AIA takes flight at Farnborough

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.
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