Nick Stanage

Curtis Reusser

David Murray

Warren M. Boley, Jr.

Michael Barbero

Thomas A. Kennedy

AIA’s Third Quarter Executive Report

2014 Executive Report Third Quarter

Safeguarding of Unclassified Controlled Technical Information

Two places where Congress could encourage long-term economic growth — but has yet to do so

Aerospace and the Export-Import Bank of the U.S.

Paris International Airshow

Farnborough International Airshow

Joint Government and Industry Executive Forum for Lead (Pb)-free Electronics

AIA Congratulates Bob Hoover on Wright Brothers Trophy Award

FAA’s Motion Picture UAS Decision a Good First Step

2014: Second Quarter

2014: First Quarter

2013: Fourth Quarter

2013: Third Quarter

2013: Second Quarter

2013: First Quarter

2012: Fourth Quarter

2012: Third Quarter

2012: Second Quarter

2012: First Quarter

2011: Fourth Quarter

2011: Third Quarter

2011: Second Quarter

ADS-B Infrastructure: On Time, On Budget, On the Job

Media B-Roll

2011: First Quarter

2010: Fourth Quarter

AIA’s eUpdate is now available

July/August/September eUpdate 2014

Progress on Aerospace and Defense Trade

Aerospace industry experts engage in thought leadership on STEM education and workforce issues

Europe Decides Against Volcanic Ash Standards for Jet Engines

TEAM USA takes second at International Rocketry Challenge

AIA Joins World Civil Aviation Organizations in Advancing Fuel Efficiency and Reducing Emissions

AIA takes flight at Farnborough

AIA Proposes Defense Acquisition Reforms in Letter to House and Senate Armed Services Committees

House Aerospace Caucus Celebrates Human Space Flight Progress

National Aerospace Week 2014

Hal Rogers Awarded Wings of Liberty

AIA Praises Passage of FY15 Short-Term Continuing Resolution

AIA Presents 2014 Wings of Liberty Award to Representative Harold “Hal” Rogers

Secretary Pritzker Applauds National Aerospace Week

Moving Toward Rational FAA Regulation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Fall Board of Governors Meeting

Spring Board of Governors Meeting

Monika Nielsen

Student Rocketeers Wanted for World’s Largest Rocket Competition

AIA Wins Award for Best Overall Website

AIA Wins Award for Best Overall Website

Press Secretary

AIA’s Marion Blakey Accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Join us for National Aerospace Week

2014 Global Financial Performance Study

Manager, Membership Services & Corporate Events

AIA’s Second Quarter Executive Report

William “Bill” Koss

Council Committee

The Export-Import Bank Toolkit

Motion Picture and Aerospace Industries Urge FAA to Support Increased Usage of Small UAS in Films

2014 Executive Report Second Quarter

AIA Leads the Way on Acquisition Rebalancing

Domestic Aviation Manufacturing: Challenges and Opportunities

Raytheon-sponsored Team Wins Second at International Contest

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

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

What defense acquisition reform looks like

Summer SMC Meeting - Hosted by 3M

Acquisition Rebalancing: Recommendations for Smart, Efficient & Effective Defense Procurement

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

Nytesha Younge

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

Cost Principles Committee

Government Property Systems Committee

DPAP/OFPP/Procurement & Finance Executive 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

IUID/RFID

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

Featured this quarter in the Executive Report: A message from Marion Blakey regarding the 2014 elections, Q&A with Aurora Flight Sciences' John S. Langford, a Farnborough Air Show recap and much more.

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

Featured this quarter in the Executive Report:

  • President's Message: Questions for the Candidates
  • Q & A With John S. Langford, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Aurora Flight Sciences Corp.
  • 3M Hosts AIA’s Summer Supplier Management Council Meeting
  • AIA Salutes Opening of New Plexus Manufacturing Facility
  • 2014 Farnborough Air Show Highlights
  • Congressman Rogers Receives 2014 Wings of Liberty Award

 

Cybersecurity attacks continue to increase in frequency and sophistication for the aerospace and defense industries. A new requirement of contracting with the Department includes a new information security clause:

DFARS clause 252.204-7012 to safeguard Unclassified Controlled Technical Information (UCTI), effective November 13, 2013. The clause is required for all new DoD contracts and subcontracts and will affect companies of all sizes.

In this paper, AIA helps you understand:

The new DFARS clause and how to comply with Security and Incident Reporting Requirements

Marion C. Blakey, President and CEO, AIA

The 113th Congress will soon be in the history books, with a record for advancing long-term economic growth that's spotty at best. Indeed, there are a couple of significant actions legislators could take that would tangibly benefited jobs creation and business performance.

Unfortunately, partisan gridlock has gotten in the way.

The research and development tax credit, which provides an important incentive during these times of fiscal austerity for thousands of companies to make long-term investments in innovation, is critical to creating economic growth. At nearly $10 billion a year, this credit supports companies that invest working capital in basic research and in applied research aimed at the creation or improvement of products. More than 70 percent of the credit is used to fund the salaries of R&D workers who hold the kinds of high-quality jobs that fuel our national economy, with the remainder applied to investment in new plant and equipment. Unfortunately, although the House passed a permanent extension of the current credit, the Senate has yet to act, which may result in companies declining to make positive investment decisions in this climate of uncertainty.

Currently, the U.S. significantly trails other leading countries in providing incentives for companies to conduct research and development. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation estimates the U.S. ranks 27 out of 42 countries in R&D tax incentive generosity, either through providing incentives such as cash grants or enhanced tax deductions. When you couple this fact with the high U.S. corporate income tax rate one must ask if we are on the right track or wrong track in terms of competitiveness. Action by the upcoming lame duck session of Congress or by the 114th Congress to make permanent and strengthen the existing R&D tax credit would move us in the right direction.

I’ve also written in the Washington Business Journal about the need to make permanent the operations of the Export Import Bank of the United States. The Ex-Im Bank helps finance the export of billions of U.S. goods and services at a net gain to the taxpayer, supports good American jobs — 205,000 last year — and strengthens the aerospace and defense industrial base by helping large, medium and small companies create new markets abroad, thus mitigating the impacts of budget austerity at home. Indeed, some of our industry’s greatest gains in recent years have come through Ex-Im aided sales abroad of passenger and general aviation aircraft, helicopters, launch vehicles and satellites.

Local companies have greatly benefitted from Ex-Im. In 2013, 52 Virginia companies assisted by Ex-Im exported $615 million in goods and services; 43 Maryland companies totaled $388 million in Ex-Im aided exports; and 13 District of Columbia companies had $57 million in exports boosted by Ex-Im.

As the congressional session wound down in September, Congress reauthorized Ex-Im for nine months. While the Bank will remain operational for certain until June, our industry and exporters need the long-term assurance that the Bank will be there for them.

Governor Jay Inslee's Aerospace Summit

EXCERPT FROM PREPARED REMARKS:
Timothy Keating, Senior Vice President, Government Operations, The Boeing Company
September 30, 2014

U.S. Aerospace & Competitiveness

We need to do a better job of explaining what aerospace means to this state - and to this country.  During an era in which the U.S. has been effectively de-industrialized - with factories closed, company towns abandoned, and millions of jobs outsourced overseas - aerospace has remained one of the shining exceptions.  We are one of the last business sectors that still employ large numbers of Americans at good wages and benefits to make things in this country - and then sell those best-in-class products around the world.   These are the kinds of companies that were the mainstay of the U.S. economy when I grew up in a union household in Scranton, Pennsylvania; the kinds of companies that created the American middle class and made this country the most prosperous and powerful on earth. 

And when you hear people complain that "we don't make things in this country anymore," consider that just Boeing alone employs roughly 160,000 people that either build things or directly support those who do.  Then there are the 2.5 - to 3 million jobs supported by the U.S. aerospace industry overall through our collective supply chain- jobs that allow people to make a decent living.

Traditionally, U.S. aerospace companies have not competed on price.  We have, and will continue to stay ahead through innovation.   Yet, as foreign competitors improve their level of quality, we cannot be oblivious to the cost of doing business going forward.  Here the relevant impact is not on our bottom line today or next year - but, in the case of Boeing, on our ability to sell an airplane to an international customer ten or 20 years from now.

Manufacturing executives, especially those in export-driven sectors, talk a lot about being competitive.  But, frankly, it's not always clearly understood what exactly we are referring to- and how that affects the difficult choices made with respect to the many elements of our business.   In fact, a lot of the more controversial management decisions by Boeing- affecting labor, our supply chain, geographic footprint, public policy - start to make a lot more sense when put in the context of a global market that is growing more crowded and less forgiving every year.

For example, when aerospace companies and other advanced manufacturers receive tax incentives to either continue operating in Washington or start new programs here, it is widely reported and criticized as some kind of big tax giveaway.  In reality, the dollar numbers you hear quoted represent, at best, a partial discount for the added cost of doing business in this state versus another part of the county with less onerous tax levels, regulatory schemes, and costs of living.   On balance, the preponderance of the benefit will go to the Washington economy and, ultimately, into the state treasury.  Yet rarely is that the story getting out, which is most unfortunate when some politicians in Olympia begin to flirt with the idea of rescinding these incentives. 

All told, there needs to be a more informed dialogue between the public and private sectors about how together we can compete on a global stage - not only against foreign companies, but with entire countries, even continents in the case of Airbus and Europe, that have put the power and resources of the state into supporting their domestic aerospace sectors.  

Washington, D.C. Dysfunction

When it comes to state and local government, at least things are getting done - from trying to balance budgets to getting potholes filled.   That has not been the case in Washington, D.C., for several years now.   When I first came to Washington, D.C, nearly three decades ago the partisan zealots on the left and right might duke it out on TV.  But behind the scenes the pragmatists, bridge-builders, and party elders would find ways to get things done.  Today folks on opposite sides of the partisan divide, or of any given issue, just aren't talking with each other - out of a combination of hostility, ignorance or, in many cases, fear of angering their own "base," and inviting a primary challenge.

The result last year was budget sequestration, another blow to our country's shrinking defense industrial base, followed by a federal government shut-down - the latest in a series of 11th hour crises and 'cliffs' that replaced the regular, rational, and constitutional process of making laws and passing budgets. 

