS into the national airspace system.  From the opening sentence, the author refers to “a record of calamity that exposes the potential dangers of throwing open American skies to drone traffic,” when in fact, the safety records of military aircraft – which the author admits are improving and haven’t cost a single life – have little to do with future safe commercial operations of unmanned systems in domestic airspace on which the FAA is working diligently.

The FAA UAS integration roadmap and launch of the six designated UAS test sites highlight a systematic approach to safely integrate UAS.  We cannot overstate the importance that FAA places on safety, its primary mission.  Later this year FAA will issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on small UAS, beginning the process for seeking public comment and ultimately issuing regulations governing the use of UAS under 55 pounds.  Those systems – which are the first FAA plans to certify for domestic use – will operate within strict guidelines and only when they meet the new standards.

It’s wrong to conflate the performance of far heavier systems, largely operated in combat zones and in more extreme weather and terrain conditions, with the kinds of limited operations FAA currently is contemplating in the United States.  Military aircraft loss rates are higher when in the development and test phase; as they mature and enter full production and normal operations, loss rates decline.  Moreover, the loss rates that major military UAS systems are experiencing compare very favorably to the loss rates of manned systems at the same point in their development cycle.  Nothing leads us to believe unmanned aircraft will not be as safe or safer than manned aircraft over the long term.

Unmanned systems are an important new technology, and can perform vital safety operations as well as opening new markets for commercial enterprises.  From precision agriculture and advanced tornado research to shooting movies and photojournalism, UAS have a wide variety of future applications.  Scaring the public with unfounded comparisons will not contribute usefully to progress on integrating UAS safely into the national airspace system.

Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey on approval of new cleaner, alternative jet fuel

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association and its member companies welcome the continued progress towards the commercialization of sustainable alternative jet fuels, with the approval for use of a third alternative fuel specification. As new pathways are identified and certified for aircraft use, U.S. and world operators step closer to the use of cleaner alternative fuels to meet projected passenger growth.

ASTM International, a standards-development organization, has approved a new bio-derived fuel annex that ensures the properties of a new fuel, produced from hydroprocessed fermented sugars, when blended with conventional jet fuel.  When used, the blended fuel does not require changes to the aircraft or aircraft systems.

The previously approved alternative fuels are produced from plant oils and animal processing waste and conversion of biomass and fossil fuel feedstocks. Combined government and industry research and development efforts are resulting in alternative fuels that are likely to produce 80 percent lower lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. 

Developing sustainable alternative fuels is an integral part of the industry goal to achieve carbon neutral growth from the year 2020.  It also contributes to the U.S. government goal of producing one billion gallons of alternative jet fuel by 2018.  AIA supports the continued efforts to develop new fuel pathways that encourage increased commercial production of alternate fuels.

New DoD requirements for identification of parts and consignments demand that information is gathered and aggregated up the supply chain. These guidelines offer a range of alternative file formats and transfer mechanisms that will facilitate companies of all sizes delivering the necessary information electronically in conjunction with their products, expediting compliance and payment.

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Statement by AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey on misleading article on general aviation’s safety record

Arlington, Va. — Today’s USA Today story, “Unfit for Flight” ignores overwhelming evidence of improving general aviation safety in a misguided effort to paint aerospace manufacturers in a bad light.  Going back through five decades of accident data significantly distorts the marked decline in both fatal and non-fatal accidents that occurred from 1999 to 2011, with fatal accidents falling 24 percent and non-fatal accidents falling 29 percent over that time period according to GAO’s October 2012 report on general aviation safety.  In fact, according to the GAO, the majority of general aviation accidents result in no injuries at all – a far cry from USA Today's screaming headlines.

Looking for corporate villains, the story irresponsibly implies that the aircraft manufacturing industry is an overwhelming contributor to general aviation accidents.  This ignores the facts and cherry-picks anecdotal data to present a grossly misleading picture.  The aviation industry is engaged in ongoing efforts in close cooperation with NTSB and FAA to improve safety both in terms of equipment and pilot training.  For instance, FAA’s Alaskan Capstone project deploys ADS-B technologies in places where radar cannot work to provide better guidance and reduce the accident rate.  Many Alaskan communities are dependent on general aviation services to connect them with the world; the effort to increase safety in that area stands as just one example of industry partnering with government to improve the lives of everyday citizens.

As a former Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, I also know from personal experience that the picture of these dedicated agencies painted by USA Today is inaccurate and unfair.  General aviation performs a vital role in our economy, linking American communities, helping save countless lives in emergency situations and providing early training for the pilots who fly our commercial and military aircraft.  Fair reporting would show nationwide trends, include recent data and recognize laudable manufacturing industry efforts to improve safety in close coordination with our government.  The public, and the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on our aircraft, deserve better.

A version of this article appears in the June 9 edition of Aviation Week & Space Technology and in Aviation Week online on June 17.

In the decade since Ronald Reagan’s death, appraisals of the U.S.’s 40th president have focused on his policies’ bold colorings. To help end the Cold War, he first demonstrated to Soviet leaders the folly of trying to keep up with a technologically advanced American military. Reagan’s economic policies also unapologetically advanced the interests of American workers and businesses when he saw foreign competitors had the advantage of an unlevel playing field.

As someone who proudly served President Reagan, I believe it is important to address his legacy now, precisely because some members of his party in Congress are turning their back on it. They have accepted excessive national security cuts in an increasingly dangerous world due to their stubborn adherence to fiscal austerity. And they refuse to support government institutions such as the Export Import Bank (Ex-Im) of the United States, which allows American companies to compete for business abroad and create jobs here at home.

Ex-Im goes toe-to-toe against other nations’ export credit agencies to enable American companies to compete internationally based on price, product and quality instead of favorable financing. Ex-Im supports U.S. exports when private finance is unable or unwilling to step in. During his presidency, Reagan strongly backed Ex-Im, albeit with necessary reforms. He requested an increase in Ex-Im’s lending limit on loan guarantees by more than 12% or $1.1 billion. One of his budget requests stated that supporting export financing on a “substantial scale” is “consistent with the [Ex-Im] Bank’s legitimate role in overcoming limitations in private credit markets.” That does not sound like someone who opposed the Bank.

Also consistent with Reagan’s views is Ex-Im’s critical role today in assisting Main Street U.S. businesses. In 2013, the bank aided more than 3,400 companies—nearly 90% of them small businesses—and supported more than 205,000 U.S. jobs in all 50 states. The indirect impact of the bank is also substantial when considering the small- and medium-sized supply chain companies that benefit when a product is exported. The bank evaluates all transactions it receives for potential adverse economic impact. And last year, Ex-Im earned more than $1 billion for the U.S. Treasury. In addition, a newly released Congressional Budget Office report estimates that Ex-Im would earn $14 billion over 10 years using the accounting methods currently required by law. That, along with a 0.0237% default rate, is an enviable record of achievement.

The U.S. aerospace industry, which must expand exports in order to mitigate somewhat the negative effects of excessive budget cuts, relies greatly on Ex-Im. The Bank ensures that the suppliers for manufacturers of aircraft, helicopters, commercial satellites, spacecraft and launch vehicles are able to participate in an ever-expanding global marketplace. And if you add to original equipment sales the significant orders for aftermarket parts and components generated by U.S. aerospace exports, it is clear that Ex-Im contributes significantly to the strength of our nation’s industrial manufacturing base and to our industry’s track record of generating the largest trade surplus of any manufacturing sector.

Despite Ex-Im’s positive role, the bank’s small, but vocal group of opponents in Congress seeks to block its required reauthorization this fall. They assert Ex-Im financing represents the government picking winners and losers. This is not the case: Any U.S. company that wants to compete globally can come to the bank to help turn good export opportunities into sales. If Ex-Im’s opponents are successful, their blocking move would amount to economic unilateral disarmament against 60 other nations whose export credit agencies aggressively support their businesses, often with massive subsidies. Certainly our foreign competitors would love to see it eliminated and the playing field tilted in their favor, but the job of our government is to advance American competitiveness. Who would have thought that some elected officials and “think” tanks would take foreign competitors’ side of the argument?

I urge readers to reach out to their members of Congress to call for action to reauthorize Ex-Im prior to Oct. 1. As President Reagan said in his 1983 State of the Union Address, “We must have adequate export financing to sell American products overseas.”

Miles Lifson is the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) manager of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). He is responsible for the planning and execution of all aspects of TARC - the aerospace industry’s signature science, technology, engineering and mathematics program. TARC is the world’s largest model rocket competition for middle and high school students.  Lifson coordinates sponsorships and partnerships; and works with hundreds of schools across the country. He regularly interfaces with the National Association of Rocketry, NASA and DOD. Additionally, Lifson collaborates with partner countries to sustain and expand the International Rocketry Challenge.

Lifson also supports AIA's Workforce Policy Council and Industrial Base initiatives.

Prior to joining AIA, Lifson interned with Congresswoman Donna Edwards and the Space Studies Board of the National Academies.

Lifson holds bachelor’s degrees in physics and government  from Claremont McKenna College.

AIA has complied a number of letters that address the federal defense acquisition process and ways in which reforms can be made to ensure the best value for defense customers.  They include the following letters and may be downloaded as a combined zip file below.
  • Join Working Group on Improving Cybersecurity and Resiliance Through Acquisition
  • AIA Comments on DFARS: Discllsure to Litigation Support Contractors (DFARS Case 2012-D029)
  • Federal Management Regulation; Disposal and Report of Federal Electronic Assets (Case 2012-102-4)
  • Burdens and Barriers to Contracting with the Federal Government
  • Response to October 30th Letter on BBP 2.0
  • Better Buying Power 2.0 - Commercial Items
  • Meetings with Alan Estevez, Katrina McFarland, and Dick Ginman regarding Costs of Regulation
  • FAR; Contractor Comment Period, Past Preformance Evaluations (FAR CASE 2012-028)
  • Pension Harmonization Rule Change
  • Cost Acounting Standards
  • MOCAS payment cycle times
  • DCMA Meetings regarding Corrective Action Requests
  • AIA Comments on implementation of Better Buying Power 2.0
  • AIA Comments on DFARS: Safeguarding Unclassified DoD Information (DFARS Case 2011-D039)
  • Section 818 NDAA 2012

This letter from the House and Senate Armed Services oversight committees informed AIA that the Congress is looking into ways to improve the defense acquisition system. Specifically:

  • Steps that DOD or Congress could take to reduce the cost of major defense acquisition programs;
  • Steps that DOD or Congress could take to expedite the delivery of useful capabilities to the warfighter;
  • Steps that DOD or Congress could take to improve how it recruits, trains, and develops its acquisition workforce;
  • Steps that DOD or Congress could take to empower key acquisition personnel, such as program managers and cost estimators, to make sound choices through the acquisition process;
  • Steps that DOD or Congress could take to improve planning, contracting, oversight and management of services; and
  • Steps that DOD or Congress could take to incentivize timely delivery of capabilities and services to warfighters with considerations for life-cycle costs.

Dan Faoro is Vice President of Membership and Business Development for the Aerospace Industries Association. He is responsible for recruitment and retention activities of AIA’s membership, new business development and executing and improving member services to include corporate events.

