ACMA Hosts the 3rd Transportation and Defense Policy Fly-In
November 15, 2019 (Arlington, Va.) – On November 12-13, the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) hosted the third annual Transportation and Defense Policy Fly-In at the Holiday Inn Capitol in Washington, DC, during which 40 ACMA members joined together to meet with nearly 100 Members of Congress and their staffs to advance two pieces of legislation, the Aeronautics Innovation Act and the Vehicle Innovation Act, that contain provisions to better enable the aerospace and automotive sectors to utilize composite materials. Attendees also pressed Congress for immediate passage of a robust National Defense Authorization Act.
The first day of the event featured educational content to help attendees better understand the political and policy landscape, as well as insights on federal government programs addressing composites and how they can participate. Attendees also learned new advocacy skills to effectively communicate their issues to Members of Congress.
In a panel discussion focused on composites and aerospace, leaders from the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, and Spirit AeroSystems provided unique insights on emerging opportunities in aerospace including urban air mobility and drones, low-boom commercial supersonics, and manufacturing technology needs. A second panel on vehicles included insights from the Department of Defense on their use of composites in tanks and other military vehicles, as well as presentations from Argo AI on the deployment of autonomous vehicles and the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association on full supply chain collaboration in Department of Energy vehicle research programs.
ACMA President Tom Dobbins said, “During this exciting time in our industry and our nation’s politics, ACMA and its members must work together to directly engage agency officials and policymakers on our industry’s issues. Although composites are readily used in many transportation and defense applications, key pieces of legislation like the Aeronautics Innovation Act and Vehicle Innovation Act will enable our industry to better collaborate with government researchers and customers to develop new manufacturing technologies and materials to serve 21st century needs in transportation and other markets. During our time on the Hill, ACMA was encouraged by the unanimous vote of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee in favor the NASA Reauthorization Act of 2019, which includes many aspects of the Aeronautics Innovation Act. We look forward to staying engaged with Congressional leaders to advance ACMA’s policy priorities through the legislative process.”