Investments in defense systems dwindling

Jun. 30, 2011

During his confirmation hearing last week, incoming Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reiterated an earlier assertion from Secretary Robert Gates: The defense budget must not be viewed as the panacea for reducing the nation’s debt.

This is easier said than done, in light of President Barack Obama’s call for $400 billion in cuts over 12 years. Even with 100 percent efficiency, it’s hard to see those savings will be achieved without cutting into the bedrock of the Pentagon’s capabilities.

This is a concern. Investment in procurement and research and development must remain…

AIA Criticizes President’s Remarks on Business Aviation

Jun. 29, 2011

We’re disturbed by President Obama’s remarks on business aviation today. It seems odd that he would undermine the aviation industry one day after visiting Alcoa’s factory and praising the workers who make parts and materials that are critical to producing business jets. General aviation plays an important role in our economy and took a substantial hit in the recent recession. We feel that disparaging comments from the president regarding business jet users are not conducive to promoting jobs, investment and economic growth.

AIA Commends President Obama on Alcoa Visit

Jun. 28, 2011

President Obama’s visit to Alcoa in Davenport, Iowa, highlights the importance of aerospace and high-technology manufacturing to our nation.

“We were pleased to hear the president acknowledge the importance of Alcoa to our industry from the early flights of the Wright Brothers to our missions in space and protecting our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq today,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “Alcoa shares a rich heritage of supporting our nation with other members of the Aerospace Industries Association.”

The aerospace industry is a bedrock of our nation’s security…

AIA Commends SASC on Contracting Provision

Jun. 28, 2011

We’re pleased that the Senate Armed Services Committee has approved an amendment to the fiscal year 2012 Defense Authorization by Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) that would prohibit federal agencies from collecting information on political contributions as a part of the contracting process. As I testified before the Joint Hearing of the House Small Business and Oversight and Government Reform Committees in May, political contributions should never be considered by any procurement officer when making a decision to either award or deny a contract. The House Armed Services Committee has adopted similar language authored…

American Students Win International Rocket Contest Fly-Off

Jun. 24, 2011

Student rocketeers from France, the United Kingdom and the United States competed today in the Fourth Annual Transatlantic Rocketry Challenge.

The four-member team from Rockwall-Heath High School in Heath, Tex., posted the best score to win the international fly-off. Worksop College from Nottinghamshire, England placed second. Collège Léonard de Vinci-St Aubin from Bordeaux, France placed third.

“This has been terrific,” said team president John Easum. “We knew we had a great design and had calculated the variables, but until you shoot the rocket, you really can’t be sure. What a way to end our team…