Due to the leadership of Senator Murray, the Congress was able to come together last December with the Bipartisan Budget Act, which mitigated temporarily the impact of sequestration. In that same spirit - of principled yet pragmatic compromise - we have to find a way to make progress in a number of areas; areas in which powerful and polarizing forces are pushing in the opposite direction. The reasons are varied - deepening income inequality, demographic and cultural shifts, growing distrust of established institutions of all kinds, global business especially.  

Export-Import Bank

There is probably no more illustrative - or distressing - example of this phenomenon than the fight over the U.S. Export Import Bank.  

As I mentioned earlier, aerospace has the distinction of being one of the last U.S. manufacturing sectors that is competitive on a global level, with a $72 billion positive balance of trade. It's no surprise that Boeing represents a big part of that surplus, with $49 billion in foreign sales last year.

A significant part of this growth is attributable to carriers in developing markets.  For example, just last week, Ethiopian Airlines announced another commitment to Boeing, this time for 20 of the 737 Max., the largest single Boeing order by an African carrier.    While the financing arrangement will be determined closer to delivery, Ethiopian Airlines has used the Export-Import Bank to buy Boeing airplanes in the past.

We appreciated Senator Cantwell's support as this deal was brought to fruition.  She continues to be a champion of American manufacturing and the Ex-Im Bank in the U.S. Senate illustrating, once again, the importance of enlightened and engaged political leadership.  As I mentioned at the beginning, the business we have chosen is one in which government's role is inescapable and public-private partnerships are essential.  

This partnership is so important because the international market for aviation is not a level playing field.  Just about every other developed country - and now a few developing nations as well -supports its domestic aerospace industry through credit guarantees, low-interest loans, or other means to boost exports.  Boeing's major global competitor for commercial airliners, Airbus, has been lavishly and unlawfully subsidized by its European patrons - to the tune of $18 billion according to the World Trade Organization. 

Airbus wants to control most of the global commercial airliner market and they are willing to use every tactic to achieve that goal - even selling their planes at a loss.  Next up is China, which has poured tens of billions of dollars - directly or indirectly - into its state-owned aerospace company to develop airliners that will be able to compete directly with Boeing and Airbus.

In this environment, the Export-Import Bank gives American manufacturing a fighting chance in the global arena.   Ex-Im has long enjoyed broad bi-partisan support in the Congress, and presidents ranging from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama have favored its continued operation. In 2012 the Bank was re-authorized - but it was a near-run thing.  This year many of the same groups - mostly far-right political consultants, think tanks, and congressmen - banded together in a fit of ideological road rage to kill the Bank  The temporary extension recently enacted in many respects leaves us worse off than before.  The extension is to next summer, when in all likelihood the Congress will be more Tea-Party friendly, more polarized, than even now.  And a short-term extension does not provide business certainty - both for U.S. exporters and their potential foreign customers. 

I won't mince words about the consequences of a failure to re-authorize the Export Import Bank.    Slowly but surely Boeing would lose more airliner contracts to Airbus and eventually other foreign companies that are able to include official export credit as part of their sales pitch.  We would survive, but would build and sell fewer planes and employ fewer workers.   The same would apply to aerospace products like satellites and other high-end equipment for mining, construction, and energy. 

Spending too long in Washington, D.C., can make you a bit jaded and hard to surprise - but it is still amazing to me that the people going after Ex-Im are basically willing to dismantle the U.S. aerospace industry and ship the jobs to France or China - all in order to raise some extra money and show their most rabid supporters that it is possible to kill a government program - irrespective of the real-world consequences.

D.C. Aerospace Agenda

And it's not just Ex-Im.  Without action by the Congress budget sequestration will return in October 2015 - roughly $100 billion in across-the-board cuts to the military, NASA, FAA, Homeland Security, FBI, and more.   All of which will be felt, one way or another, by the companies and communities represented in this room.

Through sequestration Congress has tried to address what really is an entitlements problem - remember that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid make up roughly two-thirds of federal outlays and are growing - by gutting discretionary spending.

Yet our collective industry efforts must go beyond mitigating or reversing the negative - Ex-Im and sequestration - to advancing a positive agenda that will move this economy forward and expand the proverbial pie when it comes to jobs, wages and living standards - all of which could help address the underlying sources of discontent that have shaped the political dynamics of recent years. At the top of the list would be the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which by one estimate could add another $80 billion annually to the U.S. economy.   Then there is corporate tax reform and shifting to an effective top rate similar to our major global competitors - again, not a windfall, as some will no doubt characterize it, but a partial remedy to the unworkable situation we have today.

So all of us who care about the national strategic asset that is American aerospace -  the workers we hire, the communities we support, the defense and security we provide for this country - need to redouble our efforts and make it clear how high the stakes are.  We also need to be clear that we will remember who stood with us during these next critical months.  And we need our state and local partners with us every step of the way. 
What's required is something rare these days but, I believe, still possible in our nation's capital:  real, old-fashioned legislating in which each side holds their nose and gives a little - whether on the Ex-Im bank, domestic spending, defense spending, free trade agreements, or taxes.  All this would lift the dead weight of dysfunction that's hanging over our military, our industry, and the American economy.  

As you can see, we have a lot of work to get done.

Check back in 2015 for more information on this show.

Check back in 2016 for more information regarding the next show. 

Transitioning to lead-free electronics in the Aerospace and Defense (A&D) industry demands careful analysis and research into the performance, costs and availability of these materials. The Aerospace Industries Association sponsored a Joint Government and Industry Executive Forum for Lead-Free Electronics to examine the issues underlying implementation of these materials. The participants concluded a clear roadmap with discrete milestones, funding to accomplish these efforts and dedicated government leadership are key to the A&D industry’s successful transition. 

Why is this issue so important? The A&D industry designs and manufactures products that carry more than three billion passengers worldwide on any given day as well as systems which are vital to our national security.  Our ability to maintain public safety and assure our warfighters’ mission success cannot be compromised or risked. 

In response to the 2003 European Union Directive on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances, the commercial electronics industry transitioned to lead-free (Pb-free) electronics. Although the A&D industry leverages consumer and commercial technologies to provide affordable design solutions, many of the foundational commercial material standards are inadequate when applied to A&D products. Therefore a growing technology gap between the industries has appeared. Investment is needed to bridge this gap, so that A&D systems can preserve access to affordable commercial technology, while continuing to provide the requisite performance and reliability. Based on experience, the A&D industry believes a nationally coordinated approach is the most efficient way to bridge this gap.

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association congratulates Robert L. “Bob” Hoover on his selection as the recipient of the 2014 Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy.  The Wright Trophy is annually awarded to a living American for “…significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States.”

“I’m delighted with the decision to honor Bob Hoover with this year’s Wright Brothers Trophy,” said AIA President and CEO and 2013 Wright Trophy recipient Marion C. Blakey.  “His service both as a military pilot and war hero, as well as his lengthy career as the world’s greatest air show pilot, is a shining inspiration to us all.  He richly deserves this award.”

Hoover served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II, flying 58 successful missions before being shot down and captured by Germany.  He later escaped from Stalag Luft 1 and returned to Allied lines in a stolen Focke-Wulf FW190.  He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Soldier's Medal for Valor, the Air Medal with Clusters, the Purple Heart, and the French Croix de Guerre.  His civilian career as an air show pilot lasted more than 50 years.  He is believed to have performed in more air shows, in more types of aircraft, in more countries and before more spectators than any other pilot in the history of aviation.

“This trophy is truly one of the most important, prestigious and historic awards in aviation and aerospace,” Blakey said.  “I was honored to serve on this year’s selection committee and heartily applaud the decision to recognize Bob.”

Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey on FAA’s decision to permit limited use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to produce motion pictures

Arlington, Va. — By permitting the use of unmanned aircraft systems in film production, FAA has taken the first of several necessary steps towards the integration of UAS into civil airspace while encouraging continued research and development of UAS technologies.  The decision acknowledges the long history of safe operations in both civil and military applications of remotely piloted aircraft.  We hope this will pave the way for additional services and industries to utilize UAS technologies.

The focus of these petitions clearly was on safe UAS operations, aligned with FAA’s legitimate concerns for the safety of both manned and unmanned aircraft. The proposed actions to ensure safe operations are sound and very much consistent with the safety focus of the FAA.  These approved operations will provide FAA with real-world case studies and data that can expedite successful UAS integration, leading to further job creation and revenue growth around the country.

This country is the birthplace of the motion picture, television and aviation industries, and the United States has a significant technological advantage in this new frontier of aviation.  The aerospace and defense industry applauds FAA for taking this step and we look forward to further progress in integrating the next generation of aircraft into our nation's airspace.

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OIG Audit fails to recognize ADS-B’s role within NextGen system of systems when calculating return on investment

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

Arlington, Va. — The Department of Transportation Inspector General’s report on issues surrounding the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) system fails to state the obvious, that the infrastructure necessary to implement ADS-B is on time, on budget and on the job.  It is imperative that to improve our air transportation system and to enhance safety for future generations, the aviation industry, operators and government must all do their part to make NextGen a success.

NextGen and the critical step forward that ADS-B provides were designed as investments with both immediate and long term value.  The system, though far from completed, is already delivering a more efficient and safe airspace environment in places like Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.  The long term return on investment will be seen for decades as America’s competitiveness and the safety of the flying public improve dramatically.  This report fails to recognize the long term benefits and return on taxpayer investment that the initial results signal as being on track. 

In addition, recent press reports have mischaracterized certain aspects of the OIG audit – particularly with respect to the number of ground stations.  The idea that “coverage gaps” exist which could compromise safety and incur additional costs is totally inaccurate.  In fact, FAA’s contract had a baseline requirement to provide defined coverage rather than a certain number of ground stations.  The contractor has exceeded the coverage requirement while remaining well within the fixed-price contract.  With the completion of that contract, new interest from stakeholders including states and the general aviation community, new requirements have arisen – thus increasing demand for ADS-B beyond the original contract.

I like comparing what we are accomplishing in the skies with the initial development of highways across America.  We had to build the infrastructure before all of the progress and benefits of that highway system would ultimately be realized by the nation.  But once we did, onramps connected local roads to superhighways, leading to further investments in infrastructure such as gas stations and restaurants, increased commerce and hiring, and other intangible benefits.  It’s a similar situation with ADS-B and NextGen.  ADS-B functions as one of the onramps to the superhighway of NextGen’s system of systems.  When fully implemented, NextGen will reduce flight delays, invigorate the economy, maintain our global aviation leadership, generate jobs, save fuel, reduce CO2 emissions and, most importantly, improve system-wide safety for passengers and crew.

