Aerospace and defense issues were missing in action from last year’s mid-term elections leaving us scratching our head as to why. It seemed obvious that there was going to be a showdown at some point over the budget deficit and the evolving requirements of the Defense Department as troops began to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan.
On January 20 Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta visited AIA to meet with representatives from AIA, NDIA and PSC as part of the on-going Defense-Industry CEO dialogue begun last year. Among other issues, there was discussion of the Defense Industrial Base Task Force paper the organizations developed at the request of the Secretary last September.
David P. Hess, president of Pratt & Whitney, is the 2012 chairman of the AIA Board of Governors. Hess became president of Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp., on Jan. 1, 2009, and is responsible for the company’s global operations in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines.
With the U.S. space industry facing major funding reductions from its core customer – the federal government– there is one potential area for real improvement that could help augment the space industrial base during a budget downturn: satellite export reform.
Rockets, robots, and a variety of other science experiments were featured at the White House February 7 for the second White House Science Fair. Janet Nieto, Gwynelle Condino and Ana Nieto from Presidio High School, and Landon Fisher from Rockwall-Heath High School were invited to present the rockets they had built for competition in the annual Team America Rocketry Challenge.
The Second to None campaign to fight sequestration, which could send our national security, economy and technological competitiveness into a tailspin, will continue at a breakneck pace in 2012 and build on 2011 achievements.
Over the past year, spectrum access has been a hot topic due in large part to the International Telecommunications Union’s World Radio Conference 2012 (WRC-12) and LightSquared’s proposed low-cost 4G cellular network. As aerospace was the only industry without significant representation in policy discussions on spectrum, AIA has been proactive by forming a joint Civil Aviation/Space Spectrum Working Group to address industry concerns on behalf of all AIA members.
The Lead(Pb)-free Electronics Risk Management (PERM) Consortium addresses issues pertaining to the world conversion from lead (Pb) containing solder and components to Pb-free constructions. Aerospace, Defense and High Performance (ADHP) electronics make up a very small part (less than 1 percent) of the total world electronics production. Understanding the performance and reliability of Pb-free components/solders presents designers with a challenge to match the long product life expected in the aerospace and defense sectors.
AIA members rely heavily on international sales and as countries and global air navigation service providers come under increasing financial pressure, competition for foreign aviation infrastructure contracts increases. The current structure for global aerospace sales puts U.S. companies at a disadvantage as some foreign companies enjoy the support of their national governments for civil aviation contract proposals.
The Obama administration’s Export Control Reform Initiative continues to move forward this year. The administration has proposed revisions to various categories of the U.S. Munitions List that will enable non-sensitive dual-use or commercial technologies to move from the USML to the more flexible Commerce Control List.
This year the aerospace and defense industry is taking a lead role in catalyzing and uniting the network of stakeholders in STEM education and workforce preparation in four states: Indiana, Washington, Tennessee and California. The AIA Workforce Committee, in partnership with the NDIA STEM Workforce Division and local NDIA chapters, is engaging with other concerned business and industry groups, leading academic institutions, STEM program providers, and state and local officials to develop meeting agendas and extend invitations.
You can’t afford to miss the most informative and collaborative meeting in aerospace and defense - the Aerospace Industries Association’s Winter Supplier Management Council Meeting, hosted by Boeing Defense Space & Security (BDS). The meeting will be held February 21-23 at the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri.