Two U.S. senators in May announced the formation of an aerospace caucus in Washington, D.C., outlining an ambitious plan to promote a wide-ranging menu of aerospace issues.
Sens. Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington state, and Missouri Republican Christopher “Kit” Bond, the group’s co-chairs, said the caucus plans to establish a long-term and comprehensive strategy for the U.S. aerospace sector. As of early May, Murray said 22 other senators have signed up to be a part of the bi-partisan group, and she said she is hopeful to reach 50 members.
“We will do everything we can to fulfill our mission of ensuring a strong, secure and competitive aerospace sector. And we will do it because it is of the utmost importance to the future of our workers, our national defense and our economy,” Murray told the group of roughly 200 representatives from Congressional offices, OEMs, airframe manufacturers, defense contractors, journalists and military personnel at the caucus launch event. More
Murray, a member of the defense subcommittee within the Senate Appropriations Committee, outlined the group’s priorities, ranging from engineering education programs in high schools and universities to reforms in the defense acquisition processes to increasing exports from U.S. aerospace manufacturers to greater investment in FAA’s Next Generational Air Transportation System (NextGen).
“The aerospace industry faces a number of challenges from the declining commercial air transport market to uncertain terms of many important defense programs,” Bond said. “We formed this caucus as a bipartisan effort to advocate for strong, secure and competitive aerospace industry.”
Bond added the U.S. aerospace industry is “too important to fail.”
“I hope today this will be seen that senators from both sides of the aisle from states all across the nation are sending a message that the American aerospace industry is one of the most important sectors in our economy, we can no longer take it for granted,” he added.
The event also included the Aerospace Industries Association and featured an address by Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, who called the aerospace industry "an economic engine for the United States. The American Air Force will have a strong stake in your work," Donley added.
“Government and industry cooperation has been instrumental to our collective successes over the years,” Donley said.
Emily Feliz is the managing editor of Avionics Magazine. She can be reached at 301-354-1820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.