Dan brings extensive association experience in membership outreach, marketing and revenue generation.  Prior to joining AIA in 2014, he served as the Vice President and Assistant to the President for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) where he was responsible for major outreach programs to critical segments of AOPA’s broad membership and a variety of business development initiatives. Prior to AOPA, Dan spent six years as Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores where he worked extensively on activities to sustain and generate revenue. He also served as the Director of Communications for the Office of Management and Administration at the White House during President George W. Bush’s first term and he spent five years as Director of Marketing for a DC based publishing company.

Dan has a private pilot certificate and holds a B.A. in Economics from George Mason University.

Arlington, Va. — Daniel D. Faoro has joined the Aerospace Industries Association as Vice President for Membership Services and Business Development, bringing extensive association experience in membership outreach, marketing and revenue generation.

“Dan is an outstanding addition to the AIA team and we’re delighted to bring him on board,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “We are a multi-faceted industry with many opportunities and challenges – his experience in aviation and large association management will help us maintain outstanding service to our members.”

Most recently, Faoro served as the Vice President and Assistant to the President for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association where he was responsible for major outreach to AOPA’s broad membership and a variety of business development initiatives.  Prior to AOPA, he spent six years as Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores where he worked extensively on activities to sustain and generate revenue. 

Faoro also served as the Director of Communications in the Office of Management and Administration at the White House during President George W. Bush’s first term.  He has a private pilot certificate and holds a B.A. in economics from George Mason University.

Across the government and private sectors, more vehicles are now being built for human spaceflight than at any other point in history. Today’s NASA human spaceflight program is an ecosystem of diverse activity – developing both exploration systems and commercial transportation services. These elements are strategically linked to one another and vital to the success of the overall human spaceflight program.

In the field of suborbital spaceflight, private companies are developing spacecraft to take hundreds of paying customers briefly into space. If current trends continue, the suborbital market is predicted to have baseline revenue of $600 million over the first 10 years of operations. Already, one suborbital space transportation company, Virgin Galactic, is nearing 800 deposits for paying customers.

In low Earth orbit, three companies have won the most recent round of NASA funding, known as Commercial Crew Integrated Capabilities to develop new space transportation systems to the International Space Station (ISS) and open potential new markets for space transportation: Boeing, Sierra Nevada and SpaceX. All three have made steady progress to build U.S. domestic access to
the ISS and end our dependency on the Russians. 

For deep space exploration, the space industry is building vehicles to extend our reach further into the solar system than we have ever gone before. To expand human access to the solar system, two foundational vehicles are being built – a new heavy lift rocket called the Space Launch System and the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle called Orion. Orion will serve as the primary spacecraft to send NASA astronauts to destinations beyond low Earth orbit. Just as the Space Shuttle was a vehicle with many uses – from scientific experimentation, satellite servicing and space station construction – NASA’s next generation exploration vehicles will be equipped to take on multiple mission types for deep space exploration.

The human spaceflight programs established in the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 and agreed upon by the White House and Congress have made incredible progress. By continuing steady and consistent support for these programs, exploration programs and commercial space transportation services will extend our reach farther than we’ve ever gone before – all for the benefit of life on Earth.

Students showcase rockets for President Obama at fourth White House Science Fair

Washington, D.C. – Team Rocket Power, an all-girl team from Maryland that competed in the 2014 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), exhibited their rockets for President Obama at the White House Science Fair this morning. The three-girl team was invited to join the White House's celebration of a range of national programs that encourage students to engage and excel in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

This year's Fair hosts students from a number of competitions across the country and there is a specific focus on girls and women who are excelling in STEM-related fields and inspiring younger students with their work. Tenth graders Jasmyn Logan and Nia'mani Robinson and high school senior Rebecca Chapin-Ridgley are doing just that.

“These girls have truly answered the President's call for closing the gap for women and other underrepresented groups to excel in STEM-related fields,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “This is the fourth year one of our teams has been invited to participate in the White House Science Fair and the second all-girl team to exhibit. I think this speaks volumes of the positive influence STEM programs like TARC have on our future workforce.”

Representing Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties in Maryland, Team Rocket Power was one of 18 all-girl TARC teams in this year's competition. The 2014 TARC competition challenged students to design and build a rocket that could fly to 825 feet and back within 48 to 50 seconds while carrying precious cargo — two raw eggs that must return to the ground undamaged with the assistance of two parachutes.

TARC has proven to be an invaluable source of inspiration over its 12-year history, attracting young talent to STEM-focused areas of study and, ultimately, careers. A 2010 survey of TARC alumni found that 80 percent of respondents went on to major in related technical fields. Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) and more than 20 industry partners, TARC provides middle and high school students the opportunity to design, build and launch model rockets in an annual competition among more than 5,000 students nationwide.

We’re often asked why the aerospace and defense industry and groups advocating for government’s core domestic functions are jointly fighting the severe cuts to defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs imposed by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011.

From Fiscal Years 2016 to 2019 the cuts will cap the defense budget at a level $115 billion below what the Defense Department says is minimally required to meet our national security needs, and place similar shackles on the ability of domestic federal agencies to invest in the health and well being of our people.  Yet, many assume we are polar opposites battling each other for slices of the shrinking budget pie. 

The truth is our groups have much in common, and we don’t believe the status quo is tenable.  NDD United recognizes without the contributions of aerospace and defense companies, such vital domestic government activities as weather forecasting, air traffic management, and medical research on the International Space Station wouldn’t be possible.  Further, the aerospace and defense industry knows the education, health, job training, and research programs that NDD-United champions in addition to benefitting society, bolster our industrial base.
To keep America strong and avoid doing long-term damage to the economy, we both understand there’s a point at which mindless budget cutting harms the nation’s security in an increasingly volatile world, and undermines the potential of the economy to grow and improve everyone’s life.  And we also believe it is bad policy, as the BCA requires, for the Defense Department and the domestic agencies, which represent only 40 percent of the federal budget, to be forced to shoulder nearly 100 percent of the budget cuts.

The potential impacts of the cuts were illustrated in stark relief recently when the Pentagon issued its report, “Estimated Impacts of Sequestration-Level Funding,” fulfilling Defense Secretary Hagel’s commitment to lay out in specific detail the effects on national defense of the budget caps.   Under the budget law, “Our forces will assume substantial additional risks in certain missions and will continue to face significant readinesss and modernization challenges,” warns the report. “These impacts would leave our military unbalanced and eventually too small to meet the needs of our strategy fully.”  The specifics are sobering: The Army and Marine Corps will be forced to shrink to pre-World War II levels, training will be sacrificed yet again, and the part of the budget that provide our war fighters with the equipment that they need to survive in modern day and future warfare will be slashed by  more than $66 billion. 

The public also deserves to know the implications of the BCA caps on the domestic side of the ledger, including activities such as air traffic control, medical research and innovative treatments, Coast Guard search and rescue, border patrol, food and water safety inspection, jobs training and national parks management.  Unfortunately, we don’t have that information from the other agencies, but the American people need it so they know what choices they are being forced to make by indiscriminate caps to the federal discretionary budget.

The good and underreported news as policy makers consider alternatives to the budget caps is that substantial progress is being made toward  reducing the debt and deficit.  A recent Congressional Budget Office report notes the U.S. government’s deficit has fallen almost a third below fiscal year 2013 and will shrink again next year.   Now is a time to recalibrate and recognize that cutting away our nation’s investments in future security, innovation and the well being of our people is not a recipe for long-term success.

Decision makers need to recognize that the arbitrary and unchanging budget caps have real consequences in the lives of Americans.  They need to recognize that times and circumstances have changed since the BCA was signed.    We have all watched Congress contort itself into knots, consuming valuable time searching for piecemeal workarounds to make austerity workable, while our military, police, scientists, teachers, elderly and children get less support even as the global environment grows more competitive and more dangerous.  It’s time to eliminate the BCA  caps, and empower future Congresses to perform one of their most fundamental missions – reviewing and providing for the needs of the nation, each year, based on current economic, social and national security circumstances.

This brand new Coalition was formed to unite America's aerospace and defense workers, active and retired military personnel and broad supporters of national security, aviation and space in a common cause to preserve America’s role as the global leader in aerospace and defense.

We are please to again offer excellent opportunities for both members and non-members to interact with foreign and domestic aerospace and defense partners at this year's Farnborough International Air Show.

Non-AIA Members click here to register for the U.S Industry Reception.


On behalf of the Aerospace Industries Association, it is our pleasure to invite you to attend AIA's premier events during the Farnborough Air Show, July 13-20, 2014. We truly appreciate your support and involvement in AIA, and we hope you'll be able to join us.

Please read carefully the following details regarding AIA's events. Contact Audrey Murphy, Manager of Corporate Events, at 703-358-1094 or with any questions.

AIA's premier events are open to ALL AIA members - both Full and Associate - including the AIA Grand Reception in Honor of the President's Representative.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The deadline to purchase tickets for the U.S. Industry Reception (Ambassador's Reception) is July 8, 2014 - no exceptions. The Embassy has stated only the names submitted by July 8 will have the security clearance to enter the residence.  In addition, there cannot be any changes made to the names after July 8.  DO NOT DELAY IN REGISTERING FOR THIS EVENT.

The deadline to purchase tickets for the AIA Grand Reception in Honor of the President's Representative is July 10, 2014.

No refunds will be given after Friday, June 6.

Tickets for both events will be emailed to those who register.


SUNDAY, JULY 13, 2014

Aerospace Industries Association's Grand Reception in Honor of the U.S. President's Representative

7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Grosvenor House Hotel
Park Lane, London

  • Cost: $250 per person
  • Description: AIA’s exclusive reception in honor of the President’s Representative to the Farnborough Air Show. Attendees will include U.S. governors, senators, CEOs of the premiere civil and defense companies, and select foreign delegations.
  • Ticket Information: Full and Associate AIA Members can purchase tickets.
  • Event Details:
    1. Attire is business for men and cocktail dresses for women.
    2. Invitations are non-transferable.
    3. The original invitation is required to be admitted to the reception.

TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2014


U.S. Industry Reception (Ambassador's Reception)

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
U.S. Ambassador's Residence

  • Cost: $150 per person
  • Description: Reception hosted by the U.S. Ambassador, Matthew Barzun, at the Ambassador's residence, for CEOs of the premiere civil and defense companies, air show exhibitors, U.S. government officials, and foreign delegations.
  • Ticket Information: Full and Associate AIA Members can purchase tickets.
  • Event Details:
    1. Attire is business for men and cocktail dresses for women.
    2. Invitations are non-transferable.
    3. Attendees must show their invitation along with a government-issued picture ID to be allowed to enter the residence.
    4. To avoid long lines at the entrance to the residence, the entry times will be staggered by 15 minutes (7:30 pm and 7:45 pm) based on first come, first served basis.  Please pay close attention to the arrival time printed on your invitation, as entrance will be only allowed at that time.

Note: No refunds will be given after Friday, June 6, 2014.


The U.S. Corral is open to all AIA members (both Full and Associate) on Monday through Friday, July 14-18, 2014. Please stop by the AIA chalet and sign out a corral pass with our receptionist. The AIA member must show an official U.S. government issued picture ID (driver's license or passport). The corral pass must be returned to the receptionist at the end of your tour. Five people can accompany an AIA member on the tour.

Note: No refunds will be given after Friday, June 6, 2014.

AIA Members click here for details about the U.S Industry Reception.


On behalf of the Aerospace Industries Association, it is our pleasure to invite you to attend AIA's premier event during the Farnborough Air Show, July 13-20, 2014.

Please read carefully the following details regarding AIA's event. Contact Audrey Murphy, Manager of Corporate Events, at 703-358-1094 or with any questions.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The deadline to purchase tickets for the U.S. Industry Reception (Ambassador's Reception) has been extended to July 8, 2014. The Embassy has stated only the names submitted by July 8 will have the security clearance to enter the residence. In addition, there cannot be any changes made to the names after July 8.  DO NOT DELAY IN REGISTERING FOR THIS EVENT.

No refunds will be given after Friday, June 6.

Tickets will be emailed to those who register.


TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2014

U.S. Industry Reception (Ambassador's Reception)

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
U.S. Ambassador's Residence

  • Cost: $150 per person
  • Description: Reception hosted by the U.S. Ambassador, Matthew Barzun, at the Ambassador's residence, for CEOs of the premiere civil and defense companies, air show exhibitors, U.S. government officials, and foreign delegations.
  • Ticket Information: Full and Associate AIA Members can purchase tickets.
  • Event Details:
    1. Attire is business for men and cocktail dresses for women.
    2. Invitations are non-transferable.
    3. Attendees must show their invitation along with a government-issued picture ID to be allowed to enter the residence.
    4. To avoid long lines at the entrance to the residence, the entry times will be staggered by 15 minutes (7:30 pm and 7:45 pm) based on first come, first served basis.  Please pay close attention to the arrival time printed on your invitation, as entrance will be only allowed at that time.

Note: No refunds will be given after Friday, June 6, 2014.

Together with Ex-Im Reauthorization later this year, the Interim Final Rule will open the door to increased international space-related sales

Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey 

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association applauds the Administration’s issuance of revisions to Category XV of the U.S. Munitions List (USML) that will end excessive restrictions on space systems like commercial satellites and related articles.  After a six month delayed implementation, the interim final rule will remove many of these less sensitive technologies from the USML and place them under the more appropriate controls of the Commerce Control List. 

In a 2012 report, AIA estimated that U.S. manufacturers lost $21 billion in satellite revenue from 1999 to 2009, costing about 9,000 direct jobs annually once USML controls were applied to commercial satellites.  This rule implements legislation passed by Congress in early 2013 allowing the Administration to once again have discretion to control these technologies for export. 

This revision, together with the re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank by Congress later this year, would dramatically level the global market playing field and greatly enhance the prospects for U.S. companies selling space related goods and services overseas.  As indicated in our new report on ExIm Bank, the projected international market outside the United States for satellite manufacturing and launch services through 2021 is $132 billion, with developing markets in South America and the Middle East experiencing a steady increase in growth.  Ex-Im Bank increasingly provides the export financing that helps U.S. space manufacturers compete on a level playing field for foreign customers. 

Both actions are required for the United States to maintain a strong industrial base, support our efforts in manned space flight and boost space-related jobs.  In 2012, the Administration’s budget request for 2013 non-classified military space programs was $8 billion.  Through sequestration-related cuts that number has been reduced $7.2 billion – a 10 percent reduction even as potential adversaries continue to grow their space investments and capabilities.  While government spending on space has declined, the space market is rapidly changing with new opportunities in commercial space emerging.  It therefore has become even more important to increase the space sector’s sales in the commercial arena and enhance its global competiveness. 

AIA expresses its appreciation to the Administration and Congress for the removal of these stringent export controls on essentially commercial space technologies, and encourages them to work together again to make our companies and their space products and services more competitive in the international marketplace by supporting the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank.

In the wake of an uneven global economic recovery, countries are competing in an unprecedented race to create jobs and stimulate economic growth through increased exports. In this competition, not all countries abide by the same set of rules that the United States follows to support their companies' exports. Indeed, American companies often come up against government-owned, government-protected or government-subsidized competitors from countries such as China, Brazil, India and various European nations, making for a brutally competitive and uneven playing field.

In this race, the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) serves as a critical engine for U.S. jobs by leveling the playing field and helping American companies to compete toe-to-toe against their competitors in the global marketplace. Ex-Im Bank is acting as a vital catalyst of U.S. economic growth, enabling billions of dollars of exports and supporting hundreds of thousands of export-related U.S. jobs. In 2013 alone, Ex-Im Bank transactions promoted $34.7 billion of exports in fields such as power turbines, locomotives, agricultural equipment and satellites, and sustained or created more than 205,000 American jobs.

AIA believes that American companies can continue to compete and win in the global marketplace against their overseas counterparts, but they cannot do it with one hand tied behind their backs. Foreign competitors continue to enjoy significant financial assistance from their governments. To protect the competitiveness of our industry and American manufacturing, we need to ensure the Ex-Im Bank has the long-term support from Congress it needs to support and grow the American manufacturing workforce.

Students from Creekview High School of Canton, Ga. outperformed hundreds of their peers from across the country Saturday to earn first place at the twelfth annual Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC).

STEM contest winners to represent U.S. at international fly-off in England

Contest winners with Raytheon's Rick Hunt, Vice President of Navy and Marine Corps Programs, in front of the Raytheon exhibit. Winners left to right: Andrew White, 16; Bailey Robertson, 15; Amanda Semler, 18; Austin Bralick, 16; Nick Dimos, 16.

The Plains, Va. – Students from Creekview High School of Canton, Ga. outperformed hundreds of their peers from across the country Saturday to earn first place at the twelfth annual Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). Champions Amanda Semler, 18; Andrew White, 16; Nick Dimos, 16; Austin Bralick, 16; and Bailey Robertson, 15; bested more than 700 other teams representing 48 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands to earn the national title.

TARC is the world’s largest student rocket contest and the aerospace and defense industry’s flagship program designed to encourage students to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) and more than 20 industry partners, TARC provides middle and high school students the opportunity to design, build and launch model rockets in a competition among more than 5,000 students nationwide.

“I’m a senior, so this is a dream come true,” said Semler, who is also the team’s captain. “We’re so thankful for the chance to come to the nation’s capital, and to Raytheon for the chance to go to England.”

The 2014 challenge was one of the most difficult in TARC’s history. Students were tasked with designing and building a rocket that could fly to 825 feet and back within 48 to 50 seconds while carrying precious cargo — two raw eggs that must return to the ground undamaged. The dual-parachute requirement combined with the tight timing window and other structural criteria required nearly six months of diligent preparation by the teams.

“We are very proud of our 2014 champions and the incredible effort all of the teams put into the competition this year,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “Many of these students spent months developing and perfecting their rockets for the finals. That level of drive and perseverance will serve them well in college and as they prepare to enter the workforce. Our industry feels very fortunate to have such a talented incoming cohort.”

As a strong supporter of women in STEM, TARC is proud of the many all-girl teams that compete each year. Here the Purple Pumas, from Clear Falls High School in TX, leave the Raython sponsored community tent.  

Over its 12-year tenure TARC has proven to be an invaluable contributor of young talent to STEM-focused areas of study and, ultimately, careers over its tenure. A 2010 survey of TARC alumni found that 80 percent of respondents went on to major in related technical fields.

With all teams aiming for a perfect score of zero, the Creekview High School logged a combined score of 14.88. They will travel to England in July to compete in an international fly-off against student teams from the U.K. and France at the Farnborough Air Show.  In addition, $60,000 in scholarships and other prizes will be split among the competition's top 10 placing teams.

AIA has partnered with Raytheon to broaden the TARC program to the global stage. The 2014 champions will be the ninth consecutive team Raytheon has supported to travel to the international air show as part of the company’s broad-based MathMovesU® initiative to encourage students to pursue careers in STEM. Additional funding and prizes are provided by more than 20 industry partners including Lockheed Martin Corporation and Space Exploration Technologies Corporation.

For additional information on TARC, complete competition results and a full list of this year's sponsors, please visit

For more information, please contact Ny Younge at

Rocket contest teams stand in front of the "Mountains and Clouds" sculpture in the Hart Senate Office Building.

Hundreds of middle and high school students descended on Capitol Hill the morning of Friday, May 9, for the third annual Rockets on the Hill reception. Part of the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) National Finals festivities, Rockets on the Hill is an opportunity for students to meet with their elected representatives and talk about the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

Guest speakers included Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), representing technological hotbed Silicon Valley; Dr. John Langford, Chairman and CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences; and former astronaut and Associate Administrator for Education at NASA Leland Melvin.  Several members of Congress attended or sent staff members to meet with the students from their district and hear their youthful perspective on aerospace and hands on experience with rocket science.

The TARC National Final flyoff will be held Saturday, May 10, at Great Meadow at The Plains, Va.  One hundred teams will compete for the right to be called national champions and to compete against teams from the UK and France at the Farnborough International Airshow outside of London in July.  The winners will receive a fully-sponsored trip to Farnborough courtesy of the Raytheon Company.

Hundreds of middle and high school students descended on Capitol Hill the morning of Friday, May 9, for the third annual Rockets on the Hill reception.

The Export-Import Bank has, for more than 80 years, stood as a bipartisan institution that has fueled economic growth in the U.S. by helping businesses export goods globally. In 2013, the Bank earned $1.1 billion dollars for American taxpayers, supported more than $37 billion of U.S. exports, and maintained 205,000 American jobs.

Even as the Bank’s benefits are clearly defined, certain elected officials still stand in the way of American growth and seek to impede the success of small businesses. It is past time that these elected officials wakeup to the need for the Bank and support its reauthorization.

That is why AIA is dedicated to spreading the word about the need to reauthorize the Bank and we have highlighted just a few of those efforts below.

AIA's ad supporting the Ex-Im Bank shows how it has been supported by well known figures from both political parties for decades and why it should still be supported today.


AIA's Ex-Im Bank Ad

This infographic is a helpful resource to learn more about the Ex-Im Bank.



AIA's latest report on the Ex-Im Bank highlights the importance that the organization plays in boosting America's ability to compete in global manufacturing. 


Leveling the Playing Field


The Export-Import Bank of the U.S. is responsible for allowing businesses to export their products globally. It has for decades helped level to playing field for domestic export, build the U.S. economy by being a self-sustaining organization that returns money to American taxpayers and supports small businesses and jobs in America.

American presidents from both parties have supported the Ex-Im Bank for more than 80 years; including Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy and George W. Bush.

Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey

Arlington, Va. — These past few days we’ve observed a particularly high level of concern from both Secretary of Defense Hagel and former Secretary Panetta about the magnitude of current global threats.  In addition to the escalating Russian aggression in the Ukraine, still with us is the conflict in Syria, and challenges from North Korea, Iran, Al Qaeda and others. What has largely fallen off the radar of our news, and to a large degree the attention of the American Congress, is the fact that the draconian budget caps still threaten our national security.  The Defense Department warns that funding under the budget caps in FY 16 and beyond is well below what is minimally required to meet our national security needs.
Noting this year’s mid-term elections, former Secretary Panetta said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed this week, “our national leaders cannot just give up until the next election.”  “Events in a dangerous world will not wait for the next election.”  Echoing his predecessor’s concern, today Secretary Hagel addressed the ill-conceived perception that the “age of aggression in Europe” is over, stating that “Russia’s actions in Ukraine shatter that myth.”  Secretary Hagel went on to call on NATO members in Europe to “step up” and begin shouldering a greater share of the cost of our alliance.  Clearly, playing political games with national security budgets is a transatlantic flaw shared by the U.S. government and our NATO allies. 