There is no turning back on improving the safety and efficiency of the nation’s aviation infrastructure.  Its success is critical to millions of Americans and it must not be jeopardized prematurely by unfairly condemning one element of the system before that system is fully realized.  The Inspector General's audit report title itself identifies the crux of the problem, that full ADS-B benefits are limited due to delays in user equipage.  As more users equip with the necessary advanced avionics, the benefits of the system will become more apparent.

Below is aerospace and defense B-roll footage that is approved for accredited media use only. Non-acredited media use of this imagery is striclty forbidden. 

 

Download AIA B-Roll

Get insights on defense trade, a recap of the 2014 National Aerospace Week, human spaceflight progress and more in this issue. 

 
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
National Aerospace Standards Committee
Portland, OR
Sep. 30-Oct. 2, 2014
 
Ohio STEM Workforce Call-to-Action Forum
Celevand, OH
Oct. 1-2, 2014
 
ISO/TC 20 Plenary (ISO standards committee for Aircraft and Space Vehicles)
Bremen, Germany
Oct. 6-8, 2014
 
Procurement Techniques Committee
Hartford, CT
Oct. 16, 2014
 
Conflict Minerals Working Group
Arlington, VA
Oct. 21, 2014
 
Business Technology Interoperability Committee Meeting
Cleveland, OH
Oct. 21-22, 2014
 
Workforce Policy Council Chairs’ Meeting with Workforce Working Group Chairs
Arlington, VA
Oct. 23, 2014
 
Workforce Policy Council Meeting
Arlington, VA
Oct. 23, 2014
 
The Business Technology Council, Information Leadership Forum
Cleveland, OH
Oct. 23, 2014
 
Technical Operations Council
Arlington, VA
Oct. 28-29, 2014
 
Procurement & Finance Council Executive Committee
Arlington, VA
Nov. 06, 2014
 
Wide Area Work Flow, UID, RFID e-Business Integration Group Meeting
Location TBD
Nov. 5-7, 2014
 
DPAP/OFPP/Procurement & Finance Executive Committee
Location TBD
Nov. 13, 2014
 
Fall Board of Governors Meeting
Scottsdale, AZ
Nov. 18-20, 2014
 
Cost Principles Committee
Clearwater, FL
Dec. 03-05, 2014
 
Lyman Award Dinner
Washington, D.C.
December 16, 2014
 
AIA Year End Luncheon
Washington, D.C.
December 18, 2014
 
Spring Board of Governors Meeting
Williamsburg, VA
May. 19-21, 2015
 
 
Viewpoint
 
 
Marion C. Blakey
President and CEO
 
It’s been clear ever since the downturn in defense spending began that our industry would have to develop new approaches to protecting the national asset that is our defense industrial base. One such approach is to grow our industries’ markets overseas. In recent years, we’ve seen gratifying advances in U.S. sales abroad of civil-related aircraft, helicopters, satellites and launch vehicles. That said, I’m convinced we can do more on the civil side and there are ways for the U.S. to become even more competitive with defense-related exports, which in turn will bolster our nation’s national security, foreign policy and economic interests.
National Aerospace Week 2014
 
Recognition by the Secretary of Commerce, an award to a longstanding congressional champion of the aerospace and defense industry, and high-level discussions of the need for greater national investment in air power and the NextGen air transportation system were among the highlights of this year’s National Aerospace Week.
 
On the Hill
 
On June 25, the House Aerospace Caucus hosted a reception tied to the release of AIA’s latest report, “The New American Space Age: A Progress Report on Human Space Flight.” The event also featured a lively panel of young aerospace professionals who told how their career choices and professional development were influenced by their interest in America’s space program.
 
Second to None
 
 
  
Top News
 
AIA has issued a strong response to the House and Senate Armed Services Committee’s leadership request for industry ideas to reform defense acquisition and procurement policies. AIA’s inputs, linked here, provide specific and actionable ideas for improving the defense acquisition system to better meet the needs of the war-fighter and the taxpayer.
During this summer’s Farnborough International Air Show (July 14-20), AIA and its member companies provided a useful platform for dialogue between U.S. industry, key U.S. government officials and current and prospective international customers.
The Raytheon-sponsored U.S. Rocketry Team from Canton, Georgia took second place at the seventh annual International Rocketry Challenge during the 2014 Farnborough International Air Show. Team USA out-performed their French and British opponents in the fly-off stage, but fell a few points short of the French team's overall score based on the presentation component of the contest. A group from Japan performed a demonstration launch, laying the groundwork for broader international participation in the 2015 challenge.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced on July 30 it would not seek to regulate turbine engines to meet volcanic ash airworthiness requirements. Instead, the agency will continue to work with operators to ensure that flights conducted following volcanic eruptions avoid visible ash clouds. This is an important outcome for manufacturers and operators, both of which argued that development and circulation of new airworthiness standards regarding volcanic ash ingestion would be problematic.
At the AIA/NDIA Virginia STEM Workforce Call-to-Collaboration Forum held at Huntington-Ingalls in Newport News this summer, Virginia STEM Director Megan Healy announced her state’s commitment to establish a Southeastern Virginia STEM hub in the coming year.
AIA Spotlight: Chantal Joos de ter Beerst and John Park
AIA's Chantal Joos de ter Beerst and John Park received their Associate Standards Professional (AStd) certification from The Society for Standards Professionals on August 12. The certification program recognizes people who have demonstrated a high degree of professional competence in various areas of standards and standardization. (Chris Carnahan, AIA Director of Standardization on left)

Marion C. Blakey, President and CEO, AIA

It’s been clear ever since the downturn in defense spending began that our industry would have to develop new approaches to protecting the national asset that is our defense industrial base.  One such approach is to grow our industries’ markets overseas.  In recent years, we’ve seen gratifying advances in U.S. sales abroad of civil-related aircraft, helicopters, satellites and launch vehicles.  That said, I’m convinced we can do more on the civil side and there are ways for the U.S. to become even more competitive with defense-related exports, which in turn will bolster our nation’s national security, foreign policy and economic interests. 

An increase in aerospace and defense exports can come none too soon, as figures from a Deloitte LLP study commissioned by AIA show that the share of the global defense market owned by U.S. companies declined from 69 percent five years ago to 61 percent last year.  Also in 2013, Deloitte found that the total U.S. aerospace and defense industry had revenue growth of only 1.3 percent, compared to 5.4 percent growth for our European counterparts. 

AIA has worked on a number of fronts to increase aerospace and defense exports in general, and to focus attention on the opportunity to increase defense exports.  For example, we’ve helped lead the fight for the much needed reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the agency which provides badly needed loan guarantees and other financial assistance to U.S. companies that export civil aerospace products and services. 

We’ve also championed the export control reform initiatives that will ease the burden on companies seeking to sell commercial satellites and related components and aircraft and aircraft parts to foreign customers.  That said, there is more work that needs to be done by the Administration to advance export reforms affecting Unmanned Aircraft Systems and commercial spaceflight operations. 

Further, working closely with key government officials, we’ve engaged the Defense Department and other government agencies in a closer partnership to present a unified front at international air shows like the Farnborough International Air Show this past July, thus allowing “Team USA” a greater ability to showcase our outstanding products to potential international customers. 

Finally, with strong support from AIA’s International Council, we’ve sought U.S. government buy-in for a broader Aerospace and Defense Trade Initiative, one in alignment with the Administration’s objective of doubling U.S. export growth by 2015.  We are getting traction for these proposals, as reflected by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker’s statement in recognition of National Aerospace Week (September 14-20) highlighting our industry’s “positive contribution” to export growth.  In her statement, Secretary Pritzker said, “The Department of Commerce is honored to partner with the Aerospace Industries Association of America and other government agencies on important strategies to provide U.S. aerospace companies with the best chance to succeed in the foreign marketplace.”  I’m confident further AIA-U.S. government discussions will bear fruit in the coming months, and with the support of the Administration and both parties in Congress we can make significant progress toward strengthening American innovation and competitiveness through our export leadership.

At the AIA/NDIA Virginia STEM Workforce Call-to-Collaboration Forum held at Huntington-Ingalls in Newport News this summer, Virginia STEM Director Megan Healy announced her state’s commitment to establish a Southeastern Virginia STEM hub in the coming year.

As outlined by Healy, next steps in forming the Southeastern Virginia STEM network include creating a regional STEM council comprised of education, business and public policy organizations to oversee STEM education and public-private partnerships. Another priority is developing a regional infrastructure to assure consistency in the dissemination and implementation of standards in STEM programs. Because the needs of STEM employers are rapidly changing, Healy said the establishment of education programs that align with future jobs should be emphasized along with constructing learning and career pathways. To reach all students, she observed, resources must be provided to sustainable programs that encourage those from underserved populations in the region to enter and complete STEM pathways.

Healy also noted lessons learned from the Southeastern Virginia STEM hub will be shared as a model for other parts of the Commonwealth in the effort to establish a state STEM network with several regional hubs.
Opening the Forum, host Mike Petters, President and CEO of Huntington-Ingalls Industries, stressed the need to "believe our indicators" showing student performance in math and science is not satisfactory, and to take action. Petters called for changing the way we think about children in the education system to view them as the customers rather than the product. Our focus should be on ensuring the students are provided the tools they need to succeed in life and future careers, he said. Petters also urged attendees to "play the long game" in growing the future workforce by investing early in STEM education at early grade levels.

The next AIA/NDIA state STEM meeting will be held at the Ohio Aerospace Institute in Cleveland, October 1-2. To view the agenda and register, please visit: http://www.ndia.org/meetings/571A/Pages/default.aspx

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced on July 30 it would not seek to regulate turbine engines to meet volcanic ash airworthiness requirements. Instead, the agency will continue to work with operators to ensure that flights conducted following volcanic eruptions avoid visible ash clouds. This is an important outcome for manufacturers and operators, both of which argued that development and circulation of new airworthiness standards regarding volcanic ash ingestion would be problematic.

