The debate season is underway and Americans across the country are very focused on the upcoming election. With the edge of the fiscal cliff now less than 90 days away and Congress in a perpetual partisan gridlock, the need for Americans to become informed on the issues at hand and make their voices heard this election is more important than ever.
AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey kicked off National Aerospace Week with her presentation at the Air Force Association’s annual Air & Space Conference on September 17. In her speech, Blakey stressed the importance of the U.S. Air Force to our country and the need to keep our pilots and troops safe by ensuring they are equipped with the most up-to-date technology and capabilities available.
Motivated by the importance of stopping sequestration, more than 70 members of the Supplier Management Council marched to the Hill at its 2012 Fall Meeting during National Aerospace Week. SMC members showed their support by meeting with Administration officials and Members of Congress on the importance of reversing the automatic cuts to the defense budget and to important non-DOD programs.
Jim Albaugh, The Boeing Company President and CEO for Commercial Airplanes, and AIA Executive Committee member, gave a call to arms about U.S. leadership in the second century of flight at the Woodrow Wilson for International Scholars on September 18.
National Aerospace Week attendees got a glimpse of aviation’s future when Boeing, along with partner American Airlines, welcomed its innovative ecoDemonstrator 737-800 aircraft to Washington National Airport. Visitors to a special exhibit area were told about technologies and advanced materials used on and in the aircraft that provide greater fuel efficiency and further noise reduction than current aircraft.
Senate Aerospace Caucus Co-Chairs Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) hosted an important National Aerospace Week breakfast to discuss defense acquisition reform and the effects of sequestration on our national security on September 19. Senator Murray said sequestration puts our aerospace workforce investments at risk and the nation’s safety net “in tatters.” The former co-chair of the Congressional supercommittee said she is optimistic that a deal can be reached in the upcoming lame duck session of Congress.
To urge their elected officials to stop sequestration, AIA members held more than 120 meetings with staff and members of Congress - including Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.), and Representatives Frank Wolf (R-Va.), Tom Petri (R-Wisc.), Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Allen B. West (R-Fla.).
AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey and AIA Chairman David Hess presented Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.) with the Wings of Liberty Award September 19 at the Library of Congress. The Wings of Liberty Award is presented each year to a member of Congress who has made significant contributions to help bolster aerospace and national defense.
In response to the release of AIA’s new report from Dr. Stephen S. Fuller of George Mason University, “The Economic Impact of Sequestration on Small Business,” House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) called a hearing focusing on the threat sequestration cuts pose to small businesses, jobs and the defense industrial base during National Aerospace Week on Thursday, Sept. 20.
Dozens of students who participated in STEM programs supported by aerospace and defense companies were recognized and celebrated at a congressional event on September 20. The second annual reception sponsored by the Business and Industry STEM Education Coalition (BISEC) and supported by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D - N.H.) underscored the important role various programs and their corporate partners play in inspiring the next generation to pursue courses and careers in science, engineering, and technology.
During the 2012 National Aerospace Week, AIA‘s social media efforts went viral. A social media toolkit available from the NAW website coupled with a Twitter hashtag campaign leveraged AIA’s online presence and spread the message about the accomplishments of the aerospace and defense industry to people across the country. AIA’s President and CEO Marion C. Blakey touted this social media campaign as an “excellent mechanism to drive outreach on sequestration and involve more people in the National Aerospace Week conversation.”