And a key voice of European industry also weighed in this week.  Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus addressed the Atlantic Council and directed his concern with investment in NATO to his own European leaders.  Enders said “perhaps the events in Ukraine are more effective in halting the downward trend” in defense spending. 

America and our allies must not let history repeat itself.  As Secretary Panetta said this week, “after every major conflict in recent history, deep defense cuts hollowed out the military.”  Once again, our industry calls on Congress and the Administration to break with this dangerous tradition.  Events worldwide demand action now.  We must find a solution to the $115 billion in defense cuts slated to begin in the coming years, now.  The cuts are sending a message of weakness to aggressors.  Mr. Putin, Mr. Kim and Mr. al-Assad are highly unlikely to stand down while we conduct our mid-term elections.

Civil Aviation

Civil Aviation

Today, civil aerospace manufacturers produce some of the most powerful aircraft engines in the world which accompany the most advanced navigation equipment, best structural designs, and most fuel efficient systems ever created.

Defense & Security

Defense & Security

At AIA we are committed to remaining up to date with changing business environments. To do this it is necessary from time to time to reevaluate the need for certain councils, committees and working groups.



The International Division at AIA is responsible for promoting domestic an international policies and practices that help American companies compete in the global marketplace and cooperate with our allies and foreign partners.

Civil & Commercial Space

Space Systems

Our space capabilities are a source of national pride and an investment in the science and R&D needed to maintain U.S. global competitiveness.

AIA relies on interns to support a wide array of activities, ranging from policy and regulatory advocacy to marketing and event support. the subject line. To apply, please submit a resume and to  jobs[at] and include your requested department.

AIA is looking to fill internships in all of our major functional areas including:

Aerospace Research Center

Civil Aviation

Communications/Public Relations

Legislative Affairs


National Security and Acquisition Policy


Internships are flexible depending on students’ schedules.  Interns are eligible to receive a monthly stipend. All submissions should be sent to:

Aerospace Research Center

The Research Intern contributes to all activities undertaken by the Research Department, under the guidance of the Research Manager.  Projects typically involve quantitative research related to the U.S. and foreign aerospace markets.  While the majority of projects are quantitative in nature, many involve presenting the research findings in written reports, briefs, and position papers.  Consequently, strong writing skills are also frequently utilized.

Primary Activities:
• Researches and prepares Aerospace Facts and Figures, a statistical handbook used worldwide as the authoritative compendium of U.S. aerospace industry data
• Maintains AIA databases; this frequently involves use of Microsoft Excel and Access
• Produces written, tabular, and visual materials for research reports, presentations, and publication
• Summarizes, revises, or interprets complex or specialized literature for general audiences
• Composes and edits specialized reports for internal or external circulation; proofreads material for publication

Civil Aviation

Communications/Public Relations

AIA is seeking a dynamic, motivated individual to join the communications team for an internship. AIA represents the largest aerospace and defense industry players before Congress and the administration. The communications team facilitates that interaction through publicity, media outreach and coordinating efforts among members with a broad diversity of interests. We have a number of special events this year, including the first-ever National Aerospace Week, an Executive Committee meeting and our 45th Annual Year-End Review & Forecast Luncheon. We are looking for a communications or journalism major to help out in all aspects of our busy office. Duties include: writing articles for newsletter, web site features and press releases; helping organize meetings and other event planning; and special projects. Join us for a first-hand look at the conjunction of industry and policy!

Legislative Affairs

Membership Intern

Work with an exciting team at the most prominent aerospace related association in the United States.  AIA’s membership department manages, coordinates and supports AIA’s over one-hundred full members – companies like Lockheed Martin, The Boeing Company, ITT, GE, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Textron, Rolls Royce, and a host of other top notch global aerospace primes and suppliers make up the regular membership.  One of membership’s most critical tasks is organizing and staffing AIA’s annual Members and Board of Governors Meetings.  There are two major meetings held by AIA during the year.  To assist and support our annual events, AIA is looking for an intern that is motivated, well organized, has a pleasant personal and telephone demeanor, writes well, and can work at a fast pace with a great team of AIA professionals.  Reaching out to members, assisting with organizational and administrative aspects of the event, attending and supporting the events, assisting our civil, space, and international divisions organize CEO and senior management briefings, and many other tasks make up the duties.  We also have an exciting membership campaign underway and a host of other tasks.

National Security and Acquisition Policy

Technical Operations

AIA has an open position for an intern who could assist on a project in the technical operations area.  This project is coordinated by AIA for a group of experienced aerospace engineers who are responsible for the maintenance of the National Aerospace Standards (Fasteners) of the aerospace industry.

The project requires digitizing several hundred drawings, transferring text data and technical drawings into a standardized electronic template, and preparing a document for release to the NAS Committee.  The AIA assumes professional responsibility for the work being done.

We are looking for someone who is familiar with general engineering principles, such as product specifications and technical drawing skills.  The candidate should have experience with AutoCAD systems.  The workflow of the project includes electronic, virtual as well as paper-based documentation and discussion; good communication skills are therefore very desirable.



The Director of Corporate Events position at Aerospace Industries Association reports to the Vice President of Membership & Business Development. The ideal candidate must demonstrate the ability to multi-task; be responsive to the needs of the membership, providing all the members with outstanding customer service; be exceptionally organized and have the ability to prioritize, with the flexibility to shift work and priorities, as needed. Good communication skills are a must, as well as strong leadership skills. Must be a pro-active and creative thinker; a problem solver with the ability to “think on your feet.”

Nature and Scope of Work:

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following items:

Management and Finance:

  • Must have the ability and skill to manage multiple events simultaneously with attendees numbering from 16 to 1,600.
  • Manage meeting/event planning for bi-annual Board of Governors & Membership Meetings, thee Supplier Management Council Meetings a year, four Executive Committee Meetings, and one international air show each year.
  • Develop and monitor budgets to ensure revenue and expenses are kept within established boundaries. Review financial information for accuracy, such as invoices for services and materials; the hotel invoice, subcontractor invoices, etc. and assist in the preparation of the actual costs and revenue to be reported to the CFO.
  • Ensure walk-ins and payments received at events onsite are recorded and processed in Cvent.
  • Manage and mentor event staff.
  • Manage the Cvent corporate account, assuring that the number of registrations do not exceed the yearly contracted amount.
  • Review and approve budgets for all other corporate meetings managed by other departments before final approval by CFO.
  • Manage corporate calendar for use of conference rooms for meetings.

Event Management and Administration:

  • Develop and monitor timelines and deadlines related to all aspects of events, ensuring the information is communicated to all attendees and membership.
  • Work with senior staff to develop a program for events including speakers, topics, and timing and communicate with speakers regarding their commitment to the event and their needs related to attending the event (i.e. A/V, travel, reimbursement, handouts, bios, etc.)
  • Manage the registration process through Cvent, including onsite registrations, to assure accurate registration data, name badges, fee collection, attendee lists, counts for specific events and meals, etc.
  • Manage and evaluate all events, ensuring continual improvement and quality customer service. Utilize online survey tool/website to evaluate meetings and events; gather and disseminate the results received.
  • Attend the event and provide onsite support, supervising event staff as needed.
  • Provide follow up to the events such as thank you letters to speakers and sponsors, as needed.
  • Ensure read-ahead materials are sent to attendees, as needed.
  • Manage all special activities held in conjunction with events including golf outings, spouse events, etc.
  • Manage packing and shipping of materials needed for events and ensure their prompt arrival to the meeting venue, as well as ensuring all materials arrive back to the office after events.

Event Logistics:

  • Assist in the evaluation and selection of hotels/venues for events, as far in advance as possible.
  • Research potential event sites using AIA’s third party vendor.  Perform site visits to all confirmed hotels/venues for events several weeks prior to the event date to ensue the smooth running of the event.
  • Work with third party vendor to negotiate an acceptable contract with the selected property, for review and approval by the CFO, protecting the financial interests of the Association.
  • Negotiate contracts and evaluate options with a variety of vendors for events and arrange for all related services with vendors, such as decorators, audio visual needs, buses, signage, entertainment, etc.
  • Manage hotel room reservations for all the members of the Executive Committee for Spring and Fall Board of Governors Meeting.
  • Manage food and beverage, as outlined on BEOs, to confirm that all meals and room setups are correct.
  • Create a good working relationship with the hotel conference manager at event to make sure your direction for all aspects of the meeting are followed.
  • Manage and track speakers’ requirements, i.e. transportation, hotel rooms, food allergies, AV, presentations, etc.
  • Manage hotel rooms at Williamsburg Inn for Spring Board of Governors Meeting.


  • Minimum 5+ years experience with direct work in conference planning or special events
  • Contract negotiations with hotels and vendors
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel; knowledge of Cvent a plus
  • Demonstrated excellence with verbal and written communication skills
  • Bachelor’s degree or CMP preferred
  • Ability to travel
  • Availability to work evenings and weekends

The Federal government’s acquisition regulations have grown into a demanding and complicated regime costing the nation millions of dollars just for compliance. 

This week, the Chief Acquisition Officers Council, in collaboration with the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, the Chief Information Officers Council and the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council launched a new website seeking public comments to help craft “an efficient and effective acquisition system that maximizes the value of every taxpayer dollar.” 

This is a welcome dialogue.  AIA has been urging government to eliminate the unnecessary burdens on both industry and government that are present in today’s contracting process. Reducing the acquisition burden on industry and government will do more than just lower all-around costs, it will also help ensure the health and security of the industrial base is sustained.

The Chief Acquisition Officer’s Council is asking for feedback on reporting and compliance, procurement rules, and barriers to participation in federal contracting by small companies as well as those who traditionally don’t do business with government.  They are asking the questions many of us ask too – and they’ve provided an opportunity for many voices to be heard.  Let’s work with the Council to create an acquisition environment where our government benefits from our best while reducing costs, improving delivery times, leading innovation and technology, and build outstanding products for those who keep us safe. 

Visit the Office of the Chief Acquisition Officer’s Council website to learn more and to submit your comments on how you would change the acquisition process.

All comments are due by May 5, 2014.


This document serves to inform AIA members and their supply chains about the first round of pending Conflict Minerals Specialized Disclosure filings to the SEC. With the complicated nature of the Conflict Minerals Report format and audit protocol, AIA has prepared this document as a training guide to help answer some of the most common questions about the process.

In addition, based on the AIA Conflict Minerals Working Group Charter, this training document completes one of key goals of this collective group. In order to provide our member companies and their supply chains with the necessary guidance, we have released this information broadly to allow for review and consider prior to the SEC filing deadline of June 2, 2014 for the first Conflict Minerals Specialized Disclosure.

Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey on the meeting of Senate Armed Services Committee members to discuss solutions to sequestration budget cuts.

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association is encouraged by the news that members of the Senate Armed Services Committee are meeting to discuss solutions to the threat posed to our national security by indiscriminate budget cuts under sequestration during fiscal years 2016 through 2019.  Senior Pentagon leaders have repeatedly warned that failure to address sequestration would impact readiness, troop levels and modernization, leading to an unacceptable loss in military capabilities.  The Quadrennial Defense Review released last month states that defense is underfunded by $115 billion in that timeframe.