Following the 2010 eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano, aviation agencies around the world, and particularly in Europe, sought a proactive solution to future flight deviations and cancellations caused by the massive ash clouds. Eyjafjallajökull caused the cancellation of nearly 100,000 commercial flights and temporarily stranded millions of airline passengers in the spring of 2010.

Shortly thereafter, EASA began to consider whether new airworthiness standards for turbine engines should be developed to ensure that these engines could better withstand volcanic ash ingestion. While industry agreed that further research may eventually be beneficial in this area, many manufacturers and operators argued that the prime responsibility for decisions regarding the safety of flight operations should remain with the aircraft operators, based upon detailed safety risk analysis and careful consideration of constantly updated data on the location of volcanic ash in flight paths. AIA members were active in discussions with EASA on this matter, and the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industry Associations coordinated formal comments from industry.

EASA, noting that opinions expressed were unanimous in this regard, concluded that there is no safety case that would justify an immediate and general rulemaking action to introduce a new volcanic ash airworthiness requirement for turbine engines. EASA further cited the fact that there have been no incidences of aircraft encounters with high-density volcanic ash in more than twenty years, when volcanic ash advisory centers (VAACs) were established. EASA intends to monitor and assess volcanic ash-related risks and encourage further research activities that can contribute to a better understanding of volcanic hazards. Industry will continue to strongly support these efforts, while  applauding the EASA decision that avoids the promulgation of costly new standards that would have been extremely difficult to develop and implement.

The U.S. team in red flanked by the teams from France, Japan and Great Britain

The Raytheon-sponsored U.S. Rocketry Team from Canton, Georgia took second place at the seventh annual International Rocketry Challenge during the 2014 Farnborough International Air Show. Team USA out-performed their French and British opponents in the fly-off stage, but fell a few points short of the French team's overall score based on the presentation component of the contest. A group from Japan performed a demonstration launch, laying the groundwork for broader international participation in the 2015 challenge.

All four teams took advantage of their time at the air show to see the aircraft on display and learn about careers in the aerospace industry. Team USA's experience began with a visit to the U.S. DOD Corral for a tour of the U.S. military aircraft on display, followed by a dinner with the air crew. The students were also able to explore Farnborough’s displays and exhibits after completion of the rocketry competition. For a group of students with aspirations of being aerospace engineers, NASA scientists and officers in the Air Force, the trip was time well spent.

The International Rocketry Challenge's efforts to expose students to the aerospace sector builds on the experience more than one hundred teams had at the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) finals held in The Plains, Virginia in May. At the TARC finals, students from around the country were exposed to an exhibit area with science demonstrations, aerospace themed games and the ability to interact with representatives from industry and government. The prior day, all finalists attended a Capitol Hill breakfast reception where they were able to showcase their rockets and meet with their elected officials. At the local level, many more teams this year had the opportunity to learn about our industry by working with mentors from TARC sponsor companies and National Association of Rocketry volunteers.

Registration for the 2015 Team America Rocketry Challenge is now open at www.rocketcontest.org. Sponsorship packages are now available as well. If your company is interested in sponsoring the 2015 challenge, please contact Miles Lifson at miles.lifson@aia-aerospace.org or (703) 358-1033.

Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey on the new collaborative climate action goals

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association is proud to join other leading civil aviation organizations in advancing substantive goals that improve air transportation fuel efficiencies and will assist in reaching carbon-neutral growth from 2020.  Through our International Coordinating Council for Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA), we have joined world airlines, airports, air traffic management organizations, and business aviation in supporting these targets.

As civil air traffic is predicted to double by the year 2030, our industry has strived to improve the quality and safety of air travel, while minimizing its environmental impact.  Over the last several decades, perhaps no industry has done more to improve its environmental performance than the aerospace industry.  In the last 40 years, the fuel efficiency of jet aircraft has improved by 70 percent, while the aircraft themselves have become 90 percent quieter. 

Also, no other industry segment has set such high emissions reduction targets; the Aviation Carbon-Neutral Growth (CNG2020) Strategy includes improving fuel efficiency by 1.5% in 2020, capping aircraft emissions by 2020, and halving emissions by the year 2050 (based on 2005). 

AIA, through ICCAIA, has worked in partnership with industry, non-governmental organizations, and member states, under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to develop a meaningful CO2 standard for new civil aviation aircraft.  Manufacturers’ technological improvements, along with air traffic modernization and enhanced operational procedures will aid in accomplishing these targets.  Also under ICAO, experts are working to develop a global market-based measure for aviation.  Both the global market-based measure and the CO2 standard are slated for ICAO sign-off in the year 2016.

Developing sustainable alternative fuels is also an integral part of the carbon neutral growth strategy.  Along with our industry colleagues, we will assist in the U.S. government’s goal of producing one billion gallons of alternative jet fuel by 2018.

During this summer’s Farnborough International Air Show (July 14-20), AIA and its member companies provided a useful platform for dialogue between U.S. industry, key U.S. government officials and current and prospective international customers.

On the show’s opening day, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James was the featured speaker at AIA’s Executive Committee meeting. Secretary James' “Bending the Cost Curve” remarks addressed Air Force efforts to streamline the requirements development and contract awards process. James also emphasized her service’s commitment to exportability and a “Team USA” approach in advocating for U.S. products in international markets.

Frank Kendall, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, spoke to industry representatives at AIA’s chalet the following day, addressing the ongoing impacts of  sequestration, the need to strengthen the industrial base, and the rollout of "Better Buying Power 3.0."

An AIA-sponsored session on the importance of international aerospace trade and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im), featured a spirited discussion about the criticality of aerospace exports to the U.S. economy. This discussion was led by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Ex-Im Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg, and Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Ken Hyatt. During the show, AIA also hosted several other forums and media briefings on international trade, space cooperation, and export control reform.

Another Farnborough highlight was the AIA’s U.S. Grand Reception, featuring remarks by Secretary James, Under Secretary Kendall, AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey, and several member company CEOs. Festivities were also held at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence, where Ambassador Matthew W. Barzun hosted U.S. industry representatives, AIA and other government officials. In welcoming the attendees, Ambassador Barzun emphasized the long-standing security ties between the U.S. and Great Britain that form the foundation for our nations' “special relationship.”

During the air show, AIA supported a robust U.S. DOD aircraft corral displaying a variety of U.S. military aircraft and equipment. Featured in the corral were a F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 Viper, F/A-18 Hornet, UH-60D Black Hawk and a P-8 Poseidon. Both the P-8 and the F/A-18 participated in the daily flying displays. In addition, AIA partnered with Lockheed Martin and Pratt and Whitney to display full-scale mock-ups of the F-35 Lightning II and a Pratt and Whitney F135 engine. AIA also assisted in arranging a pre-show flight on the P-8 Poseidon for Ambassador Barzun and senior U.S. military and government officials.

Farnborough 2014 showcased how U.S. industry and government can work together to advance U.S. national security and economic interests by engaging with international partners and advocating for U.S. solutions in the global marketplace. AIA looks forward to future opportunities to partner with the U.S. government at upcoming trade shows and continuing to assist the government in developing the “Team USA” approach to international trade advocacy.

AIA thanks the U.S. Embassy in London, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, and other U.S. government agencies who assisted in the planning and preparation for U.S. participation at the air show. We also appreciate our Platinum sponsors, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation and Raytheon Company, for their continued support of the U.S. DOD corral and AIA events at international shows. Thanks are also extended to AIA member companies Cobham, Celestica, GE Aviation, L-3 Communications, Pratt and Whitney, and Sikorsky for support of the U.S. DOD corral and AIA receptions during the air show.
AIA Sources:

AIA has issued a strong response to the House and Senate Armed Services Committee’s leadership request for industry ideas to reform defense acquisition and procurement policies. AIA’s inputs, linked here, provide specific and actionable ideas for improving the defense acquisition system to better meet the needs of the war-fighter and the taxpayer.

AIA’s letter to the committee’s leaders listed two major findings:

First, the Department of Defense (DOD) must change how it acquires weapon systems and services. There is growing consensus among DOD leadership, Congress and industry that it’s time to revise the overly complex and burdensome system that drives unnecessary cost into programs, and may soon make them unaffordable under declining defense budgets.

Second, the current acquisition system should be updated to enable more responsive and efficient outcomes. AIA urged Congress to bring the acquisition system into balance, starting with these core principles:

  • Optimize the use of scarce government resources.
  • Allow industry the ability to execute programs more quickly and more efficiently.
  • Provide greater opportunities for industry to deliver the technologies, products and services our nation demands in a timely manner.

AIA’s response also listed four specific reform recommendations for DOD to do the following:

  • 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.
  • Avoid imposing rules, regulations and practices making it more difficult for the armed forces to buy commercial items.
  • Take a more active role in protecting company intellectual property rights, which will lead to increased competition and innovation, provide more opportunity to leverage private investment, and result in a more robust and healthy contractor community and supply chain.
  • Make a greater effort to engage experts, stakeholders and interest groups in the formulation of new acquisition rules.

AIA’s recommendations for reforming defense acquisition and procurement policies were also featured  on Washington D.C.-based Federal News Radio. On Jared Serbu's show “In-Depth,” AIA’s Betsy Schmid, VP of National Security and Acquisition Policy and M.J. Mitchell, AIA's managing assistant VP for National Security and Acquisition Policy, explained AIA’s approach to acquisition reform. For a full recording of the interview, click here.

On June 25, the House Aerospace Caucus hosted a reception tied to the release of AIA’s latest report, “The New American Space Age: A Progress Report on Human Space Flight.” The event also featured a lively panel of young aerospace professionals who told how their career choices and professional development were influenced by their interest in America’s space program.

Before a standing-room only audience, Frank Slazer, AIA's Vice President of Space Systems, presented  an overview of AIA’s report, which details the exploration objectives NASA can achieve with a new generation of spacecraft and launch vehicles. Slazer then introduced the panelists, who all work on programs featured in the report—including the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the Space Launch System, Commercial Orbital Transportation Services, and NASA's Commercial Crew Program. Lockheed Martin's Heather McKay, Brian Ippolitto from Marotta Controls, Zachary Krevor of Sierra Nevada Corporation and Boeing's Juan (Tony) Castilleja, Jr. shared personal perspectives which demonstrated the degree to which young professionals can have a major impact today in carrying the space program forward.

