- Advocacy & Policy
- Research Center
The U.S. aerospace and defense infrastructure keeps Americans safe and drives the U.S. economy. It includes a vast array of facilities, people, equipment, technology, research programs and operational programs. Our objectives are to:
As pressure on aerospace and defense budgets mounts, the threats to maintaining America’s industrial base capabilities will grow. In the two decades since the end of the Cold War, nearly 150 major defense companies have consolidated to six; further consolidation of the industry is expected as the defense budget diminishes in 2013 and beyond. The retirement of the Space Shuttle and subsequent industry downsizing diminishes capabilities for future human space exploration. It is of the utmost importance to preserve America’s aerospace and defense industrial base and ensure that government leaders fully comprehend the importance of having an industrial base strategy for the retention of our design and manufacturing capabilities.
The project to modernize AIA’s National Aerospace Standards (NAS) library will be completed this year. The standards program is expanding the NAS standards portfolio by developing new standards, providing NAS standards with 3D models, and introducing material options within existing standards to address potential material restrictions from emerging environmental regulations.
With many pressures on defense spending both at home and abroad, companies are looking for new growth areas, such as civil aviation and UAS. Emerging markets including Asia, the Middle East and South America offer many opportunities for U.S. manufacturers. AIA will increase engagement with foreign governments and support the U.S. Government in enacting policies that will expand the market for NextGen products and services both domestically and internationally. Further, we will advocate for policies that will maintain U.S. leadership in and spur growth of the nascent civil UAS market.
Sufficient resources will also be needed to assure that FAA’s Commercial Space licensing/oversight processes do not delay the rollout of innovative new civil space capabilities developed by commercial companies to meet new government and commercial market opportunities. At the same time, new regulations must not stifle new systems with overly draconian rules for a nascent industry.
Given changing demographics in the country and flagging interest and disappointing performance in science, engineering and math among the broad swath of American youth, our companies are challenged over the long term to sustain a vibrant, innovative and competitive aerospace and defense workforce. AIA works every year to improve the accuracy of our workforce data and our understanding of the industry’s workforce needs, competencies and skills. We continue close collaboration with a number of partners to assess our current workforce population and job openings, better project future talent and skill requirements, align with other industries and stakeholders at all levels to advance workforce education and training, and support STEM programs and practices that are proven effective in inspiring and preparing the next generation of aerospace and defense workers and leaders. In collaboration with sponsoring member companies, AIA continues to grow the Team America Rocketry Challenge competition - now in its eleventh season – and expand its impact as a workforce development program.
|Target 10: Sustain, enhance, and protect infrastructure modernization and the industrial base||
|Target 11: Facilitate aerospace and defense industry growth through improved infrastructure and prioritization of technology development and application||
|Target 12: Collaborate with a variety of stakeholders (industry, academia, philanthropy, and government) to train and improve access to a qualified aerospace and defense workforce||