- Advocacy & Policy
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AIA strongly supports government policies and legislation that protect and expand the industry and foster a more competitive U.S. economy.
AIA supports federal budget priorities that advance defense, aviation infrastructure and space programs. In 2013, we will again focus on maintaining robust funding levels as Congress and the administration decide how to allocate reductions in the Budget Control Act and sequester targets. At the time of this plan’s publication, sequestration is underway. And, it has been generally accepted by the ExCom that the threat to DOD’s budget in particular, certainly not withstanding FAA and NASA/NOAA budgets, will remain for as long as the overall debt crisis remains. Based on this concern and the results of our 2012 Membership Value Assessment, AIA will be significantly strengthening its advocacy efforts in 2013.
AIA supports a healthy and stable defense budget, including continued strong funding for R&D and procurement accounts. Four percent of GDP has been proposed as a sensible and affordable budget floor and a metric that can act as a “warning light” of potentially inadequate investment in the security of our nation and the industrial base that supports the American warfighter. In addition, AIA analysis has shown that when the investment accounts fall below 35 percent of the defense topline for an extended period, research and procurement is adversely affected.
While the Obama Administration believes reductions initiated since 2010 are manageable, its national security leadership has emphasized that further reductions would harm our critical military capabilities and lead to a “hollow force” in the future. AIA is continuing its dialogue with the Secretary of Defense, House and Senate leadership, and members of Congress at large to ensure that industry’s voice is heard in funding decisions that affect the aerospace and defense industrial base. We will advocate that the defense budget must not fall below a critical floor.
Civil Aviation and Space
The long-awaited FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 has a number of AIA-supported provisions that address process, structural and organizational issues at the FAA and in our national airspace system. In 2013, AIA will oppose sequestration as we fight for a strong FAA budget. We will continue our support for implementing NextGen on schedule, the provision of adequate budgets for FAA certification activities, and meeting the congressional mandate of UAS integration into the NAS by 2015. AIA will continue to engage the Administration and Congress to promote robust funding for critical systems, air navigation procedures, and environmental mitigations that increase our NAS capacity and efficiency and, therefore, the nation’s economic vitality.
Sustaining space programs requires support from a well informed Administration and Congress. In order to encourage policy support to give funding of space programs adequate priority, AIA will promote its new Space In Our World report that highlights the technological achievements of U.S. space programs and their benefits. From satellite imagery advancements to GPS guidance technology, space technologies from all government sectors provide a highly convincing rationale for funding U.S. space programs.
In 2013, AIA will continue to inform decision-makers of the potentially grave consequences of sequestration cuts extending the polar-orbiting weather satellite coverage gap that is expected to kick in beginning in 2017. We have built a working relationship with NOAA as we strive to provide a vital industry presence across the entire space community and will continue to support its important mission.
AIA recognizes the acute need to advocate in support of commercial space growth. Accordingly, we will actively support the important role of FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST). Without a properly staffed and funded AST, the commercial space sector could face serious critical slowdowns that threaten their business models. Ensuring commercial space companies have a dependable and effective regulatory mechanism in the FAA is critical to their long-term success.
With regards to national security space, AIA seeks to ensure sufficient funding of DOD space programs while continuing to invest in capabilities. AIA plans to increase its efforts to work with government officials to support the national security space customer community – including the NRO and help the government assure the health of the industrial base.
Because innovation is at the very core of its business, the aerospace industry continues to be a strong supporter of the Research and Development (R&D) tax credit, which has been instrumental in fostering innovation in American industry. Congress’s unfortunate practice of year-by-year extensions of this important pro-job, pro-technology incentive, however, has led to uncertainty and has hindered business investment. As part of comprehensive tax reform, Congress should not abandon its commitment to innovation. A robust, simplified research incentive should be made a permanent provision of the tax code, providing companies with the certainty and stability necessary for planning long-term R&D investment. In the “fiscal cliff” deal reached by Congress and the White House in early January, the R&D tax credit was extended through 2013. In 2013, AIA will continue to advocate for a permanent extension of the tax credit.
In 2012, AIA worked in concert with DOD on a number of key issues which have the potential to cause undue harm to the U.S. defense industrial base, including performance based payments and the restoration of the government’s reliance on the use of commercial business practices and products. It is expected that in 2013 the industrial base will continue to face unusual challenges due to fiscal uncertainties and evolving military needs and the government must maintain a focus on expanding their reliance on acquisition policies which will ensure that they have the necessary tools for industrial base sustainment.
AIA will continue to identify key elements of an efficient and simplified acquisition system and recommend specific policies that encourage and reward superior performance, promote fairness and stability, incentivize cost savings, and establish balanced and equitable risk-reward financial relationships. To that end, we will propose and continue to support: utilizing commercial products, practices and processes; creation of a performance-based profit policy; elimination of barriers to innovation; reforming the government’s oversight functions and the regulatory review and promulgation process.
Continuation of an “evolving” environment in war zones has created a very challenging situation as government contractors work to ensure that all government requirements are supported while also providing the necessary protection for their employees and subcontractors. AIA is working with DOD to reinforce the need for the Department to: provide for a consistent protocol for evacuation of contractor personnel with appropriate contractual safeguards; clarify deployment requirements; recognize and address scenarios where contract performance continues “in-country” after U.S. troops demobilize; and, consistent DOD standards vis-à-vis local and arbitrary guidance for ensuring protection of contractor personnel.
AIA will support those activities which lead to the development of contracting and financial policies that reward efficiency and good performance, promote fairness and stability, encourage cost savings, and establish balanced and equitable risk-reward financial relationships. AIA will continue to pursue and support a collaborative working environment with DOD to pinpoint and address systemic inefficiencies in the acquisition process.
|Target 1: Promote federal budgets, economic policies and sustained senior dialogue with the White House, key Executive Branch agencies (DOD, DOT/FAA, NOAA and NASA) and the Congress to ensure a strong U.S. aerospace and defense industry||
|Target 2: Support major reform of the government acquisition system to reduce government costs while ensuring the U.S. aerospace and defense industry remains Second to None||
|Target 3: Advance tax and financial reforms that strengthen America’s economy and global competitiveness||