AIA has warned for years that these caps will force bad choices at a time of increasing global instability.  We must make smart decisions regarding our country’s vital national security interests.  We commend Senator Angus King’s (I-Maine) leadership in calling for this series of bipartisan meetings among the group of senators most intimately in tune with our nation’s armed forces and national security needs.  We hope that the exchange of proposals in these meetings leads to a budget agreement that sets aside sequestration and protects the investments our nation needs to make to preserve our military capabilities and the industrial base that equips our warfighters.

The standards define a set of common business transactions in the ANSI X.12 format, profiling the general standards for use in the aerospace and defense environment.

These standards will soon be sold through the IHS portal.


e-Agreements provide global parties with a common set of rules by which they agree to exchange electronic data or to collaborate electronically. These rules supplement the basic underlying agreements for goods, services or collaborative efforts providing a framework for electronic trading and collaboration. Use of a standard template provides benefits to both Prime and Supplier. The terms and conditions in these templates can be reused by all Parties eliminating the need to re-negotiate independent terms and conditions for every new situation.

Architectural standards are intended to support the design and implementation of eBusiness solutions.

These standards provide the capability to exchange engineering information between different organizations, computer systems and functions in the aerospace and defense environment.

Aerospace Industry Guidelines for Implementing Interoperability Standards for Engineering Data

These guidelines provide strategic and tactical guidance for the adoption by industry of a common standard-based information backbone for engineering data, using the ISO 10303-239 (PLCS) standard. This will enable interoperability for product definition data across the aerospace industry supply network and throughout the product life cycle, from design and production to consumption and operation, reducing the cost, risk and complexity and increasing the speed of working with suppliers and partners at any level.

Download the document

All participants in the aerospace value chain should be able to exchange information relative to product design, business relationships, transactions, and product support across an information backbone which is open and accessible to all. 

To achieve this, AIA has, through industry agreements, helped eliminate the need for common IT tool adoptions across the industry. The AIA eBusiness center provides a single source for industry recommended solutions to online buiness interoperability which identify standards-based approach to components that help eliminate the cost of developing individual point-to-point solutions and delivering business benefits to prime contractors and suppliers.

The recommendations for eBusiness are maintained by AIA's Electronic Enterprise Integration Committee (EEIC), and chartered jointly by the eBusiness Steering Group and the Supplier Management Council. The methodology and framework for recommendationas being made is described in detail in the AIA eBusiness Implementation Guidebook.

The defined business scenarios and recommended solution components are below and enumerated in the e-Business subpages.

Solution Components

The EEIC Radar Chart (Powerpoint required to view) provides a simple reference for the various technology standards and initiatives that are under the attention of the EEIC.
EEIC Radar Chart

The radar chart illustrates the maturity of the recommendation for each standard or initiative, with the outer ring populated by work that is being actively tracked by the EEIC, the inner ring showing work that is a candidate for adoption as part of the eBusiness Framework, and the central circle showing components that have been adopted as AIA recommendations.

The four quadrants of the chart show the AIA strategy for each component. In decreasing order of preference, the strategies include:

  • Adopt existing standard
  • Monitor external development - where the development is intended to deliver a necessary component
  • Participate in external development - where the work needs to be steered to meet AIA needs
  • AIA development - where no appropriate external tasks can be leveraged to meet our needs

The following standards and initiatives have been adopted, or are under consideration:

AIA member companies have cooperated to develop and implement a program that will assist your company, other international aerospace suppliers, and U.S. importers in complying with U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) supply chain security goals while minimizing the impact and effort needed, particularly for international suppliers with multiple U.S. customers.

International suppliers to AIA companies benefit from participation in AIA's C-TPAT Initiative with a reduced paperwork burden and a venue for suppliers to market a competitive advantage to potential customers in the United States.

Benefits of Participation

Benefits of completing the AIA C-TPAT Self-Assessment Questionnaire include:

  • Your company can complete a single security questionnaire and provide it to multiple customers rather than completing a separate questionnaire for each
  • Your company will retain control of all questionnaire data and security information and only provide it to your customers when requested
  • Your company will be visibly listed in AIA's database, demonstrating your company's C-TPAT commitment to current and potential customers
  • A competitive business advantage in confirming your company's C-TPAT compliance to current and future customers


On April 1, 2014, Aerospace Caucus co-chairs, Senators Patty Murray and Saxby Chambliss, hosted an event on the importance of defense research and development (R&D) on innovation. The event featured Dr. Arati Prabhakar the Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), who spoke to the innovations that have entered the commercial marketplace because of defense R&D investments.

Far left: Sen. Murray (D-WA) discusses ATM technology with Rockwell Collins representative.  Left: Sen. Chambliss (R-GA) shakes hands with UTC representative in front of a display model ejection seat.

The caucus event also featured industry R&D partners who had some of their innovative technologies on display. These displays included technologies such as satellite air traffic management, ejection seats and GPS equipment from aerospace and defense manufactures ATK, Harris Corp., Honeywell, Rockwell Collins and UTC.

AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey

“The tangible benefits we’ve obtained from healthy federal investment in R&D programs yield strong economic growth and significant technological advances,” said AIA’s President and CEO, Marion C. Blakey, as she opened the event. “Many of these technology innovations improve our everyday life through advances in cell phone and automobile capabilities, life saving medical science equipment and consumer electronics.”

The spinoffs made possible through defense related R&D are also highlighted in AIA’s latest report, Defense Research and Development: From the Warfighter to the American Consumer, Redefining Everyday Lives Through Innovation.

“We can’t afford to sacrifice these investments, and we can’t afford to lose our global leadership in innovation,” said Senator Murray.  “If we were a business the last place we would look to cut back is where our future economic growth will be coming from, which is exactly what R&D represents.”

Senator Murray’s recognition of the need for further investment in R&D spending was followed by calling for more budgetary certainty in federal spending to ensure national security capabilities, strengthen the economy, and “close the innovation deficit.”

In the aerospace and defense marketplace it is innovation through R&D that has allowed the United States to stay ahead of its global competition and enabled it to respond to security threats around the world.

“The threats [we face as a nation] demand unconventional solutions,” said Senator Chambliss acknowledging  America’s need to promote innovative ideas across borders, disciplines, institutions and ideologies. “We have to think, prepare, research, and build not just for the world we are in, but for the world that we will be in tomorrow and beyond.”

Senator Chambliss went on to discuss the need to provide the Defense Department with a more streamlined acquisition process that provides for better partnerships between government and industry; citing DARPA as an agency who has lead the way in delivering innovative technologies through strong industry partnerships. These partnerships have helped lead the way for the future.

DARPA Director, Dr. Arati Prabhakar

“Through more than five decades of tumultuous geopolitical and technological change, [DARPA] delivered outsized impact by focusing on our mission of breakthrough technologies for national security,” said DARPA’s Director, Dr. Prabhakar, speaking to the imaginative processes that have enabled the agency to advance new technologies for defense applications.

How the agency is approaching today’s national security problems also requires a rethink according to Dr. Prabhakar. The agency is looking to achieve far greater capabilities at lower cost by rethinking the next generation of defense systems, incorporating information at scale, looking to biology for technological and human understanding, and keeping an eye on the next horizon in defense technologies.

On April 1, 2014, Aerospace Caucus co-chairs, Senators Patty Murray and Saxby Chambliss, hosted an event on the importance of defense research and development (R&D) on innovation. The event featured Dr. Arati Prabhakar the Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), who spoke....

AIA helps ensure that the aerospace and defense industry remains on the cutting edge of technology and innovation by being strong advocates for our industry. This includes publishing periodic reports and white papers on matters important to our industry.

Federal investments in science and technology research and development are threatened by the current budget environment. The Aerospace Industries Association is embarking on an education effort to inform policymakers, elected leaders and the American public on the impact of federal R&D dollars on the innovations that redefine our everyday lives.

This report – the first in a series that examines the impact of federal investment programs – highlights four case studies of private sector technologies and products that have been largely defined or influenced by defense R&D spending. These case studies include the cellular smart phone, the hospital operating room, the modern automobile and the flat screen television. Each case study provides a narrated illustration of
the product and its connections to defense R&D.

The President’s budget for fiscal year 2015 requests a reduction in science and technology funding across both defense and non-defense discretionary accounts. This would reinforce existing reductions from the past several budget cycles. If sequestration is not addressed in fiscal year 2016 and beyond, this downward angle could turn into a nosedive. AIA believes policymakers must ensure a robust and balanced defense
research program, not only for the substantial benefits it provides to America’s warfighters, but also for the resulting commercial innovations that help grow our productivity and our economy.

Over the past six decades, federal investment in R&D programs has acted as an incubator for innovation, producing an immeasurable array of technological advancements that have come to define modern life and society at large. These investments have provided the basis for a revolution in electronic systems, communications, materials and medical science, the results of which have served as the building blocks for today’s most common technologies, including transistors, the Internet, GPS navigation and liquid crystal technology, to name a few.

The connection between research programs and commercial deployment of technologies is often multi-faceted. Program requirements can provide both the research impetus and critical opportunity for technology to mature through production and continual improvement. However, not all technologies that follow this path spill into the private market. Those that do are defined both by market demand and by calculated private investments that enable them to emerge as profitable products. These disparate paths demonstrate how investments made in advanced research can result in enormous contributions to the nation’s economy and industrial competitiveness.

During this age of austerity, the need for change to the status quo is clear. Dollars spent on burdensome compliance requirements that provide little value are funds not spent on sustaining America’s technological superiority, or preserving the readiness of our military.

Today’s acquisition system can be daunting. Its array of rules focuses on compliance and eradicating the risk of malfeasance in contracting. But it also discourages some companies from selling to the government, and it erects barriers to innovation and investment by the companies we rely on to innovate and deliver equipment needed by our armed forces. The costs of developing and enforcing a “zero-defect” acquisitions apparatus are steep: increased compliance expenses, diminished innovation, and delayed delivery of equipment needed by front-line troops.

Of course, we understand the importance of oversight. Our industry has a strong ethical commitment to working closely with our government customer to deliver the most effective and safest product at a fair price.

However, the mindset that “getting tough” on industry somehow looks out for the taxpayer negates the fact that it is actually the taxpayer – and ultimately the warfighter – who pay the price for a burdensome acquisition system. It creates significant barriers to participation in defense acquisitions, especially for mid and small-tier suppliers. It raises costs and does not add commensurate value.

The Department of Defense’s complex audit requirements are a case in point. They take much longer to complete than in the past, and lead to delays in contract awards and closeouts. While audits aren’t the only reason for the long time it takes to award contracts, they contribute to delays ultimately felt by the warfighter. And industry feels the effect too. Uncertainty makes financing more difficult for smaller firms who need predictable revenue projections to support operations. The backlog in incurred cost audits and contract closeout impacts payment – delaying critical revenue firms need to sustain their businesses.

We’re encouraged by the DOD’s Better Buying Power 2.0 initiative, which acknowledges audit requirements are a major factor driving lengthy procurement cycles, and with them, cost growth. And we are heartened by the willingness of the Defense Contract Audit Agency to listen to industry’s views and work to resolve issues. Clearing the audit backlog, reducing documentation reporting requirements, and focusing auditors’ efforts on problematic aspects of contracts will help remove barriers to participation.

