ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Administration and Congress should look to the aerospace industry as it develops strategies to spur the economic recovery and create jobs, AIA President and CEO Marion Blakey said Wednesday.
"The aerospace industry is being overlooked as a job generator," said Blakey. "Our benefits are global and don't end at the water's edge."
In her remarks to nearly 400 members of the news media, government and industry at the Association's 45th annual Year-end Review and Forecast Luncheon, Blakey said that investment in aerospace is a proven job and economic multiplier.
Estimates place the total number of direct and indirect jobs generated by an approximate $6 billion investment in NextGen equipment at more than 150,000 through 2012, with 30,000 jobs generated the first year.
"Government incentives for NextGen will allow the system to come online up to six years ahead of schedule," continued Blakey. "Americans will start to enjoy travel again as the system becomes more efficient, and huge fuel savings will make us better stewards of the environment."
In her remarks, Blakey also commended the new defense team for recognizing the importance of a DoD-industry partnership and for its commitment to minimize the adverse impacts of policy choices on the industrial base.
Expressing concern about the future of U.S. preeminence in space, she said that unless we increase NASA's budget, we will be relying on the Russians for a ride to the International Space Station.
"That is not an exaggeration," said Blakey, adding, "AIA is working on a proposal for a new strategy to shore up support for NASA and our long-term leadership in space."
AIA launched the first-ever National Aerospace Day this year and is planning a week-long event in September 2010 that will broaden and amplify the message that aerospace directly benefits our economy, national security and workforce.
"Aerospace is very much about reaching for the stars," said Blakey. "The innovation of aerospace pioneers runs like a strand of DNA down through history to our present-day pathfinders. I'm confident that our long-term outlook is bright."
Founded in 1919, the Aerospace Industries Association represents the nation's leading manufacturers and suppliers of civil, military, and business aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aircraft systems, space systems, aircraft engines, materiel, and related components, equipment services, and information technology.
Web site: http://www.aia-aerospace.org//