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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

    AIAA Members Visit Capitol Hill and Advocate for Aerospace

    AIAA Members Visit Capitol Hill and Advocate for Aerospace

    By: Duane Hyland, AIAA Communications

    CVD12-Team-Ohio-and-Senator-Sherrod-BrownThe 15th annual Congressional Visits Day program was held on March 20-21, drawing 176 AIAA members from 44 AIAA sections, representing 34 states and the District of Columbia to Washington, D.C., to meet with their elected representatives and discuss matters of vital importance to America’s aerospace community.

    Through 165 meetings with congressional decision makers, AIAA members discussed:

    • Assuring the Viability of the U.S. aerospace and defense industrial base.
    • Dealing with counterfeit and malicious hardware.
    • Supporting and evolving and adaptive cybersecurity policy.
    • Lessening the impact of export controls on the U.S. aerospace industry.
    • Sharing stewardship of the federal aeronautics RDT&E infrastructure.
    • Developing a robust next generation air transportation system.
    • Facilitating assured, cost effective human access to space.
    • Recruiting, retaining, and developing a world-class aerospace workforce
    • Increasing emphasis and funding for technology and engineering in STEM.

    When asked about the value of CVD to AIAA, and why she feels members should attend, Carol Cash, Vice President of Public Policy, and chair of the Public Policy Committee stated: “Congressional Visits Day provides an opportunity for AIAA members to meet with their elected officials and staff to stress the importance of ensuring that the aerospace enterprise remains robust and continues to advance. Our collective input gives government leaders important insights necessary to enable them to craft sound policies regarding aerospace. CVD allows our members to share personal experiences and anecdotal information that help illustrate why Congress should care about and protect aerospace.

    CVD12-Team-Arizona-with-Rep-Ben-QuayleThis year’s Congressional Visits Day program saw trend of increasing student participating continue, reflecting student concerns about the future of America’s aerospace community. When asked about the value of CVD to students, Chelsey Robinson, a student attendee from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, stated: “The CVD experience has been a wonderful one on many levels. It has encouraged me to learn more about the legislative process and its role in the scientific field and has left me with a greater understanding and appreciation of the process. It has also provided me with the wonderful opportunity to meet others in my field who have experience in the field of aerospace and can speak to the employment and work environment I will face after graduation.”

    The Congressional Visits Day program is one of many AIAA public policy outreach activities. AIAA’s grassroots public policy program give members input into the policy decisions which impact their profession, and allow them to interface with the decision makers who control three out of every five dollars in the community. For more information on the Congressional Visits Day program, or on the other AIAA public policy grassroots activities, please contact Duane Hyland at 703.264.7558 or at

    (Pictured: (Top) Team Ohio with Senator Sherrod Brown; (Bottom) Part of Team Arizona with Congressman Ben Quayle)