Neal Keating, Kaman’s CEO, said it best at last month’s 10th anniversary awards for the Team America Rocketry Challenge: “As an industry and as a nation, we couldn’t be more proud of you.” He wasn’t just talking about the several hundred students who were in the audience but the more than 60,000 students who have been a part of TARC over the last decade.
Whether it was temperatures in the high 80s or heated debates among panel members, the 67th Annual Spring Board of Governors and Membership Meeting in Williamsburg, Va. May 22-24 was a hot draw. AIA posted its largest spring attendance in history with more than 260 people in attendance, and welcoming 5 new Full Members and 7 Associate Members to the association.
More than 400 workers gathered at the Kaman Aerostructures facility in Jacksonville on May 21 to warn our leaders about the threat to U.S. economic and military strength posed by $500 billion in sequestration budget cuts scheduled for January 2013.
In his June 6th testimony, AIA’s Vice President for Space, Frank Slazer, told the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics that it is critical Congress renew the Commercial Space Launch Act’s indemnification provision before the end of the year. He warned that without such a renewal the provision will lapse with potentially bleak consequences for the space launch industrial base.
AIA welcomes recent House action on satellite export reform in the fiscal year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. The language would return authority to the president for determining export controls for satellites and related technologies and is an important step towards strengthening our national security and opening export opportunities. AIA urges the Senate to address this critical issue and ensure the U.S. space industrial base remains Second to None.
Six hundred seventy-nine teams from 48 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands competed in the 10th Anniversary of the Team America Rocketry Challenge. The top 100 teams from qualifying rounds were invited to compete for the title of National Champion at the National Fly Off on May 12th at The Plains, Va.
To address a growing crisis in recruiting sufficient numbers of qualified candidates to join industry’s workforce, AIA signed on to co-chair STEM Solutions 2012, a groundbreaking leadership summit that brought the best minds and best practices to Dallas, Texas on June 27-29 to develop solutions to the skills shortage in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Recent AIA findings support an independent study commissioned by DOD showing that life cycle product support, outcome-based partnerships and management of commodities have the potential to save the department an estimated $20-25 billion annually. In a memorandum for senior acquisition executives entitled “Endorsement of Next-Generation Performance-Based Logistics Strategies,” the acting Under Secretary of Defense Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall affirmed that appropriate use of PBL strategies will help achieve DOD’s affordability goals. AIA will continue to leverage our long-standing partnership with DOD to stay abreast of these potential savings.
The subcommittees of jurisdiction in the House and Senate, for the NASA and NOAA civil space budgets, recently marked-up budget bills for fiscal year 2013. The House passed their version of the NASA and NOAA budgets in May. As lawmakers look to reconcile differences between these bills through a conference committee, AIA will continue to conduct meetings on Capitol Hill to advocate full funding of the president’s civil space budgets.
The aerospace and defense industry is a backbone of the U.S. economy, supporting more than 3.5 million jobs in all 50 states and posting the largest trade surplus of any U.S. industry. But looming automatic defense budget cuts pose a grave threat to these jobs and the local economies they fuel. Aerospace and defense workers and other stakeholders in labor, industry and local government will descend on Washington to make sure Congress understands the stakes during National Aerospace Week, September 16-22.
AIA’s UAS Subcommittee met in May to discuss integrating UAS in domestic airspace and future standards harmonization in Europe and elsewhere. Held in Palmdale, California –home to NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center– the meeting joined officials from DOD, the Government Accountability Office, NASA, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the FAA’s new executive head of the UAS Integration Office, Jim Williams.
A great deal of progress has been made towards the creation of a CO2 certification standard for aircraft. Technical experts in Working Group 3 within the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection at ICAO are overseeing this work.
All of AIA’s 2012 Worker Safety Program finalists agree that engagement from the top of their corporations is key to implementing a successful safety program. Behind the metrics that companies file with the government and use internally to track the safety of their workers are the policies and funding that provide training, equipment and best practice sharing. All of these activities help to ensure that workers are protected while performing even the most hazardous jobs involved in producing aerospace products.
The National Security Space Committee analyzed the House Armed Services Committee markup of the fiscal year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act at thier last monthly meeting. The language is in line with AIA recommendations and includes an expression of support for the Defense Department Efficient Space Procurement initiative, citing that the Department will “realize substantial savings from the ESP block-buy approach, enabled by a fixed-price contract and fixed requirements.” The committee also more than doubled funding for the Operationally Responsive Space and Space Test Program initiatives.
AIA recently published six new standards to help design and engineering enterprises retain their 3-D product definition in an application-neutral format that is usable and not modified over time. Long Term Archival and Retrieval standards enable the packaging of data and information for enterprise reuse and repurpose applications as well as enable data exchange between products.
The second joint AIA/NDIA Workforce Committees state STEM meeting of 2012 will take place in Renton, Wash., July 11-12. The Boeing Company will host the meeting, which will be attended by the Washington STEM network, members of Business and Industry STEM Education Coalition and other stakeholders.