A Qualified Opinion with David Melcher of the Aerospace Industries Association

David Melcher | April 26th, 2016 | MMG

This story appears in full in the May/June 2016 issue of Middle Market Growth.


Retired Lt. Gen. David F. Melcher is president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association, the most authoritative and influential trade association for the aerospace and defense industry. Representing more than 300 manufacturers and suppliers, AIA’s strong advocacy is essential to protecting the interests of the industry while helping to establish new growth opportunities. Following a 32-year career in the U.S. Army, Melcher joined ITT Corporation before becoming the inaugural chief executive at Exelis after its spinoff from ITT in October 2011. Melcher also led Exelis through a successful merger with Harris Corp. in May 2015.

Q. AIA HAS MORE THAN 300 MEMBERS. CAN YOU TALK A BIT ABOUT WHAT YOUR ORGANIZATION DOES FOR THEM?

Small and midsize companies are the backbone of our industry. More than 70 cents of every dollar coming to our industry through federal contracts flows into the supply chain through subcontracts. Companies come to us to help them make connections with the giants of our industry, which we provide through our Supplier Management Council. They come for advice on how to make sense of government customer buying habits and to offer improvements to the acquisitions process. For example, AIA is experiencing success in getting new equipment certification streamlining provisions for aircraft in House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster’s multiyear FAA reauthorization bill. Additionally, we have been actively promoting a “regular order” appropriations process that results in timely enactment of the $1.07 trillion in federal discretionary spending for fiscal year 2017 called for in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. Stability in expectations is what helps our companies best support our government customers and manage contracts on time and within budget. […]

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