AIA: Strengthening Safeguards Against Counterfeit Parts

May. 09, 2011

Counterfeiting has been around for nearly as long as humans have traded things of value. An Aztec manuscript from the mid-16th century, for instance, cites warnings against making false cacao beans, which were used as currency. Counterfeiters made wax replicas and refilled hollow beans with sand.

Today counterfeiting affects manufacturers as well as treasuries, and is a particular concern in aerospace and defense.

Each year aerospace products safely transport billions of passengers and billions of dollars worth of cargo. They reliably perform national security missions, protecting citizens at home and troops…

STEM: Nurturing tomorrow’s pioneers

Apr. 28, 2011

Among Washington’s many visitors this spring were select groups of young people who mixed hard work with fun, vying in top technology competitions. Their keen interest in innovation is heartening, particularly as we face a key challenge: Ensuring an adequate supply of skilled workers to fuel America’s global competitiveness.

Hundreds of middle and high school students came here to test their mettle before judges in the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot, the Real World Design Challenge in engineering, and the Raytheon MATHCOUNTS competition, to name a few. On May 14, in The Plains, Va., 600…

DOD’s war on profit

Apr. 19, 2011

“Doing more without more.” That's the slogan for the Defense Department's efficiency initiative, which seeks to save $100 billion over five years. More than just a snappy catchphrase, this bears a promise to the taxpayer that reforms will save the government money — even if at the expense of industry.

The contractor community supports Secretary Gates’ initiative to reduce the number of requirements and procedures that are either duplicative or provide little added value. However, the initiative bears the potential to have a far wider impact — and may be a double-edged sword.

Federal barriers to innovation

Mar. 14, 2011

Here in D.C., federal contractors often get caught up in the latest agency rule or other decree that governs our businesses. These day-to-day issues – as important as they are – are a world away from the building blocks that have made our enterprises successful.

So, what am I talking about? Whether you’re in aerospace and defense, telecom or some other high technology industry, innovation has and always will be core to success. For aerospace, innovation has been our lifeblood since the Wright Brothers’ first forays into flight. Transformation of innovative concepts and technologies…

The future of NextGen

Feb. 15, 2011

The House and Senate have each declared passage of a new FAA Authorization bill a top legislative priority, very welcome news after more than three years of short-term extensions. Air transportation is a proven economic engine; passage of this bill is an investment in our nation’s economic recovery.

The U.S. air transportation system has been the world’s gold standard for more than half a century. But to remain so, we need to bring our system into the 21st Century. Air service demand will return to pre-recession levels, but along with the return of that…