ARLINGTON, Va. (AIA PR) – The aerospace and defense industry had a strong year in 2015, achieving a number of its top priorities. Despite a lengthy delay, the Export-Import Bank of the United States was reauthorized for four years; significant relief from the budget caps imposed under the Budget Control Act of 2011 was achieved for 2016 and 2017 with passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015; and there are hopeful signs that a year-long omnibus with an extension of the R&D Tax Credit will pass shortly.
“2015 was a year that saw great progress on a number of initiatives for the aerospace and defense industry,” said AIA President and CEO Dave Melcher. “From Ex-Im to the budget deal, we achieved many of our goals, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”
Ex-Im Bank supports thousands of jobs associated with aircraft, satellite and launch vehicle sales. However, until President Obama and the Senate appoint and confirm a quorum of Directors to the Bank’s Board, it will be unable to process transactions over $10 million. And while the budget deal promises relief from BCA caps, until the omnibus is passed, the threat of a year-long continuing resolution is very real.
Melcher also highlighted AIA’s advocacy objectives for 2016, including achieving robust, balanced and stable U.S. defense spending; advancing thoughtful technology investment to beef up home-grown space capabilities and continuing the development of vital weather satellites; and effectively implementing the NextGen air transportation system program and safely integrating unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace.
Melcher said, “Our aerospace and defense industry is essential to the national security and economic well being of this country, and we need to continue making progress in 2016. All of these investments help make America stronger, safer and more economically robust.”