- Advocacy & Policy
- Research Center
AIA has launched a new initiative to reach out to members of Congress, the administration and other public officials to tell the story about the national security and economic contributions of the U.S. aerospace and defense industry. A new website, a toolkit for AIA member company representatives and an outreach campaign will tell the story that this industry is Second to None.
The theme captures the unquestioned technological leadership of our industry and the countless innovations that our workers bring to American manufacturing. This campaign implicitly acknowledges that the industry needs to do a better job educating government officials to ensure we remain Second to None over the long term.
One of the critical discussions in Washington and reverberating across the country is how to reduce spending and bring down the debt responsibly. Aerospace and defense has to be part of the solution; but at the same time it is clear that ill-considered cuts can have unintended consequences. Sixty percent of aerospace sales are dependent on federal programs that protect our troops and contribute to our military’s strategic advantage. With more than 1.5 million men and women in uniform, significant peacekeeping and humanitarian missions across the globe and a world that remains dangerous on many fronts, we can’t afford to not invest in our future security.
Likewise, federal funds are supporting a new air traffic control system to replace our outmoded, 1960s radar-based system. The Next Generation Air Transportation System is projected to reduce airline delays by at least 25 percent and save our economy $40 billion a year in lost productivity and missed opportunities. NextGen is good for our environment, reducing airline fuel usage by 1.4 million gallons a year even as flights increase by 20 percent. Greenhouse-gas emissions would go down by about 12 percent, the equivalent of removing 2.2 million cars from the road each year.
And on the space front, America’s preeminence in space is falling into question. The shuttle program is being shuttered as Atlantis made the farewell flight this July. NASA’s new focus on development of commercial capabilities and the development of a heavy-lift vehicle needs our nation’s support and funding. A recent poll by Pew Research Center indicates that Americans understand the value of space exploration to our economy and nation, but the building blocks of our future success need to be constructed now. With the end of the shuttle, thousands of highly skilled workers and engineers were handed pink slips. Many will not be available for the next phase of America’s space exploration, a set-back to our space industrial base that we can’t allow to continue.
These are the stories of the Second to None campaign. For more information, visit www.SecondtoNone.org. We want you to get involved.