The issue of protecting company intellectual property rights is another concern in defense contracting. Companies invest considerable capital – human and dollars – to develop intellectual property. They do so because the investment is intended to return value to their shareholders and owners. However, current DOD practices threaten to undermine these investments and are another negative influence on the defense industrial base. While DOD’s intention of reducing long-term costs and introducing as much competition as possible for contract awards is sound, current rules and policies could result in competitors reaping substantial rewards by having access to technical data they did not pay for or develop.

And these are only two examples. The fact is that defaulting to the most risk adverse regulatory environment creates a chilling effect on initiative and openness on both sides of the contractual relationship. And it drives some companies away.

Photo from the presentation of the award. (Left to Right: Betsy Schmid, Vice President for National Security and Acquisition Policy, AIA, and Ray Mabus, Secretary, U.S. Navy)

Betsy Schmid, AIA’s new Vice President for National Security and Acquisition Policy, has received the U.S. Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award. Presented by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus in a March 19, 2014 ceremony, the award is the highest honor given to those outside of naval service.

“It is a tremendous honor to receive this award from Secretary Mabus, and especially for work that supported the men and women of the United States Navy and Marine Corps,” Schmid said.  “It was the privilege of a lifetime to ensure that adequate resources and force structure were provided to our sailors and Marines when defense budgets were declining and global threats were growing more complex.

Schmid was recognized for “exceptional service to the Department of the Navy as a professional staff member and Staff Director for the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.  Ms. Schmid’s selfless service and compassion for the nation’s sailors and marines ensured they were provided the resources necessary to support and defend our nation’s interests around the globe.”

Schmid’s career has put her at the center of defense and intelligence committee budgets and policy over the last 12 years.  As the senior defense budget advisor for the U.S. Senate on many of the most critical defense spending issues before the Nation, Schmid worked and consulted closely with senior officials in the Pentagon, intelligence community, and defense industry. She served both former and current Chairmen of the Appropriations Committee and Defense Subcommittee – the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye and now Senator Barbara A. Mikulski and Senator Dick Durbin. In this capacity, she was the lead Senate staff member responsible for oversight of half of the country’s discretionary budget and annual passage of the approximately $600 billion defense appropriation bill.

Prior to joining the Senate staff, Schmid worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense on a variety of major issues and projects including the Quadrennial Defense Review and other defense planning guidance in support of our warfighters.  She also supported research on national security issues for the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century, and the Center for the National Interest.

Schmid holds a master’s degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from West Chester University.

Betsy Schmid, AIA’s new Vice President for National Security and Acquisition Policy, has received the U.S. Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award. Presented by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus in a March 19, 2014 ceremony, the award is the highest honor given to those outside of naval service.

Betsy Schmid is Vice President of National Security and Acquisition Policy for the Aerospace Industries Association. Prior to joining AIA, she served for 12 years on the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, including most recently as the Staff Director responsible for analyzing and passing the annual defense appropriation bill. Betsy was a Presidential Management Fellow in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where she had assignments in the offices of OSD Policy, Comptroller, and Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. In addition, she was a Research Associate for the U.S. Commission on National Security.

Betsy has a Masters degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science/International Relations from West Chester University, Pennsylvania.

The U.S. Government is responsible for developing an annual budget and appropriating funds for critical programs and activities that include some of our most basic constitutional principles such as to "provide for the common defense [of the United States]." At AIA we follow this process closely as it relates to the interests of our members and the aerospace and defense industry at-large. Of critical importance in every annual spending bill of the federal government, is that funding be maintained to ensure the future of our nation's national security, aviation infrastructure and safety and space programs.

For more than five decades, our national security space assets have grown tremendously more capable and essential to our nation’s armed forces and national security decision makers. They have been invaluable for they have provided our military with a uniquely asymmetric advantage. Unfortunately, the space sector – as the Pentagon noted in the 2011 National Security Space Strategy - is increasingly becoming “congested, competitive and contested.” As a consequence, current American space capabilities will be increasingly difficult to sustain in the face of declining defense budgets.

AIA is proud that our space industry has helped to assure that the United States’ armed forces are second to none and we remain committed to that objective.

The Team America Rocketry Challenge, or TARC as it is know by its faithful followers, is hosted anually by AIA and poses a different challenge every year. In 2014 the scoring criteria make this contest the most difficult one of the competition’s 12-year history. Check out the infographic that explains this year’s competition and flight of the rocket! For more complete rules visit

U.S. Senate Commerce, Science And Transportation Committee, Aviation Subcommittee Hearing

Marion C. Blakey, President and CEO
March 13, 2014


Madam Chair, Ranking Member Ayotte, and Members of the Committee, thank you for this opportunity to address the challenges to American competitiveness in the aerospace industry. I am Dennis Muilenburg, vice chairman, president and chief operating officer of Boeing.

Before beginning my testimony I want to express my condolences on behalf of Boeing to the families and friends of the passengers and crew of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. We still do not know the cause of the airplane’s disappearance, but Boeing has joined with the National Transportation Safety Board team as a technical advisor and that team is now positioned in the region to offer assistance. We are committed to doing everything possible to sustain a safe and efficient global transportation system.

Madam Chair, the topic you have chosen for today’s hearing is both timely and important. United States is the world leader in aerospace, but with increasing competition from foreign countries that are investing substantial government funds into their emerging aerospace industries, the U.S preeminence in aerospace is eroding, and indeed is at risk.

Company Introduction

Boeing has a proud history of excellence in aerospace that goes back nearly 100 years. During that time, Boeing has used technological innovation and a highly skilled workforce to create market-leading products that meet the demands of a diverse and growing global customer base. We evolve constantly to meet our customers’ requirements. As an example, a few months ago we launched the 777X with 259 orders and commitments, marking the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history by value. The tremendous market response to the 777X was due to the numerous features that make it 12 percent more fuel efficient than its competitor. They include an all-new composite wing based on the innovative wing developed for the super-efficient 787 Dreamliner, aerodynamic advances such as a hybrid laminar flow control vertical tail and natural laminar flow nacelles, and all-new GE9X engines developed by GE Aviation. The 777X is the latest in a long line of superior Boeing products that provide better value to our customers than those offered by our competitor.

Our Place in the Economy/Suppliers

William Boeing first began making twin-float seaplanes in 1915 from a small red boathouse, and while much has changed since then, our company remains unique in that we assemble, test and deliver all of our highly-competitive products right here in the United States. The final assembly facilities for our commercial products are located in the states of Washington and South Carolina, but we have facilities for engineering and manufacturing major components in multiple states beyond those two – including Oregon, Florida, California, Montana and Utah, where we have a growing presence. Our defense and space -related production primarily is located in the states of California, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Texas, Arizona, Florida and Alabama. Today Boeing has 160,000 employees in the United States, and I’m proud to say that 24,000 of those employees are military veterans. Boeing has been recognized as a top 100 Military Friendly Employer by G.I. Jobs Magazine, and we are very active in numerous national initiatives to help veterans find jobs and obtain the skills that they need to transition into the private sector.

Notably, we have continued to add jobs at Boeing in recent years while other sectors of the U.S. economy have shown little or no employment growth. Both during and in the wake of the recent global recession we hired new talent and critical skills at Boeing – a total of more than 15,000 new, high-paying jobs since 2005. Our hiring has been driven by our record backlog of $441 billion, including a record $374 billion commercial airplane backlog. With more than 5,000 commercial aircraft on order, our commercial backlog is diverse, with customers across the world committing to purchase a full range of Boeing airplanes.

As these numbers suggest, Boeing’s impact on the nation’s economy is substantial. Aerospace is one of the few sectors of the American economy where there exists a positive balance of trade – in large part because of Boeing’s exports. We are the world’s largest aerospace company and a leading U.S. exporter measured by sales. The company’s capabilities in aerospace include commercial jetliners, military aircraft,
helicopters, electronic and defense systems, satellites, and advanced information and communications systems. And Boeing’s exports benefit literally every state in America. Last year, we paid $48 billion to more than 15,600 U.S. businesses, including 6,600 small or disadvantaged businesses, which collectively support an additional 1.5 million jobs across the country. While 80 percent of our commercial airplanes go to airlines outside the United States, 80 percent of our supplier spend is with U.S. companies.

We also have suppliers and partners outside the United States. I mention that because I think it is important that members of the Committee understand the strategy behind our global partnering. It comes down to this. To ensure that we continue to design and build the best commercial airplanes and aerospace systems in the world we must seek out the best technologies, material resources and skills in the world, wherever they reside. In addition, global partnering is critical to Boeing’s success in foreign markets where there is an expectation that we invest as well as sell. Some 80 percent of our commercial airplane sales, and nearly 30 percent of our defense and space sales, are outside of the United States, so success overseas is critical to the success of our domestic workforce – and the workforce of our entire U.S. supply chain.


Boeing last year delivered more commercial airplanes than any other company in the world. Boeing for years has been one of the largest U.S. exporters, and we see significant opportunity going forward, with a strong and growing market for both our defense and commercial products and services. I will concentrate on the latter since today’s hearing is focused on commercial aviation. From 2013 to 2032, we project a demand for $2.5 trillion in aviation services and a $4.8 trillion global market for more than 35,000 new airplanes. Some will replace older, less efficient airplanes, but we expect the total world fleet to double in size over the next 20 years as a result of rising demand for passenger services and a rebound in air freight. The aviation market is broader and deeper than it was in the past, with demand being fueled by growth in
China, India and other emerging markets, as well as by rapidly growing low-cost carriers and legacy carriers which want to modernize their fleets. Our biggest challenge is to meet this demand, regain market share from aggressive competition, and have the profitability to invest in future products. For that reason, we are increasing the production rates across our 737 and 787 lines, as well as adding new models with the
787-9 and -10, 737 MAX, and the 777x. In February we began assembling the first 737NG at the new production rate of 42 per month, our highest rate ever, and we have announced that in 2017 we will boost 737 production to 47 airplanes per month. These record high production rates will support tens of thousands of jobs at Boeing, and many more in our extensive U.S. supply chain. Each time a Boeing commercial airplane is exported and lands somewhere in the world, it lands with millions of parts reflecting the workmanship of many of our 15,600 small, medium and large U.S. suppliers.

Foreign Competitive Landscape

The increasing demand for airplanes presents a great opportunity for Boeing and for U.S. commercial aerospace – but it is an opportunity that must be seized. Right now, the international market for airplanes is more competitive than ever, and that competition is only going to become tougher in the decade ahead. Competition with Airbus, our principal competitor, is particularly fierce, and airplane manufacturers in
Canada, Brazil, Russia and China are all, in one way or another, soon to enter markets currently served by Boeing products. We are working tirelessly to position ourselves to succeed in this highly competitive environment, and are taking steps – often challenging and difficult steps – to enable us to win in this rapidly changing marketplace. We are taking cost out of our supply chain, focusing relentlessly on our own productivity, and working with our customers to ensure we have the right product strategy.

We also have negotiated new long-term agreements with the IAM in both Puget Sound and St. Louis that will enable us to be more competitive while still maintaining marketleading pay and benefits for our employees. I cannot stress enough how important these agreements are to our collective future, or how grateful we are that members of the IAM recognize how intensely competitive the global aerospace industry has become. With agreements like these, we can and will move forward with confidence in our future as the world’s leading aerospace company.

But public policy and government actions also affect the competitive landscape as we face established and emerging state-supported competitors. In short, we need your help to ensure that the U.S. aerospace industry’s proud legacy of leadership continues in the face of these significant, and increasing, global competitive pressures.