House Aerospace Caucus Co-Chairs, Representatives Pete Olson (R-TX) and Donna F. Edwards (D-MD) sponsored the event. Congressman Olson, who early in his career was a U.S. Navy Pilot, and Congressman Edwards, who worked as a Lockheed engineer right after college, celebrated the contributions of young professionals in their remarks. The final speaker, two-time Space Shuttle  astronaut Gregory H. Johnson (Colonel, USAF, Ret.), now the leader of the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), addressed the tremendous research opportunities that now exist on the International Space Station.

Recognition by the Secretary of Commerce, an award to a longstanding congressional champion of the aerospace and defense industry, and high-level discussions of the need for greater national investment in air power and the NextGen air transportation system were among the highlights of this year’s National Aerospace Week.

Held annually the third week of September, National Aerospace Week was formally recognized five years ago by Congress in order to salute “the contributions of the aerospace industry to the history, economy, security and educational system of the United States.”

Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker noted the week's fifth anniversary in a public statement, applauding our industry for leading the world in aerospace innovation “and helping to protect American service members in every part of the globe.” Pritzker underscored the importance of aerospace and defense exports to the Administration’s export promotion strategy and said, “We look forward to working with the aerospace industry to continue this strong export growth and to expand on opportunities in global markets in which 95 percent of the customers reside.”

Left to Right: Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers, Michael Strianese, AIA Chairman, and Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, L-3 Communications, and Marion C. Blakey, President and CEO, AIA

Congressman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and a long time supporter of our industry was honored with AIA’s Wings of Liberty Award at a reception hosted by AIA President & CEO Marion C. Blakey and the members of AIA’s Executive Committee. AIA's most prestigious award is given annually during National Aerospace Week to a member of Congress who has made significant contributions to the strength of the U.S. aerospace and defense community. In highlighting Rogers’ three decades of congressional service, Blakey noted his steadfast support for national defense, measures he initiated to improve transportation and homeland security after 9/11, and his advocacy for a strong space program. AIA Executive Committee Chairman Michael Strianese, the Chairman, President & CEO of L-3, presented the award to Rogers, applauding his effectiveness as Appropriations Chairman in "proposing and gaining broader approval of budgets that meet our nation’s needs to invest in national security, in research and innovation.”

Left to right:  Robert Weiss, Executive Vice President & GM, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Advanced Development Program; Mick Maurer, President Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation; Christopher Jones, Corporate Vice President and President, Northrop Grumman Technical Services; Darryl Davis, President, Phantom Works, The Boeing Company; and Marion Blakey, President and CEO, Aerospace Industries Association during Air Force Association panel discussion on the constrained budget environment.

Moderating a panel titled “Adapting to a Budget Constrained Environment” at the Air Force Association’s Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition, Blakey warned that given the “unprecedented increase in global threats, the current budget status quo is unacceptable.” She encouraged audience members to consider joining AIA’s Second to None Coalition that provides a platform for advocates of increased defense funding.

Panel member Darryl Davis, the President of Boeing Defense, Space & Security’s Phantom Works, emphasized the need for industry to leverage technology developments “occurring on a global scale,” in order to help America’s military keep our technological advantage during this period of constrained budgets. Christopher Jones, Corporate VP and President of Northrop Grumman Technical Services, said as a result of declining budgets there is a greater level of collaboration and communication between government and industry on technology development and he applauded the Air Force leadership's willingness to reach out to industry. Mick Maurer the President of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. encouraged the Air Force to work with industry to “appropriately value” the intellectual property derived from company investments in new technology. And Robert Weiss, the Executive VP and GM of Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Program, emphasized the importance of industry being able to understand the Air Forces’ technology requirements especially for technologies that are over the horizon “so we can target our investments appropriately.”

Panelists, left to right: Pete Bunce, President & CEO, General Aviation Manufacturers Association; Lillian Ryals, Director, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Center for Advanced Aviation System Development, MITRE; Dr. Jaiwon Shin, Associate Administrator, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, NASA; and Nancy Graham, Director, Air Navigation Bureau, International Civil Aviation Organization

Blakey also moderated a panel on the future of the NextGen air transportation system, held during the Annual Public Meeting of the NextGen Institute. In her opening remarks, Blakey observed that the skies of 2025 will likely be radically different than those of today’s due to the impact of NextGen transformational technologies, expected unmanned aircraft systems integration, and the advent of routine commercial space operations.

NextGen panel member Lillian Ryals, the Director, Senior VP and General Manager of MITRE’s Center for Advanced Aviation System Development, stated that upon completion of NextGen’s foundational programs, a “critical next step” will be to provide decision support equipment that will allow pilots to “take advantage of current equipage and new procedures.” Ryals added that efforts to maximize use of NextGen “aircraft systems with ground systems will be the key to taking massive advantage of the national air space infrastructure.”

Pete Bunce, the President & CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, emphasized the importance of FAA’s 2020 NextGen mandate that all aircraft operating in most controlled airspace be equipped with technology systems capable of broadcasting continuous, precise positional information to ground stations and other aircraft. “We cannot afford as a nation to say we are going to do it and then don’t do it,” said Bunce.

“The mandate is real. Prices will go up if everyone waits until 2019 to install equipment.” Dr. Jaiwon Shin, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Aeronautics Research, described his agency’s effort to develop technologies that will enable small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to operate at 500 feet and below in the national air space system. While Shin noted it is “a challenge to ensure safety and efficient management at low altitude,” he observed that NASA brings a lot to the table with respect to its research on autonomous systems. And Nancy Graham, Director, of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Air Navigation Bureau, observed that a critical challenge for aviation will be to develop the human capital to go along with the new NextGen technologies. Graham noted there is a global shortage of pilots, and of aviation maintenance and engineering professionals that needs to be addressed.
 

Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (R-Ky.), was awarded the prestigious Wings of Liberty Award Thursday, September 18. The award recognises his longtime support of the aerospace and defense industry.

Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey commending passage of the FY2015 Continuing Resolution which will keep the government operating through December 11, 2014

Arlington, Va. – Today, the Aerospace Industries Association praises the strong bipartisan passage of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, a Continuing Resolution (CR) which will keep the government running until December 11th.

While this short-term measure is important, we strongly encourage Congress to come together after the elections to negotiate an omnibus appropriations bill to fund the entire federal government and not pass another CR. Without these appropriations bills, the federal government must live off last years’ budgets and under significant restrictions.  Our industry could not function under those constraints and neither should the civilian workforce and the men and women who wear our nation’s uniform every day.   Our industry and economy also suffer since CRs do not allow new programs to get started, production quantities to increase beyond the prior year level, or contain authority to enter into cost-saving multi-year contracts.

While Congress has also reauthorized the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank for a nine month extension, the hard work remains.  U.S. manufacturers – along with their robust workforce – deserve to compete on a level playing field against our foreign competitors who are trying to take America's jobs.  A long term extension of the Ex-Im Bank would provide much needed certainty to an industry that plays a critical role in both our national and economic security.

Left to Right: Marion C. Blakey, President and CEO, AIA, Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers, Michael Strianese, AIA Chairman, and Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, L-3 Communications

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association is presenting its prestigious Wings of Liberty Award September 18 to Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (R-Ky.), in recognition of his longtime support of the aerospace and defense industry.

Rep. Rogers is Chairman and a 30-year member of the House Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for oversight and passage of the annual appropriation bills that provide over $1 trillion annually to the federal government.  Rogers has served on the Defense subcomittee, and as chairman of the Transportation, Commerce, Science, Justice and the Homeland Security subcommittees.  During his tenure in office, he has been a strong advocate for national and homeland security, civil aviation and space programs.

“The Wings of Liberty is our industry’s highest award,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey.  “It is an honor to present it to Congressman Rogers who has been a tremendous leader of our cause and richly deserving of this year’s award. Through his leadership of Appropriations, he has served the House with great distinction and has always put national security first.”

In response to receiving the Wings of Liberty Award, Rep. Rogers, said, “I am honored to receive the Wings of Liberty award from the Aerospace Industries Association. Our nation is recognized as the global leader in defense systems and aerospace engineering due to the daily work of the innovative members of this industry. At a time when terrorist groups are growing in number and boldness around the world, we must continue to maintain the very best national defense efforts, which are heavily supported through aerospace technology. I commend the continued ingenuity and leadership of AIA, allowing this nation to be on the forefront of defense, air travel, and communication.”

The Wings of Liberty award is presented annually to a member of Congress who has made significant contributions to help bolster aerospace and national defense. The award, which embodies the spirit of America and the drive to achieve any dream, will be made at a reception on Capitol Hill, one of several events celebrating National Aerospace Week. Past honorees include Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.), Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), and Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii).

Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker applauds the fifth anniversary of National Aerospace Week and recognizes the significant contributions our industry makes to both U.S. national security and the economy. 

Even though Congress has mandated a deadline in 2015 for integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into U.S. airspace, that deadline will probably not be met. However, increasing attention from many sources outside the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is focused on how safety concerns will be addressed.

Typically, the safety conversation boils down to how to avoid collisions between conventionally piloted aircraft and UAS, and UAS crash landings. That’s a fair departure point for thoughtful discourse, but as someone who had responsibility for safety at the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA, I believe we need to consider the broader picture. UAS have tremendous life-saving potential when lost people need to be found; when wildfires develop; when tornadoes hit; and when power lines, oil rigs and bridges need close inspection. Almost every day, there is news of a new idea about how to gain valuable social benefits from this technology without having to put humans in dangerous positions. We need to balance our safety concerns about UAS with the safety gains we can realize from those operations.

Achieving that balanced approach to UAS regulation means recognizing the need for prudent first steps to get a number of these systems into the airspace. In addition to the immediate benefits, we can obtain useful operational data that will help us enhance UAS safety and allow this industry to develop and grow. Dragging our feet on developing a rational regulatory regime that provides clarity for the public, hobbyists and more sophisticated UAS developers and users will stifle innovation, delay the safety improvements that come with operational experience and postpone the benefits this technology promises. We will also see an increase in flights by those who fly UAS illegally, ignoring the FAA’s restrictions and potentially creating unsafe conditions.

