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The Aerospace Industries Association, founded in 1919 only a few years after the birth of flight, is the premier trade association representing the nation's major aerospace and defense manufacturers.
Based in Arlington, Va., AIA is led by a Board of Governors that meets twice a year and consists of senior representatives (generally chief executive officers) of member companies, 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 the country's major aerospace companies. 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 the aerospace industry.
Today, more than 100 major aerospace and defense companies are members of the association, embodying every high-technology manufacturing segment of the U.S. aerospace and defense industry from commercial aviation and avionics, to manned and unmanned defense systems, to space technologies and satellite communications.
In addition, the association has more than 175 associate member companies, all of which are leading aerospace and defense suppliers.
Marion C. Blakey is the association's chief executive officer and president. The association concentrates on issues covering civil aviation, space and national security. The National Security Division includes a number of functional areas including defense budget and policy; workforce, industrial base, international affairs, technical operations, and the Team America Rocketry Challenge, a contest for middle and high school students. Acquisition Policy is the focal point for many initiatives associated with federal government acquisition reform activities. Acquisition Policy functional areas also include coordination of industry environmental and safety matters and activities for the supply chain through the Supplier Management Council.
AIA member company representatives sit on various councils and committees in these areas and, supported by AIA staff, formulate industry positions on specific issues for approval by the Executive Committee and the Board of Governors.
In addition the association has offices for Administration, Communications, Legislative Affairs, and Membership Services. Legislative Affairs coordinates legislative advocacy activities on AIA's issues and Membership Services coordinates AIA's relationship with current and prospective members. Communications is the focal point for news media contacts and publishes a monthly newsletter and quarterly Executive Report on the full range of issues handled by the association. Communications also houses the Aerospace Research Center, which publishes a statistical yearbook, Facts & Figures.