Aerospace Industries toot their horn

 - December 31, 2008, 7:02 AM

The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) is launching an outreach campaign aimed at the incoming Obama Administration and the new 111th Congress to underscore the value of the aerospace and defense industry to the U.S.’s economic health.

AIA said the initiative will encourage leaders to consider the industry as an economic driver that will help the nation overcome the current financial challenges. “We want the new leaders in Washington to be completely aware of the value of this industry to the economy,” said AIA president and CEO Marion Blakey.

The aerospace industry exported $97 billion in 2007 and posted a $61 billion trade surplus, the largest of any manufacturing sector. According to AIA, the civil, national security and space sectors of the industry provide many vital functions, including ensuring a strong national security, modernizing America’s aviation infrastructure, maintaining leadership in space and creating advanced, innovative technology that enhances the life of every American.

“The nation is facing a tough economic situation,” continued Blakey. “We are urging the new administration and Congress to support the programs and the people that can get America’s economy moving again.” The aerospace and defense industry supports more than two million middle-class jobs, with more than 30,000 suppliers from 50 states.

The campaign, the theme of which is “Aerospace and Defense: The Strength to Lift America,” began with a full-page advertisement in The Washington Post on December 2. The advertisements will run primarily in inside-the-Washington Beltway publications.

AIA member companies contributing to the initiative include BAE Systems, Boeing, General Dynamics, ITT, L-3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Electric, Raytheon, Rolls-Royce North America, SAIC, Textron and United Technologies.