WTO Ruling on Subsidies

Airbus has been heavily subsidized by European governments since its inception more than 40 years ago. The subsidies take many forms, but the most egregious is launch aid – the subsidy Airbus receives for new product development. In 2004, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) challenged Europe’s subsidies to Airbus with a request to the World Trade Organization for consultations – a step that led two years later to the filing of a formal complaint against the subsidies. A lengthy process ensued, but the bottom line is that in mid-2011 the WTO issued a final ruling stating that European governments had provided illegal subsidies to Airbus totaling $18 billion. It gave European governments six months to comply with its ruling – something that has yet to happen – which is why USTR now is seeking a non-compliance ruling from the WTO. We expect the WTO to make such a ruling in the first half of this year. The U.S. government is moving ever closer to being in a position to pursue sanctions against European exports to the United States if the Airbus-sponsor governments do not remove the harmful effects of their illegal subsidies.

Madam Chairman, this committee and the broader Congress have been very supportive of Boeing and its supplier-partners in this longstanding dispute, which we greatly appreciate. With your continued support we are confident we can end these marketdistorting and harmful European practices. 

Policy – EX IM 

I want to take a moment to discuss another important policy issue that affects our competitive position in the marketplace – the availability of export credit assistance. Today export credit assistance is provided to purchasers of U.S. manufactured products that are exported abroad, at no cost to the American taxpayer. Export credit assistance from the Export Import Bank is an important tool for all U.S. exporters, including
aerospace companies like Boeing, to compete against foreign competitors that have access to even larger export credit assistance programs administered by their own governments. Without Ex-Im, Boeing would be unable to compete on a level playing field for non-U.S. aircraft orders – a segment that makes up more than 80 percent of projected demand over the next 20 years. Boeing also would be at a competitive disadvantage in the global and intensely contested market for commercial satellites. 

Airbus has unrestricted access from three European export credit agencies. Countries with rapidly growing economies like Brazil and China, which also are investing large amounts of government funds into their emerging aerospace industries, together now provide nearly half of all official export credit in the world today. And with the exception of Brazil, none of the emerging economies is party to international rules and frameworks regarding export credit. Measured as a percent of 2012 GDP, U.S. official export credit ranks below six countries: Korea, India, China, France, Germany and Italy. If the United States were to disarm unilaterally by ceasing or scaling back its official export credit program, it would put U.S. exporters – including Boeing – at even a greater disadvantage in global markets than we find ourselves in today.

Madam Chairman, I know that there are some in this body that question the appropriateness and utility of official export credit, arguing that it creates market distortions. However, our decades of experience selling airplanes does not support that contention. Today, the availability of export credit assistance ensures that Boeing competes and wins on the basis of price and product; it levels the playing field. We can agree to disagree. But calls to reduce or eliminate export credit assistance in the face of international availability amounts to unilateral disarmament. If it is eliminated, or reduced in any significant way, the impacts on Boeing will be felt immediately and there will be a negative impact on the United States and the positive balance of trade payments in the aerospace sector. We know from experience that airlines will flip orders for Boeing airplanes if U.S. export credit halts and European export credit is still available. Thousands of direct and indirect U.S. jobs will be lost and nothing will be gained. U.S. airlines that compete against other international airlines today will face that same competition tomorrow. The only difference will be that their foreign competition will be flying fewer Boeing airplanes and increasing numbers of Airbus aircraft financed with European export credit assistance.


Another very important issue for us is aircraft certification. The future of American competitiveness in aviation is dependent on a shared commitment by the FAA and industry to adapt to changing safety and certification priorities, domestically and abroad. This Committee has been very supportive of these efforts, and we thank you for your leadership on sections 312 and 313 of the past FAA Reauthorization bill. These
sections are the cornerstone of the reforms that will be needed to keep the United States at the forefront of innovation. Continued certification streamlining coupled with further use of delegation will provide better safety outcomes, more efficient use of FAA resources, and give industry the tools needed to remain safe and competitive.

STEM, R&D, and NextGen

There are three other public policy issues I want to mention here briefly. Boeing, like all high-tech U.S. companies, is concerned about the growing scarcity of talent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics – the so-called STEM disciplines – and we have numerous initiatives underway to attract more students to these academic disciplines. We know that many government officials share our concern, and we stand ready to partner with you to address the STEM issue because it is one that will have a significant effect one way or the other on U.S. competitiveness in general.

Declining U.S. spending for research and development is another concern. Companies like Boeing are doing their part to develop new cutting-edge technologies and products. However, long-term research – the kind that advances basic science and may not produce a payback for 20 or more years, is very hard for the private sector to fund and manage. That is why the U.S. government historically has played a central role in longrange research and must continue to do so to keep our nation competitive and economically strong.

Lastly, I want to reiterate our support for NextGen air-traffic management. It is important to keep this vital aviation infrastructure project adequately funded because the longterm payback will be enormous. NextGen will enable airlines to fly far more efficiently, with real environmental benefits, and in the process will help our overall economy operate more efficiently. NextGen isn’t just an airline issue or aerospace issue; it is an
issue of national economic development and competitiveness.


We are proud of the position that Boeing holds in the global economy and what our employees all across the country achieve on behalf of the company. Again, I thank the Committee for examining these issues and allowing me the opportunity to testify today.

U.S. Senate Commerce, Science And Transportation Committee, Aviation Subcommittee Hearing

Marion C. Blakey, President and CEO
March 13, 2014


The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) appreciates the opportunity to present our views on the competitiveness of the U.S. aviation industry. Today, there is no sector of our economy that contributes more to U.S. net exports than commercial aviation manufacturing. This situation could change in the future if we are not careful.

I am Marion Blakey, President and Chief Executive Officer of AIA, the nation’s largest trade association representing aerospace and defense manufacturers. Our 380 members represent an industry directly employing one million workers, and supporting another 2.5 million jobs either indirectly or as suppliers. First, let me discuss the state of commercial aircraft manufacturing today.


U. S. aircraft manufacturers continue to hold strong positions in the world market due to the dedication and hard work of American workers, the wisdom of executives leading those companies, and the pursuit of technological advances that drive world markets. In fact, the aerospace industry continues to be the United States' leading exporter of manufactured goods. By value, our industry exported $72.1 billion more than we imported last year. This figure was up 10% over the previous year, even as the overall U. S. economy improved in fits and starts.

Without a doubt, the success in net exports is related to our dominance in commercial aircraft manufacturing. U. S. exports of civil aircraft, engines, avionics, and related components represent 88 percent of all aerospace exports and almost all of the increase we experienced last year. This is a sign of growth in the developing world. But it is also a testament to an industry which has invested billions of dollars in research and development to remain competitive through the use of increasingly sophisticated technologies. We have raised the fuel efficiency of jet engines by 125% since 1960 and by 20% in the past ten years. And
while increasing efficiency, our manufacturers have also increased safety. In fact, aircraft safety margins have doubled since 1990. Because of these advancements, the competitiveness of our industry remains strong.

Several of AIA’s member companies analyze global market trends, and they reach similar conclusions. Aircraft manufacturing will continue to experience growth that outpaces the growth in global GDP. About 60 percent of these new aircraft will be needed to accommodate global market growth. However, the high price of aviation fuel has been accelerating the replacement of older aircraft with more modern, fuel-efficient aircraft.  A disproportionate share of this growth involves smaller, single-aisle aircraft in emerging markets led by the Asia-Pacific region and China in particular.

We are pleased that the business aviation and rotorcraft sectors are poised to recover from the economic downturn that began a few years ago. General aviation aircraft shipments were up about 6% last year and the forecast for this year is in that range (8.5%). Business jet deliveries have also recovered, with shipments up 6.3% last year. For the next five years at least, the majority of orders are expected to come from North America, and therefore will be largely dependent on the state of the U. S. economy. However, over the long term, our success in the business aviation market will become increasingly dependent on our market
share in the developing world, particularly Asia and Latin America. Likewise, sales of civil helicopters are increasing, and we expect this trend will continue over the next few years with modest growth. These markets include oil and gas exploration and production, public safety, and emergency medical services.

I should add that the downturn in U. S. military investment puts a drag on this positive message from our commercial industry. The U. S. military aircraft sector continues to shrink, falling 6.3 percent last year and almost 10 percent over the past three years. Many do not realize that several of our key military aircraft production lines are sustained today largely by exports. This situation contributes to a declining supplier base that can affect the commercial sector in its overall competitiveness.

Of course, other nations are not sitting idly by; they are trying to cut into our edge. The growth in emerging markets is naturally stimulating other nations to improve or establish their own aircraft manufacturing capabilities. Two years ago, Russia joined the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA), and China is expressing interest. Manufacturers in Latin America, Russia, China, and elsewhere will increasingly compete with U. S. industry, particularly in the high-growth markets for singleaisle aircraft and regional jets. And it is important for us to realize that, in many cases, U. S.
companies are competing against foreign governments, not just foreign companies.

AIA also believes the global liberalization of aviation treaties -- in "open skies" agreements and multilateral trade agreements -- should continue to be supported by governments around the world. Initiatives such as these that increase the flow of goods, services and passengers provide economic growth for countries worldwide and benefit all of us.

Considering this situation, it is also imperative that we address long-term risks or barriers to our global competitiveness. Let me highlight a few of those issues.


While the U. S. is in a stable position today, there are risks and barriers that will undercut our position over the next few years if not addressed. These include FAA budget concerns, the inability to maintain a properly skilled workforce, appropriate financial support, and tax incentives for the development of new technologies. Let me address each of these in turn.

FAA Funding and Future Sequestration

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provides critical services that directly affect the competitiveness of U. S. aviation manufacturers. Our industry has a wide range of aerospace products that are poised to enter the global marketplace. As a regulated industry, bringing these new products to the market requires FAA review, approval, and certification. However, in this fast-moving environment, we often find that FAA’s certification process moves too slowly.

We were pleased that Congress recognized this issue in section 312 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-95). This section, commonly referred to as “certification streamlining”, requires the FAA to examine the certification and approval process and provide recommendations for streamlining. The FAA commissioned an Aviation Rulemaking Committee and developed an implementation plan for those recommendations. We urge the agency to follow through on this plan as soon as possible. Given the current budget constraints facing the FAA, making this process more efficient will help ensure the industry does not have even longer wait times. The FAA needs to make maximum use of existing delegation systems and leverage best practices in their certification processes.

AIA does not believe FAA can maintain today’s level of service and invest adequately for the future if the agency is faced with additional Budget Control Act sequesters. We appreciate the near-term relief for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 that was provided in the Bipartisan Budget Act last December. However, sequestration returns with a vengeance in fiscal year 2016.

If fiscal year 2013 is any guide, when additional sequesters go into effect the investment accounts will bear a heavier share of the reductions. In 2013, the agency lost $637 million from a sequester that occurred in the middle of the year. To avoid employee furloughs, Congress authorized a one-time transfer of airport grant funds to the operating account. However, even with this flexibility, the agency had to reduce NextGen programs by almost $140 million, taking this initiative back to its fiscal year 2011 funding level and disrupting dozens of programs. The FAA's NextGen budget request for fiscal year 2015 does not recover from these reductions. In fact, that request is almost $200 million below the President's request of only two years ago. That is a steep funding drop for a critical program.

In addition, if the agency is forced to take a “today first” attitude, new technologies that could transform aviation may end up on the cutting room floor. Foremost among these is the budding market for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). We think it was wise and important that Congress promoted the integration of UAS into our national airspace by the year 2015. The application of UAS for public safety missions and a variety of commercial uses is enormous, and other nations are just as interested. Our manufacturers lead the world in these technologies, and if we make sure the Congressionally-mandated integration stays on course,
we will see markets open up for our technologies, not only here in the United States, but around the world. We hope you will support funding for UAS integration activities, including the standards development efforts and the research and development programs that are needed for successful and safe NAS integration. And while we understand the desire to address privacy, we believe it can be adequately protected. We urge you to oppose any such legislation that would cripple or unduly restrict the growth of this important industry before it is given a chance to develop.

If the FAA is constantly distracted by continuing resolutions and budget cuts, long-term investments will suffer the most. I understand the need to keep today’s air traffic system running safely and smoothly. But to remain competitive over the next decade, our manufacturers also need continued investment in a twenty-first century infrastructure, including high technology and transformational systems like UAS.

Our failure to make these investments, just as we are hitting our stride, would embolden our overseas competitors. It would send the wrong message to the developing world – a message that the U. S. may not be able to meet their needs in the future. Equally important, it would break the faith with a manufacturing industry that is investing billions to advance in growing worldwide markets. We are investing in new supply chains, new plants and equipment, and new jobs employing skilled workers all around the country. We need the government to do its part -- to review and approve those products efficiently, support new markets, and expand our national aviation infrastructure.

Continuing to Improve Environmental Stewardship and Energy Efficiency

Because aviation is fundamentally global, it is critical that the U. S. maintain its leadership role in the international bodies that set standards and harmonize technical specifications for
aviation technologies – an issue with rising importance as market dynamics shift to developing nations.

There is no better example than the critical technologies underpinning aircraft fuel efficiency and low emissions. The high cost of jet fuel on the global market has made engine fuel efficiency a major driver of aircraft purchase decisions. The FAA’s commitment to the Continuous Low Emissions, Environment and Noise (CLEEN) program is important to our industry. This program is cost-shared with manufacturers on a dollar-for-dollar basis and is showing real results in the development of new engine technologies that dramatically reduce aviation noise, emissions and fuel burn. In addition, maintaining momentum in the multiagency
alternative fuels development program is an important initiative for the aviation industry as we work to reduce our dependence on petroleum-based energy sources.

Providing Globally Competitive Tax Policies

The Research and Experimentation Tax Credit (commonly called “R&D Tax Credit”) is an important incentive for national business investment in R&D. This is important for many sectors of our economy, but it is especially important for high-tech companies in the aerospace sector. Once again, the credit was allowed to expire at the end of last year, a political football caught up in the broader discussion of comprehensive tax reform. 

U. S. commercial aerospace manufacturers are at a substantial disadvantage vis-à-vis foreign competitors whose home countries almost universally have more favorable and more predictable R&D tax credits. A permanent R&D credit has been proposed as part of the administration’s corporate tax reform package, and was included in Chairman Camp's bill released earlier this month. We urge the Senate to act favorably on these proposals either separately or as part of comprehensive tax reform legislation. At a minimum, legislation is urgently needed to restart the R&D tax credit and apply its provisions retroactively to the
beginning of calendar year 2014.

Providing a Skilled Aerospace Workforce

American aerospace workers are among the most highly productive and skilled workers in the world. With a global market that is growing rapidly, we must maintain an adequate supply of workers with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines and specific manufacturing skills for U. S. industry to continue to dominate and benefit from the aerospace export market. And for aviation markets to meet the forecasted demand, we will need to recruit and train hundreds of thousands of new pilots and maintenance technicians, as a recent Boeing study has verified. We want to sell those aircraft, train those pilots, and hire those mechanics.

Unfortunately, today America is simply not producing enough workers with the right technical skills. The U. S. graduates around 300,000 students a year with bachelors or associate degrees in STEM fields. The February 2012 report of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) recommended that this be raised by one-third to meet our economic needs. One startling fact is that less than 40% of students who start college intending to earn a STEM degree actually complete the degree requirements. We need to turn that around, and AIA and our member companies are working to do just that. We are collaborating with other stakeholders to increase retention rates in engineering programs by putting in place policies and practices, such as internships and mentoring, which encourage and support the success of qualified students.

And this is not just about four year degrees. Community colleges and career technical education play an equally important role in meeting our workforce needs. In fact, today one third of our current STEM employees begin their education in community colleges. For years, aerospace companies have experienced challenges in filling certain manufacturing and other technical positions. Customized credentialing programs that prepare students with the specifically required skills are playing an important role in addressing the existing STEM skills gap and constitute another key element of our industry's workforce efforts.

Our STEM workforce challenge is exacerbated by the fact that the aerospace industry is graying. In 2007, we found that almost 60 percent of the U.S. aerospace workforce was age 45 or older. Today, 9.6 percent of our industry is eligible to retire, and projections are that by 2017 -- just three years from now -- 18.5% of the entire industry will be eligible to retire. At our largest corporations (those employing 100,000 or more), the percentage retirement eligible is already 18.6 percent. We are experiencing a shortage of STEM workers today, but the problem will be even greater when the bow wave of actual retirement hits us in the next
couple of years.

It was ten years ago that the Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry recommended "the nation immediately reverse the decline in and promote the growth of a scientifically and technologically trained U.S. aerospace workforce". Our industry paid attention, and AIA has been driving progress on STEM education and workforce issues for a number of years. We facilitate collaboration among our member companies and with other stakeholders – business groups, government, academia and the philanthropic community – at the national, state and local levels. We seek systemic change that will produce a prepared
and competitive twenty-first century workforce. AIA further raised the profile and rigor of its engagement in 2013 with the formation of a new, high-level Workforce Policy Council, and we remain committed to meeting this challenge.

Implementing Improved Export Policies

AIA strongly supports the goal of the National Export Initiative to double U. S. exports by the year 2014 and rationalize our outdated system of export controls. Export control reform is crucial to the success of the aerospace and defense industrial base to increase exports, and enhance interoperability with our allies and trading partners, while ensuring that advanced technologies are protected in the most appropriate manner. AIA appreciates the substantial achievements in satellite export reform enacted by Congress in 2012, and we are committed to working with the administration and Congress to see these reforms continue in other areas.

Missile Technology Control Regime and UAS Exports

One example of a current barrier to U. S. competitiveness involves the application of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) to the export of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). We believe the MTCR’s “presumption of denial” for UAS exports capable of greater than a 300 KM range and a 500 KG payload must be balanced for risk management purposes on a consistent and clear basis. Other criteria to consider in overcoming the “presumption of denial” include the system’s additional capabilities (or lack thereof) and the specific allies and partners with whom we are considering sharing this technology to protect and promote
our common security interests. Absent such considerations, we run the risk of the same loss of market share and damage to the industrial base that occurred in the commercial satellite sector under similar one-size-fits-all export controls, and may also stifle the move to commercial use of such systems. We continue to work with the administration to develop a new way forward to control UAS systems for export appropriately in a way that benefits U. S. industry and jobs while protecting our valid national security interests.

FAA Authority to "Promote" Civil Aeronautics

In the 1996 FAA Reauthorization Act (Public Law 104-264), Congress deleted FAA's authority to "promote" new aviation technology. The agency is still allowed to "encourage" these developments, but not to "promote" them. We acknowledge the intent of Congress to have the agency focus solely on aviation safety. However, we believe FAA is interpreting this in an overly restrictive manner that affects the ability of U. S. manufacturers to sell our superior products overseas. One recent example is the agency's refusal to endorse basic information about air traffic control equipment currently in use by the agency out of concern
that this could be construed as "promotion". We believe a clarification of Congressional intent or some modest exception authority would be helpful.

Export-Import Bank of the United States

The Export-Import Bank of the United States also plays a vital role in helping American companies compete on a level playing field in the global marketplace. Last year, the bank aided 3,400 companies – large, medium and small – in supporting over 205,000 U.S. jobs, maintaining a robust network of aerospace suppliers, and facilitating a stronger U.S. presence in the global market. Significantly, nearly 88% of these jobs were at small businesses around the country. Many people do not realize that the bank is self-sustaining, and operates at no cost to U.S. taxpayers. In fact, through its fees and charges, the bank brought in more than $1 billion to the U.S. treasury in fiscal years 2012 and 2013. Simply put, the federal deficit will go up if the Export-Import Bank is shut down.

At a time when defense cuts are causing smaller suppliers to shrink their operations, Ex-Im financing maintains the financial health of a large number of aerospace industry suppliers, providing assistance to 30,000 of them. Many of these suppliers have looked to other aerospace sectors to compensate for lost revenue from the defense downturn. Furthermore, Ex-Im financing is a critical tool to the aerospace exporter in both general aviation and space services. From May 2012 to February 2014, Ex-Im financed over $1 billion in business jet exports, supporting over 5,000 jobs. Satellites and space launch services have become Ex-
Im's fastest growing sector. Prior to 2010, Ex-Im financed roughly $50 million annually in space services. That number has risen to over $1 billion in each of the last two years. In fact, over 60% of U. S.-built commercial satellite exports today are supported through Ex-Im financing.

Equally important, the bank allows U.S. exporters to effectively compete with foreign firms that have their own government-assisted financing. Our Export-Import Bank is one of 59 export credit agencies around the world. Each of them supports the export of manufactured goods in a highly competitive global marketplace. And many of these governments extend more credit, at more favorable rates, than the United States. In fact, as a percentage of GDP, U.S. export credit in 2012 ranked below six other countries. Germany and France extended nearly two and a half times as much export financing; China and India almost three times; and Korea ten times as much. The Export-Import Bank does not cost American taxpayers a dime. It helps our manufacturers compete and sell their products around the world. And since aircraft manufacturing is one of our nation’s biggest exports, it is not surprising that U.S. jobs depend on our government helping to maintain a level playing field. The bank's authority is set to expire on September 30, 2014, and we need your support to ensure there is no gap or shutdown in this important program's operations.


In conclusion, we believe that U. S. aviation manufacturers are in a strong competitive position today, but there are risks to our maintaining this position over the next decade. As a nation, we need to ensure that our tax policies and financial support provide incentives to maintain jobs here in the United States and are competitive with the policies of other nations. We need to provide improved infrastructure in air traffic control technology, not only for our own economic health but for its export potential. And we need to ensure that our aerospace workforce is prepared to handle the challenges and changes coming to the global marketplace
over the next decade or two. Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony on this important subject.

Over the past quarter century, more than 300 commissions and studies have produced a variety of recommendations – some of which have become law – to change the way the U.S. military develops and buys new weapons systems. Yet the Department of Defense acquisition system continues to take longer and deliver less in quantity and capability while costs of modernization programs escalate.

AIA has taken a hard look at what is causing this problem to develop this issue paper about what was discovered to be a multi-faceted issue that largely revolves around extraneous and over burdensome policies, laws and regulations.

Solutions to reducing the burden include:

  • A more efficient and effective cost-benefit analysis program;
  • Better audit practices;
  • Reducing unaffordable burdens;
  • Expanding the use of commercial items;  
  • New intellectual property rules; and
  • Having a reasonable expectation for contractor pay and compensation.