Easing the sequestor’s near-term effects under the congressional budget deal reached in late December was welcome news for our industry providing a measure of relief for important federal national security, civil aviation and space functions. But although we won’t be facing the full brunt of sequestration’s worst two years—or another government shutdown for the foreseeable future—defense spending will still be $30 billion below the President’s budget request for the year, and funding for FAA, NASA and NOAA will still be on the downward arc that began in 2010. That said, the deal represents a first step toward a long-term agreement that could eliminate sequestration altogether, reverse the current “investment deficit” in programs that make our nation strong and secure, and finally address the mandatory spending accounts that are the real drivers of our nation’s debt and deficit problems.
The Aerospace Industries Association Board of Governors has elected Michael T. Strianese, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of L-3 Communications, as its Chairman for 2014. Strianese will begin his term Jan. 1, succeeding Wes Bush, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Northrop Grumman Corporation. David L. Joyce, President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Aviation, was elected AIA’s Vice Chairman.
Over the past 50 years, space systems and technologies have increasingly become a critical part of our nation’s economic, scientific and national security capabilities. Without space systems, U.S. military forces have reduced operational effectiveness, policymakers cannot make informed decisions about the nation’s security and economy and civil financial and communications capabilities are degraded or disrupted. Our space capabilities are a source of national pride and investment in the science and R&D needed to maintain U.S. global competitiveness.