National Aerospace Week on Capitol Hill

This week, groups from across the spectrum of the aerospace and defense industry will be gathering in our nation’s capital to address America’s fiscal problems that are threatening to undermine our technological superiority, economic and national security.

“Since the Wright Brothers and the dawn of flight, the contribution aerospace has made to America has been a true national treasure,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “We are the world’s leader in aerospace and the men and women who provide the backbone of our economy and national security are truly Second to None.”

Established by Congress, National Aerospace Week is planned for September 11-17. On Tuesday evening, AIA will be honoring Senator Patty Murray of Washington State with the Aerospace Wings of Liberty Award. Honorees are members of Congress who have made significant contributions to the aerospace industry, and have reflected credit upon America and themselves. The award derives its name from a description of aviation’s early years from the 1919 Yearbook of the Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce, which was the predecessor organization of AIA.

On Wednesday afternoon, AIA will host a Senate Luncheon in the Kennedy Caucus Room with Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).  The topic at hand will be “Why Trade Matters” with USTR Representative Ron Kirk.

The conversation continues the next day with members of the House of Representatives at the House Luncheon, which will take place in the Rayburn House Office Building.  Representatives Pete Olson (R-TX) and Jerry Costello (D-IL) will lead the discussion.   The theme is emerging aerospace technologies, featuring  Charles Brink, the Air Force Research Laboratory’s X-51A Scramjet Engine Demonstrator program manager and Dr. Jaiwon Shin, Associate Administrator for Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate at NASA.

An exhibit in the Rayburn House Office Building on Thursday will feature exhibits from AIA and 11 of AIA’s members. The exhibits represent an exciting set of displays representing a cross section of the industry and everything from sustainable fuels to propulsion and unmanned vehicles.

The aerospace and defense industry is the lifeblood of America’s industrial base, employing more than one million workers and supporting more than two million middle-class jobs in related fields. Thirty-thousand suppliers in the industry provide high-skill, high-paying jobs in all 50 states.

For more information on National Aerospace Week and the benefits the industry brings to the nation and economy, visit and