In developing new regulations, the entire UAS community — government and industry alike — must also take on the challenge of informing and educating the public about how real safety risks are being addressed and mitigated. A recent Washington Post report, for instance, erroneously used examples of selective and outdated military UAS accidents in hazardous flying conditions to paint a dire picture of what problems might be engendered by UAS activities in the domestic airspace. That kind of sensational journalism doesn’t promote the clear-eyed and rational discussion we should have on regulating UAS.

Currently, we have an unstable regulatory environment, with only a handful of licensed operators, plus those who are exempt because they are in the hobbyist category. Without clear guidance, this is a recipe for trouble until the FAA publishes its small UAS proposed rule and moves on to other UAS categories. And while we appreciate the technical expertise that is going into the development of new regulations, we believe the Obama administration needs to designate an official who will take a more global policy approach to safety but one expeditiously deriving the potential benefits of widespread UAS applications.

On the positive side, the FAA’s Small Unmanned Aircraft System Aviation Rulemaking Committee has proposed a smart step-by-step approach to full UAS integration. The FAA’s six designated test sites will help us obtain valuable data to enhance the safety of UAS technical systems and to pinpoint potential safety issues. And the recent action by the FAA to entertain license exemptions for filmmakers prior to the issuance of the small UAS rule is a welcome step. AIA supported the applications for those exemptions through a joint letter with the Motion Picture Association of America to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. Furthering progress requires us to keep taking these kinds of steps.

We should not forget that there’s a global competition ongoing to develop UAS applications. A decade after the Wright brothers flew, the United States found that it was lagging far behind European aviation capabilities and had to make a concerted effort to catch up. For the sake of the U.S. economy and society, that historic mistake should not be repeated by needlessly slowing the safety regulatory process for UAS.

To: Nov. 19, 2015

To: May 21, 2015

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

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

Each year, TARC's rules and scoring parameters change to challenge the students' ingenuity and encourage a fresh approach to rocket design. This year's rules require teams to build and launch a rocket carrying a raw egg to 800 feet and return it to Earth uncracked within a flight duration of 46 to 48 seconds. A new requirement this year calls for the rocket to separate during flight, safely returning the motor and the egg to the ground detached from one another in separate segments of the rocket.

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

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

AIA's gold trophy for best overall association website design presented by the Hermes Creative Awards. 

AIA was recently honored by the Hermes Creative Awards for best overall association website design and awarded gold for its efforts.

This project was led by AIA’s manager of communications, Adam Kostecki, who worked with Matrix Group International to successfully complete this project by developing a visually stunning website that focuses on the central issues to AIA and the aerospace and defense industry.

“Our goal was to ensure that we highlighted the association’s core missions being pursued on behalf of our members,” recalled Adam Kostecki. “We worked hard to keep our stakeholders in mind throughout the project and I think we successfully achieved our goal.”

The website was launched in late 2013 and is helping to ensure that the association is able to continue to provide outstanding support to its members, partners and stakeholders. AIA is now capable of better advocating for the broader interests of a diverse industry with a website that provides users with a unique and easily navigable experience making it easy for visitors to quickly find what they are looking for.

About the Hermes Creative Awards

The Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional materials and programs, and emerging technologies. The awards are administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. The international organization consists of several thousand marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, media production, web and free-lance professionals. The competition has grown to one of the largest of its kind in the world. A look at the winners shows a range in size from individual communicators to media conglomerates and Fortune 500 companies.

AIA was recently honored by the Hermes Creative Awards for best overall association website design and awarded gold for its efforts.

Purpose: 

Aerospace Industries Association seeks a Press Secretary to work with the communications team to provide proactive media relations support to the Office of the President and CEO as well as Association division leaders. This position will serve as a news generator for the Association as well as a point of contact for the media, social media input, and editor for web and written publications.

Media Relations:

  • Work with the Association’s media relations director to generate stories about the industry, interviews for our leadership and serve as a point of contact for reporters
  • Pitch stories to national, regional and local media outlets
  • Coordinate interviews with members of the media and Association content experts
  • Assist in all aspects of preparing AIA staff for media interviews
  • Facilitate rapid communication responses
  • Serve as point of contact for the AIA media database and maintain media lists
  • Work with internal teams to build/bulk up division-relevant media lists (ex: Export-focused, acquisition/business, etc.)
  • Scan clips in the morning and add any article authors that are not currently included in our master media list

Strategic Communications:

  • Assist the Communications team in implementing the organization’s strategic communications plan
  • Support the Association’s multi-media manager with day-to-day activity on social media and assist in creating and implementing AIAs social media strategy
  • Develop monthly media/social media tracking updates for leadership staff.
  • Report the quarterly financial results of our executive committee companies to senior staff

Writing:

  • Write, edit, fact check, and format news articles, web content, member correspondence, social media content, press releases, op-eds, marketing materials, and publications
  • Assist with writing the current Association on-line publications and blogs
  • Assist with the preparation of speeches for AIA leadership and other staff members
  • Provide editorial assistance across the association
  • Update and edit content on the website, with minimal HTML formatting
  • Work with Association staff to help ensure adherence to AP Style guidelines and overall AIA branding

Qualifications:

  • Bachelors degree in Communications; Journalism; or similar course work
  • Five years of experience in communications (ideally in journalism, a communications firm, non-profit, or on Capitol Hill)
  • Ability to exercise solid communications judgment and feel comfortable knowing when, what and with whom they should be communicating, both internally and externally
  • Track record of working well with national and regional media
  • Strong, clear, and concise writing style
  • Excellent proofreading and editing skills
  • Ability to work independently to prioritize work, set timelines, and make adjustments to work priorities as necessary
  • Understanding of, or willingness to, understand the aerospace industry and the complex relationships among the federal government, agencies, members companies and elected officials
  • Strong knowledge of social media
  • Proficient with Microsoft Suite
  • Basic experience with and knowledge of HTML
  • Basic experience with and knowledge of online media databases and media monitoring services

Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion Blakey accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge today from Capt. Lee Moak of the Air Line Pilots Association and made a personal donation of $1,000 to further support the effort to end ALS.

Her challenge went out to Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson and their head of government relations Andrea Newman, along with Club for Growth’s president Chris Chocola, and the Export-Import Bank’s chairman and president Fred Hochberg - you have 24 hours.

Download Image 1 Download Image 2

For more information on how you can help fight ALS, click here: http://www.alsa.org/fight-als/ice-bucket-challenge.html

Please join us for National Aerospace Week the third week in September!  We would like to invite your organization to join us in recognizing the enduring value of America’s aerospace and defense industry.

Deloitte has just completed their annual aerospace and defense sector financial performace study looking at the top 100 A&D companies’ in 2013. The key financial indicators studied include sales revenue, operating earnings, and operating margin. The results reveal key trends in the global A&D market.

Purpose: 

This position reports to the Director, Corporate Events and is responsible for helping to manage the planning and execution of multiple Association events. This position is also responsible for providing superior customer service and engaging the Association’s membership and employees throughout the year in the planning and execution process.

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. Must be a pro-active and creative thinker; a problem solver with the ability to “think on your feet.”

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. Work with Director, Corporate Events to 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. Assist with management of AIA corporate calendar for use of conference rooms for meetings.

Event Management and Administration:

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. Work with Director to create online surveys to evaluate each meeting and event; gather and disseminate the results received. Help manage the events on-site and provide superior customer service to AIA members. Provide follow up to the events such as thank you letters to speakers and sponsors, as needed. Work with Vice President, Membership & Business Development to market AIA’s meetings. Assist in management of all special activities held in conjunction with events including golf outings, spouse events, etc.

Event Logistics:

Negotiate vendor contracts, such as audio visual, transportation, entertainment, etc. Monitor 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. Manage and track speakers’ requirements, i.e. transportation, hotel rooms, food allergies, AV, presentations, etc. Manage all hotel reservations at Williamsburg Inn for Spring Board of Governors Meeting.

Qualifications:

  • Excellent interpersonal, research, and communications (verbal and written) skills with a demonstrated ability to manage large corporate events.
  • Willing to take the lead and work directly on all levels of event implementation from materials shipping to registration, vendor management and participant engagement
  • Must be proactive, highly organized and detail oriented
  • Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 3 years equivalent direct work experience in conference planning or special events
  • Certification in event management desired
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel; knowledge of Cvent a plus
  • Ability to travel
  • Availability to work evenings and weekends

 

Featured this quarter in the Executive Report: A message from Marion Blakey about the new Second to None Coalition; Q&A with NDD United; AIA's new digital 3D standards, and the Team America Rocketry Challenge's accomplishments for women in STEM.

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 supporting the businesses in our industry that utilize the Bank and to spread the word about the need to reauthorize the Bank. We do encourage you to take action to support the bank which is why we have included all of our resources below along with a link for you to write to you elected officials to urge their support.

TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY TO SUPPORT EXPORT-IMPORT BANK's REAUTHORIZATION

Groups seek exemption for Astraeus Aerial to open economic opportunities for the motion picture and aviation industries

Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey and Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association and Motion Picture Association of America are urging the Federal Aviation Administration to support increasing the safe operation of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) in film productions.

In a letter to FAA administrator Michael Huerta, AIA President and Chief Executive Officer Marion C. Blakey and MPAA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Senator Chris Dodd asked the agency to approve an exemption request by Astraeus Aerial to operate sUAS for movie and television productions. The exemption application details how licensed professionals can operate small, camera-equipped unmanned systems safely in U.S. airspace.  A favorable approval also would widen opportunities for other, similar operators.

As the letter states, AIA and MPAA represent industries that support more than 2.5 million American jobs and produce more than $125 billion in annual exports.  Once these and other exemptions are granted to permit sUAS operations for movie productions, both industries will benefit.

While recognizing the final FAA sUAS rules will not be issued as originally directed by Congress next month, AIA and MPAA urged the agency to remain on track to issue the sUAS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in November to allow the period of public review and comment to begin.

“This country is the birthplace of the motion picture, television and aviation industries, and the United States has a significant technological advantage in this new frontier of aviation,” the letter stated.  “This advantage, however, may be short-lived. Approving the film and television exemption requests expeditiously will help advance our nation’s global leadership in aviation by supplying the FAA with a case study and data that can expedite the successful integration of UAS into national airspace.”

