The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) is an American trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers of civil, military, and business aircraft, helicopters, UAVs, space systems, aircraft engines, missiles, material, and related components, equipment, services, and information technology in the United States. It also co-sponsors, with the National Association of Rocketry, the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), an annual competition for high school students. Member companies also give awards and scholarships to top placing teams at the TARC national finals each year and it is funded through sponsoring companies. AIA also develops the manufacturing standards called National Aerospace Standards which are available to aerospace manufacturers that conform to United States Military Standard's for equipment manufacturing and provide standards for other various components.

The organizations's current president and CEO is Eric Fanning.[1]


The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) is governed by a Board of Governors that meets twice a year and consists of senior representatives of member companies at the c-suite level, and an Executive Committee that meets more frequently. A hallmark of AIA is that it receives its policy guidance from the direct involvement of CEO-level officers of companies of all sizes across all levels of our industry. The government frequently seeks advice from AIA on issues, and AIA provides a forum for government and industry representatives to exchange views and resolve problems on non-competitive matters related to aerospace and defense.[2]


Founded in 1919 with the purpose of representing the American aviation industry, AIA has since expanded the scope of that vision with technological advance in aerospace. Today, on behalf of its more than 340 member companies, Aerospace Industries Association advocates for aerospace and defense issues ranging from Technical Workforce Policy to Space Exploration. Notable recurring topics of advocacy include “…robust federal budgets for aerospace and defense, a strong U.S. industrial base, defense modernization, and an efficient acquisition system.” [3]

This vision is reflected in AIA’s mission statement, which states

“The Aerospace Industries Association is the collective voice of the U.S. aerospace and defense industry. We advocate for policies and responsible budgets that keep our country strong, bolster our capacity to innovate and spur our economic growth.”[4]

Another AIA advocacy endeavor is National Aerospace Week, an event that celebrates aerospace in the United States. In 2010, National Aerospace Week was established under a resolution passed by both houses of the U.S. Congress, in conjunction with AIA. This event has been recognized by NASA[5] and the U.S. Department of Commerce.[6]

In late 2011, AIA launched the Second to None federal budget education campaign to inform the general public and elected officials about the importance of the aerospace and defense industry and provide answers to what the predicted impacts of federal budget cuts, commonly known as sequestration, will have on the aerospace and defense industry.[7] The campaign received significant media attention in 2012 for its efforts and competed as a finalist in 2012 for PRWeek Awards 2013's Public Affairs Campaign of the Year.[8]

Team America Rocketry Challenge

The Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) is an annual American model rocketry competition for students in grades seven to 12 sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Association of Rocketry.[9] Co-sponsors include NASA, United States Department of Defense, the American Association of Physics Teachers and the Civil Air Patrol.[10] The event receives local and national media coverage and draws well-known representatives of the Defense Department, NASA, the FAA, and other government agencies. Past National Fly-Offs have been attended by United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Rocket Boys author Homer Hickam, former NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, and former NASA Administrator, Charles Bolden.[11]

Lobbying Disclosures

In the third quarter of 2011, the group spent $886,814 on lobbying Congress, according to its filing with the House Clerk's office. In the same quarter of 2010, it spent $213,684.[12]


In October 2017, AIA’s membership was composed of 346 member companies. This diverse group of businesses includes large aerospace and defense companies and small businesses alike. Membership is divided into full and associate membership.[13]

One of AIA’s key membership sources is it’s Supplier Management Council (SMC). The SMC is a unique, non-attributional forum where senior supply chain representatives from system integrators and manufacturers tackle issues that impact the aerospace and defense supply chain. Open to both Full Members and Associate Members, the Council’s mission is to integrate and focus the collective capabilities of the supply chain, at every level, to influence the strategies, policies, and regulations that enable the U.S. aerospace and defense industry to successfully compete in the global market, be profitable, and strengthen the U.S. position as the world leader.[14]

The American Aerospace Industry

The US aerospace industry contributed $147 billion in export sales to the economy in 2016.[15] This industry supported almost 1.7 million jobs in 2015. Aerospace manufacturing has two major segments, namely the commercial and the defense. The commercial segment constitutes roughly 60% of the industry. The defense segment caters to US government agencies, such as the Department of Defense (DOD) and the National Aerospace and Space Administration (NASA).[16]

Historical Leadership

Previous Chairman

AIA Chairman are selected from the leadership of member companies, as voted by the Board of Governors. Each Chairman serves a yearlong term, begin on the 1st of January and ending on the 31st of December.

AIA Chairman Since 2005
Year Chairman Company
2017 Dennis Muilenburg The Boeing Company
2016 Marillyn Hewson Lockheed Martin
2015 David L. Joyce General Electric Aviation
2014 Michael T. Strianese L3 Technologies
2013 Wes Bush Northrop Grumman Corporation
2012 David P. Hess Pratt & Whitney
2011 James F. Albaugh The Boeing Company
2010 Scott C. Donnelly Textron Inc.
2009 Bob Stevens Lockheed Martin Corporation
2008 Clay Jones Rockwell Collins
2007 Bill Swanson Raytheon Company
2006 Ronald D. Sugar Northrop Grumman Corporation
2005 Robert D. Johnson Honeywell Aerospace

See also


  1. ^ Andrew Clevenger (June 4, 2015). "Former Exelis CEO Melcher To Lead AIA". Defense News. 
  2. ^ "About AIA – Aerospace Industries Association". www.aia-aerospace.org. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  3. ^ "About AIA – Aerospace Industries Association". www.aia-aerospace.org. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  4. ^ "Mission, Vision & Values – Aerospace Industries Association". www.aia-aerospace.org. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  5. ^ "NASA Celebrates National Aerospace Week Former NASA Administrator Charles Bolden". blogs.nasa.gov. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  6. ^ "Secretary of Commerce Recognizes National Aerospace Week – Aerospace Industries Association". www.aia-aerospace.org. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  7. ^ Mike Kelley (December 20, 2011). "2011 "was a good year" says AIA president, but warns against defense budget cuts". AL.com. 
  8. ^ "American Aerospace and Defense: The Strength to Lift America". PRWeek. March 7, 2013. 
  9. ^ Aerospace Industries Association. "Contest Background". Archived from the original on 1 August 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Barber, Trip (2006). "Team America Rocketry Challenge, 2006". Sport Rocketry. 48 (5): 5–12. 
  11. ^ Barber, Trip (2003). "Team America Rocketry Challenge 2003". Sport Rocketry. 45 (5): 12–23. 
  12. ^ "Aerospace industry ramps up 3Q lobbying". Bloomberg Businessweek. 2011-11-04. 
  13. ^ "Our Members – Aerospace Industries Association". www.aia-aerospace.org. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  14. ^ "Supplier Management Council – Aerospace Industries Association". www.aia-aerospace.org. Retrieved 2017-10-20. 
  15. ^ "The Aerospace Industry in the United States". SelectUSA. International Trade Administration, US Department of Commerce. Retrieved 12 October 2017. 
  16. ^ Taylor, Mark. "An Insight into the US Aerospace Industry". Retrieved 12 October 2017. 

External links