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As September drew to a close, the aerospace industry enjoyed a boost of momentum from the successful completion of the third annual National Aerospace Week, September 16-22.
This year’s week of activities served as a rallying point for AIA’s Second to None campaign against the devastating impact of budget cuts scheduled to go into effect in January. AIA’s President and CEO Marion C. Blakey said following the week’s activities, “we made clear that sequestration must be stopped. I’m very proud of what we accomplished this week.”
During National Aerospace Week, AIA hosted a well-attended Supplier Management Council meeting featuring distinguished speakers from the administration representing the Departments of Defense and Commerce, NASA and FAA. The SMC March to the Hill included more active engagement than the association has ever had for this event, boasting an outstanding 120 meetings with members of Congress and staff.
There was strong turnout of AIA members at four high-profile Hill events including the Senate Aerospace Caucus breakfast, featuring speaker Frank Kendall, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
AIA also hosted a House Aerospace Caucus luncheon that featured Frank Calvelli, Principal Director for the National Reconnaissance Office.
The week continued with AIA’s Wings of Liberty reception on September 19 honoring Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. He accepted the industry’s highest honor for his dedication and support of the aerospace industry both in his district and nationally.
A key component of the week was the rollout of a new AIA-commissioned study outlining the impact of sequestration on small businesses during testimony by George Mason University economist Stephen Fuller before the House Small Business Committee. The study shed light on the staggering 956,181 small business jobs that are at risk if the automatic budget cuts are not stopped (Please see the article House Small Business Committee Focuses on Sequestration Small Business Impacts for further details of the hearing and Dr. Fuller’s study).
At the Business and Industry STEM Industry Coalition reception, AIA hosted accomplished students who will soon be entering the workforce, providing a solid reason for the U.S. to hope for a robust future in aerospace.
The events in Washington D.C. ran concurrently with other aerospace industry conferences and activities around the country in Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington and West Virginia. AIA’s event partners featured NAW branding at their events, engaged in AIA’s twitter hashtag campaign and carried the association’s message about the importance of reversing sequestration.
As the sequestration countdown clock moves closer to January, AIA continues to encourage lawmakers to find a long-term solution to the country’s fiscal difficulties, one that permits the aerospace and defense industry to remain Second to None.
AIA Source: donald.forest[at]aia-aerospace.org