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

Featured this quarter in the Executive Report:

  • President's Message: Second to None Steams Ahead
  • Q & A With Emily J. Holubowich – Co-Chair, NDD United
  • AIA/NAS 3D Digital Standards Gaining Market Traction
  • Team America Rocketry Challenge: Bridging the Gap for Women in STEM Since 2002

 

In response to a request from Congress seeking input on ways to improve the defense acquisition system, AIA is leading the way with a new report that provides guidance on the best ways for the government to rebalance its purchasing power by lowering costs while safeguarding our industrial base.

Subcommittee on Aviation, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

WRITTEN REMARKS BY:
Marion C. Blakey, President and CEO
July 23, 2014

INTRODUCTION

The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) appreciates the opportunity to present our views on the state of domestic aircraft manufacturing in the United States and the challenges we face in maintaining that leadership position. AIA and our members are very proud of the fact that, today, there is no sector of our economy contributing more to U.S. net exports than commercial aviation manufacturing. And in our own country, sales in all sectors continue to climb even as we experience the highest safety record in the history of commercial aviation. 

I am Marion Blakey, President and Chief Executive Officer of AIA, the nation’s largest trade association representing United States aerospace and defense manufacturers. Our 350 member companies represent an industry directly employing one million workers, and supporting another 2.5 million jobs either indirectly or as suppliers. Today I will discuss some of the challenges our industry faces in maintaining our manufacturing advantage in the face of stiff competition. But first, I'd like to highlight the prominent and increasing role of technological investment and innovation in aircraft manufacturing.

THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION

U. S. aircraft manufacturers continue to hold strong positions in the world market, in part because of the technological advances that are driving those markets. The Boeing Company estimates that, over the next twenty years, the world's fleet of aircraft will double, and 80 percent of those aircraft will involve non-U.S. purchasers. Right now, our industry exports $72 billion more than we import, a figure that leads all U. S. industries and one that continues to grow with worldwide demand.

U. S. exports of civil aircraft, engines, avionics, and related components are a sign of our strong industrial reputation throughout the world. It is a solid, well-earned reputation for safety, quality, and attention to detail. But it is also a testament to an industry that invests billions of dollars in research and development to remain competitive through the use of increasingly sophisticated technologies. Let me give you a few examples:

Innovative Materials.--To address customer concerns over historically high fuel prices, manufacturers continue to reduce aircraft weight through the use of advanced, lighter weight materials in wing structures, fan blades, fuselage sections, and other parts of the aircraft. For example, by weight about 50 percent of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner's airframe structure is comprised of composites. This compares to about 5 percent from designs of the 1960's. Manufacturers are using carbon and glass fiber composites, ceramic and metal matrix composites, titanium, and new alloys such as aluminum-lithium in a continuing search for
higher-strength, lighter weight materials.

Nanotechnology.—Increasingly, our industry is using a variety of nanotechnologies to improve aircraft durability and performance. These run the gamut from "nano coatings" on windows to reduce aerodynamic drag, advanced turbine blade coatings to provide greater durability, and new, "nano-filler" materials to reduce weight.

Engine Manufacturing.--Our engine manufacturers are breaking new ground to reduce engine weight and emissions while improving fuel efficiency. (And this comes from an industry that has already increased fuel efficiency by 20 percent over the past decade). For example, a number of our manufacturers are using "additive manufacturing", commonly referred to as "3D printing", to make engine parts. They are evaluating and developing different biofuels collaboratively through the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI). And they contribute, dollar-for-dollar, to the FAA's Continuous Low Energy, Emissions and Noise (CLEEN) program. The first phase of CLEEN developed certifiable aircraft technologies that will significantly reduce noise, emissions and fuel burn. To its credit, the FAA program requires industry to demonstrate a path to the commercial market, ensuring the technology benefits will be realized. These are developed to high technology readiness levels (TRL 6-7) to transition them quickly to aviation users. 

Our industry today is an engine of national economic growth and innovation. However, aviation is a vibrant, global market that not only emboldens our existing competitors, but is certain to produce new competitors in the coming decades. To retain and strengthen our current leadership, the federal government must do its part. It must provide a streamlined regulatory environment, equitable financial support, international leadership, and government infrastructure for our industry to do what it does best -- innovate and compete. Let me discuss some of these challenges.

FAA's AIRCRAFT CERTIFICATION PROCESS

Product certification delays continue to be a main impediment to our manufacturers' global competitiveness. Recognizing this problem, the FAA launched nine years ago with industry support the Organization Designation Authorization (ODA). ODA creates an extension of the FAA itself within a company by defining an organization, its responsibilities and the associated processes it will follow to ensure compliance with regulations. In short, rather than focus on giving authority to individual experts, the ODA process approves designated organizations and their processes. The FAA then audits the organization’s execution and
compliance. Importantly, ODA does not reduce or diminish the FAA’s safety oversight responsibilities in any way. Rather, it makes more efficient the mechanisms by which the same level of assurance and protection of the flying public is achieved. This systems approach to oversight leverages FAA resources and critical technical knowledge within the manufacturers’ organizations, ensuring a continual two-way exchange of information between the regulator and manufacturer.

Unfortunately we have yet to achieve full benefits of the ODA, as the FAA’s culture at the working level has been slow to embrace this systems approach to certification. We urge the FAA to allow maximum use of delegation, not only to take full advantage of industry expertise, but to increase the collaboration and partnership that leads to improved aviation safety. We hope the Committee will recognize that this approach, when fully implemented, will enhance aviation safety, ensure full technical input into the certification process and allow FAA to focus its limited resources on critical areas of aviation safety.

The industry appreciates the strong support provided by this Committee for the reform of FAA's Aircraft Certification Service. Sections 312 and 313 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 helped jump-start a cultural change in FAA's regulatory system. We believe that FAA leadership is taking this initiative seriously and in line with Congressional intent. But cultural change is difficult. It has to permeate down to the lowest levels of the organization, take root there, and grow back up. The Section 312 Aviation Rulemaking Committee commissioned by Congress has recommended, and the FAA has accepted, a comprehensive change management plan that, if properly implemented, would transition its workforce to focus on a risk-based, systems safety approach for certification and oversight. Of critical importance over the coming year is the development of specific measures of effectiveness, the use of these measures to track progress toward a systems safety approach, and the extent to which FAA modifies its personnel expectations and training to
communicate these changes to the field.

Too many times, as technology changes, we are seeing the FAA's rules and rulemaking procedures unable to keep pace. Let me offer you one example. Several decades ago the FAA specified a requirement for engine manufacturers to put new engine designs through a 150-hour endurance test. These requirements were based on the piston engine technology that was predominant at that time -- in the 1960s. Unfortunately, the test requirements have not been updated to reflect modern technology, where engines are controlled by full authority digital engine control (FADEC) systems, and where huge strides have been made over the decades in engine reliability, safety and emissions. Our manufacturers make artificial, unnecessary changes to the engine's production configuration simply to run this test. And when the test is over, they spend time and resources to put the engine back into its normal state. The FAA has been working to update the fifty year old regulations for some time now, and they hope to have some improvements in place within the next year or two. But it is a
good example of how technology is outpacing FAA's ability to keep up in this field.

If up to 80% of future aircraft purchases are for markets outside the United States, that means our manufacturers will see an increasingly diverse mix of customers, each coming with unique requirements and design preferences. This will lead to workload growth at the FAA. And this growth will be in technological complexity as well as size, for the role of new materials, nanotechnologies, and automation continues to grow. The average age of FAA's safety inspector workforce (flight standards and certification) is 52 and almost 30 percent are currently eligible to retire. Although the agency plans a more aggressive recruitment of younger personnel into safety critical positions, for the past few years they have fallen short of their goal. The agency needs to ensure not only that its retiring workforce is replaced in an effective manner, but that all of its inspectors receive adequate in-service training to remain current on the products and technologies they are regulating. Although we believe the agency has a dedicated workforce today, we do not believe FAA can accommodate the growth and complexity in certification workload without effectively implementing the cultural change called for in the Section 312 ARC. We need this Committee's watchful eye to help to make that happen.

AIA also believes the agency needs to make stronger progress on implementing the findings of the Section 313 ARC, to ensure the consistency of regulatory interpretations and findings among FAA's field offices.

FAA AND INTERNATIONAL CERTIFICATION AUTHORITIES

Another issue that concerns us is the amount of duplicative work that our manufacturers endure when seeking approval of their products by foreign authorities. Today the United States is party to over 30 bilateral agreements that govern the procedures for approval of aviation products between FAA and other authorities including the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). These agreements take years to develop and are intended to leverage the capabilities of the exporting authority (the certifying authority), to eliminate unnecessary and duplicative work by the importing authority (the validating authority). The objective, of course, is to reduce duplication of effort - a critical element for reducing cost. As the ARC stated in its final report, "The efficiency of validation procedures and acceptance of FAA type certificated aerospace products is essential to the competitiveness of U. S. manufacturers".

Unfortunately, our manufacturers are increasingly going through what amounts to multiple certification processes, because overseas validating authorities are reducing their acceptance of FAA's work. As the ARC concluded, "there is an apparent trend of reduced global acceptance of U. S. FAA type certificated products . . . more and more countries are no longer accepting or recognizing U. S. FAA type certificated products as acceptable for import and are requiring a separate certification or validation by their own authorities". The cost of such efforts, including fees and charges for the extra work, can exceed several million dollars, and is a significant and unnecessary burden on U. S. manufacturers. FAA's global leadership and its collaboration with international partners are key elements of changing this unacceptable trend. Industry is eager to work with the FAA to improve the acceptance of FAA approved products globally and provide a seamless transfer across geographical boundaries.

EXPORT CREDIT FAIRNESS

For U. S. manufacturing to thrive, we must have a healthy export policy, because most of the world's consumers are beyond our borders. This is a simple fact that other nations recognize as well. That is why there are more than 60 export credit agencies established by governments around the globe. Our Export-Import ("Ex-Im") Bank is one of them. It is vital for the aerospace industry's global competitiveness, and its authorization to conduct business expires in less than ten weeks. The bank supports a wide variety of U. S. exports, including power turbines, locomotives, agricultural equipment, and satellites. But it should come as no surprise that our nation's largest export sector -- commercial aircraft -- also receives significant support from Ex-Im. Some of the Bank's opponents believe that wide body aircraft should not benefit from Ex-Im support -- even though thousands of U. S. workers owe their jobs to that very support, both directly and indirectly as suppliers. Such exclusions are not made by the three export import banks of Europe that enable the sale of European
wide-body aircraft to the world’s airlines. Nor should our own government unilaterally impose such restrictions on the financing of U.S. manufactured airplanes. Equally important, the employees of our general aviation manufacturers have jobs because of Ex-Im. Statistics from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association indicate that more than 50 percent of the revenue of U. S. general aviation manufacturers in 2013 was derived from exports. A decade earlier, that figure was only 20 percent. Why should we unilaterally disarm and watch those jobs go overseas to workers in other nations?

