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AIA’s annual Spring Board of Governors meeting brought AIA members together with Administration representatives and key shapers of national opinion May 22-23 in Williamsburg, VA. The two-day meeting featured extensive discussion of how the current budget environment impacts our industry. The meeting also helped define how AIA will structure our operations and strategic goals going forward.
Panel members Dr. Andrew Krepinevich, LT. GEN Emerson Gardner, USMC (ret.), Tom Donnelly and Robert Work discuss the industry’s evolving role in U.S. national security.
The meeting presentations kicked off with an expert panel discussion on the implications for national security of ongoing budget cuts. Moderated by Dr. Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr., President of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, the panel featured LT. GEN Emerson Gardner, USMC (ret.) from the Potomac Research Group, Tom Donnelly from the American Enterprise Institute and Robert Work, Former Under Secretary of the Navy and CEO of the Center for New American Security..The speakers were unanimous in expressing deep concern about the strategic direction of the United States and its ability to execute any strategy under the constraints of sequestration-imposed budget cuts. They also addressed the need to avoid continuing resolution funding bills that undermine industry’s ability to make responsible strategic human capital and resource decisions. Further, they agreed on the need for a sustained and predictable capital investment plan that would mitigate traditional boom and bust cycles in defense spending.
In a video call to the meeting, Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Ash Carter reiterated DOD’s commitment to work with industry partners to sustain critical industrial base capabilities, including the health of the supply chain. And he affirmed the Administration’s commitment to supporting the growth of defense export markets. Carter also said he is eager to work with industry to address key near term cost and regulation concerns, particularly those involving audits.
In sessions with other Administration representatives, FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta gave an upbeat presentation about the ongoing process of integrating UAS into the national airspace system and about FAA’s progress in deploying new Next Generation Air Transportation System technology.
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta briefs AIA’s membership on his agency’s current priorities
Representing NASA, Deputy Administrator Lori Garver spoke about the space agency’s plans to continue human space exploration in the next decades. She said NASA is making significant progress toward enabling human exploration beyond low Earth orbit by pursuing the capabilities based approach directed by Congress in the 2010 NASA Authorization Act. At private luncheons, Mr. Huerta took the opportunity to address the Civil Aviation Leadership Council while Ms. Garver spoke with the Space Council, each discussing administration-specific topics of interest.
Tim Nichols (Siemens), Marion C. Blakey (AIA), Lori Garver (NASA) and Frank Slazer (AIA) pose with a model of the Mars Curiosity Rover, on display courtesy of Siemens
AIA Chairman Wes Bush moderates a session on civil exports featuring panelists Dennis Muilenberg, Robert Stevens, Ellen Tauscher and Wanda Felton
AIA Chairman and Northrop Grumman President and CEO Wes Bush led a panel session on civil aerospace and defense exports. Panel members included AIA Executive Committee members Dennis Muilenburg from The Boeing Company and Robert Stevens, Executive Chairman of Lockheed Martin Corporation, along with Wanda Felton, First Vice President and First Vice Chairman of the U.S.-Export-Import Bank of the United States and Ellen Tauscher, Senior Public policy Advisor at Baker Donelson and former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. The panelists focused on how continued export reform, support for the activities of the Export-Import Bank of the United States and greater partnership between the U.S. government and industry can positively impact export growth.
Bob Woodward of the Washington Post gives insight into the current state of the industry
Bringing the meeting to a close, attendees were treated to presentations by celebrated journalists Bob Woodward (Washington Post) and Brit Hume (Fox News). Stories that both shared from their extensive careers in media provided a wonderful insight into the world of journalism and the ever-changing political landscape in D.C.
Please mark your calendars for AIA’s Fall Board of Governors and Membership Meeting which will take place in Scottsdale, Az. from November 19-21.
AIA source: ashley.gudzak[at]aia-aerospace.org