Earlier this year, I participated at an Ex-Im event at the Gulfstream Aerospace plant in Savannah, Georgia. Ex-Im has now provided over $1 billion in support to our general aviation manufacturers, including Gulfstream. And when you look those workers squarely in the eye, you know this is important, not only for their families, but for our nation. If Congress fails to reauthorize the continued operations of the Export-Import Bank before
September 30, 2014, there will be fewer workers like those at the Gulfstream plant, and more at the plants of our foreign competitors. It is as simple as that.

THE ROLE OF NEXTGEN AND DOMESTIC AIRSPACE

Our industry also benefits from increased domestic air travel in the United States, the world's largest market. And that market continues to grow. Last year, there were 826 million passengers in U. S. airspace. This is the second highest level in history, and the highest since the economic recession of 2007. The average load factor on our nation's airlines last year was more than 83 percent, the highest on record.

However, air travel within the United States is concentrated among a relatively small number of airports and within a small number of peak periods, presenting serious capacity challenges for our nation's air traffic control system. According to the FAA, about 70 percent of all commercial passengers are concentrated at the nation's top 30 airports. Furthermore, FAA projects that the number of U. S. airline passengers will increase over the next few years from 826 million today to over 1.3 billion. This will require, among other things, more civil aircraft.

U. S. manufacturers look forward to providing these additional aircraft and the engines, avionics and components that go into them. But if FAA's air traffic control infrastructure is not improved, those passengers will not materialize, and our economy will be held back. That is the purpose of NextGen, to provide the capacity needed to handle this future growth while maintaining or improving upon today’s level of safety.

AIA appreciates the near-term financial relief for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 that Congress provided in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. However, when sequestration returns in fiscal year 2016, we urge Congress to make sure the NextGen program is adequately funded. Deputy FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker testified recently before the Senate that NextGen needs approximately $1 billion a year. Current funding is closer to $850 million, and there are concerns it could be cut even further. In fact, the FAA's NextGen budget request for the coming year is $200 million below the request of only two years ago. If the FAA is constantly hamstrung by budget cuts, the system capacity improvements from NextGen will suffer the most. Future travelers paying user fees into the Airport and Airway Trust Fund have a right to expect a modern, satellite-based system that gets them to their destination safely and usually on time. If the projected level of air travel is to materialize, we will need continued investment in a twenty-first century air traffic control infrastructure.

UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) represent the newest frontier in the world of aviation, and they promise to both disrupt and transform many of our current ways of doing business. They will create new avenues for our economy by performing jobs that are too "dull, dirty or dangerous" to be performed today. They will change for the better the way we respond to natural disasters, search for missing persons, and fight wildfires. And we appreciate the leadership of Congress in getting us to where we are today in the process of integrating unmanned aircraft into our airspace.

FAA has taken the initial steps on UAS integration, but much more needs to be done. For example, the agency needs to ensure that the development of equipment and operator standards remains on schedule and that the proposed rule for small UAS does not fall farther behind. They need to ensure that ATC automation platforms are modified with appropriate software so the system is ready when the regulations are finalized. And they need to ensure the program has adequate budgetary resources to meet Congressional intent. We see a lot of dots, but more needs to be done to connect them into a coherent picture.

GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE TAX POLICY

The Research and Experimentation Tax Credit (commonly called “R&D Tax Credit”) is an important incentive for national business investment in R&D. This is important for many sectors of our economy, but it is especially important for high-tech companies in the aerospace sector. The innovations I previously described, including activities that improve aviation safety, are strongly fostered and supported by our R&D Tax Credit. Unfortunately, the credit was allowed to expire at the end of last year, a political football caught up in the broader discussion of comprehensive tax reform.

U. S. commercial aerospace manufacturers are at a substantial disadvantage vis-à-vis foreign competitors whose home countries almost universally have more favorable and more predictable R&D tax credits. A permanent R&D credit was proposed by the Administration and has already passed the House. We hope you will urge your Senate colleagues to act favorably on these proposals either separately or as part of comprehensive tax reform legislation. At a minimum, legislation is urgently needed to restart the R&D tax credit and apply its provisions retroactively to the beginning of calendar year 2014.

MAINTAINING A SKILLED AEROSPACE WORKFORCE

With a global market that is growing rapidly, and with the pace of technological innovation increasing, we must maintain an adequate supply of aerospace workers with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines and job-specific manufacturing skills.

Unfortunately, today the United States is simply not producing enough workers with the right technical skills. The U. S. graduates around 300,000 students a year with bachelors or associate degrees in STEM fields. The February 2012 report of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) said this figure falls short of our economic need by one-third. Today, less than 40% of students who start college intending to earn a STEM degree actually complete the degree requirements. And we should not keep our sole focus on four year degrees, for community colleges and career technical education play equally important roles. In fact, one-third of our current STEM employees began their education in community colleges.

Our STEM workforce challenge is exacerbated by the fact that the aerospace industry is, in a word, graying. In 2007, we found that almost 60 percent of the U.S. aerospace workforce was age 45 or older. Today, 9.6 percent of our industry is eligible to retire, and projections are that by 2017 -- just three years from now -- 18.5% of the entire industry will be eligible to retire. At our largest corporations (those employing 100,000 or more), the percentage of the retirement eligible workforce is already 18.6 percent. We are experiencing a shortage of STEM workers today, but the problem will be even greater when the bow wave of actual retirement hits us in the next couple of years. How will we keep these jobs in the U. S. if we cannot find and train enough workers? That is a real concern of many in our industry looking to the future.

OPEN SKIES

I would also like to take a moment to comment on the continuing importance of international Open Skies agreements. For more than 20 years, Open Skies agreements have transformed today’s commercial aviation sector. The broad base of support in the U.S.—in Government and among its many stakeholders—has made it possible for the United States to negotiate agreements with over 110 countries. Today, more than 240 different airlines operate around the globe, carrying more than 3.1 billion passengers last year. Open Skies have created healthy competition in the marketplace, bringing new entrants to the fold, lower fares for consumers, and economic prosperity to airports and their communities around the country. Moreover, these new markets have created a need for new aircraft technologies like Boeing’s 787 and 777X which enable
passengers to travel longer distances in greater comfort. Open Skies agreements have created opportunities for the development and deployment of new technologies and new markets for U.S.-manufactured airplanes and services.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, we believe that U. S. aviation manufacturers are in a strong competitive position today, but there are risks to our maintaining this position over the next decade. It is important for the Federal Government to provide the underlying policies that allow us to compete internationally and to grow our domestic air travel here at home. This includes export financing, workforce, and tax policies that are competitive with the policies of other nations, and that allow us to maintain jobs here in the United States. It includes a new infrastructure in air traffic control technology that grows and ensures the safety of our domestic airspace. It includes partnerships in technology programs like CLEEN, and in promoting the next frontier of aviation -- unmanned aircraft.

Thank you for the opportunity to appear today, and I look forward to your questions.

Creekview High School students took home silver in the seventh annual International Rocketry Challenge at the Farnborough International Air Show (Photo Credit: Raytheon).

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

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

Sign the Petition

 

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

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

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

The U.S. team in red flanked by the teams from France, Japan and Great Britain.

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

The students also gave a presentation on their rocket design to a panel of international judges at Raytheon’s air show headquarters. The judges’ score counted for 40 percent of their total score.

“I had a great time being out here with all of the other people from different countries and meeting other people with similar interests,” said Team Captain Amanda Semler.“I hope it will inspire other women to get into the industry and reach their dreams.”

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

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

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

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

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 www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @Raytheon.

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

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MEETING

BUSINESS TO BUSINESS MEETINGS WITH 3M

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 & EXPO

  • 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.

GUEST SPEAKERS & EVENTS

  • 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

The Department of Defense (DOD) must change how it acquires weapon systems and services. There is growing recognition from DOD leadership, Congress and the defense industry that it is time to revise the overly complex and burdensome system that drives unnecessary cost into programs and will soon make them unaffordable as defense budgets decline.

Making the acquisition system more economic and more responsive has been an elusive target. The challenges of time-to-delivery and product cost persist despite all attempts to reform the acquisition system over the last 40 plus years.

It’s time to stop tweaking the edges and bring the acquisition system into balance, starting with these core principles:

  • Have trust and confidence in the U.S. military and the aerospace and defense industry’s ability to deliver together outstanding technologies that keep our nation safe.
  • Balance oversight so that all parties are treated fairly and allow oversight functions to consume only the resources needed to mitigate risks of poor performance and malfeasance.
  • Employ our nation’s scarce resources to get the most value for our military from every dollar our nation invests.
  • Protect the nation’s economic and national security by developing and implementing cohesive defense industrialbase strategies.

These principles inform the recommendations presented in this paper, written to address the critical questions asked by the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. How can acquisition be more cost effective? Can delivery be expedited? Can recruitment, retention, and training of acquisition professionals be improved? How can program managers be empowered to make sound decisions, and how can technical expertise be fostered? Oversight and management ideas were also sought, as were recommendations to improve cost and delivery over the life cycle of major weapons systems. This paper is organized to address these questions and requests.

VIEW INTERACTIVE REPORT:

Acquisition Rebalancing: Recommendations for Smart, Efficient & Effective Defense Procurement

 
AIA
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
 
Viewpoint
 
 
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.

To: Nov. 7

For more information, please contact Ny Younge at nsap@aia-aerospace.org.

To: Dec. 5

For more information, please contact Ny Younge at nsap@aia-aerospace.org.

To: Nov. 19

For more information, please contact Ny Younge at nsap@aia-aerospace.org.

For more information, please contact Ny Younge at nsap@aia-aerospace.org.

For more information, please contact Ny Younge at nsap@aia-aerospace.org.

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.

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.