For more than a century, North Texas has played a leading role in the development of our nation’s aviation and aerospace manufacturing industry. Whether it’s finding ways to make commercial flights more efficient or providing the most advanced aircraft weaponry for our national defense, North Texas continues to leave its fingerprints on the entire aviation and aerospace industry. That’s why it was no surprise to me that Fort Worth was selected to host Embry-Riddle’s Aviation & Aerospace Industry Manufacturing Summit this week at AllianceTexas.
Now in its third year, AAIMS moved its 2012 summit from Orlando, Fla., to Fort Worth. This relocation to the nation’s second-largest aviation and aerospace manufacturing cluster speaks volumes about the significant role North Texas plays in this industry. As home to the world’s first industrial airport, as well as global aviation suppliers and manufacturers, AllianceTexas has the ideal infrastructure in place to host such a summit.
Working with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and its Center for Aviation & Aerospace Leadership (CAAL), a committee of some of the region’s leading civic, business and educational institutions has brought together an impressive lineup of speakers. Aerospace leaders such as former Lockheed Martin President and CEO Norm Augustine, Bell Helicopter President and CEO John Garrison, Hawker Beechcraft Chairman W.W. (Bill) Boisture and American Eurocopter President and CEO Marc Paganini will be on hand to talk about what’s happening in the aerospace manufacturing industry and what we can expect in the near future.
Augmenting this distinguished list is our own Ross Perot Jr., chairman of Hillwood Development and a world-record-setting pilot; Bob McTeer, past president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; and Tom Luce, founding CEO and current chairman of the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). These speakers, encompassing the aerospace industry, government and academia, will lay the backdrop for the challenges facing the industry by providing insight into the current business environment, the financial marketplace and workforce development initiatives impacting aerospace.
Why a summit? Uncertainty created during the recent financial crisis and current geopolitical environment continues to transform the aerospace industry and its supply chain, and the road ahead is anything but clear. It is our hope that AAIMS 2012 will paint a clearer picture of the future of U.S. aerospace, as it navigates our “new economy.” With pending budget cuts on the horizon threatening to severely impact the industry’s supply chain (through sequestration), this is certainly a timely discussion.
Without a doubt, the proposed 10 percent budget cuts to all federal departments will impact North Texas more severely than most other communities, and our local aerospace manufacturers and their suppliers need to know how best to handle the situation. It is also important for those of us in the commercial real estate industry to take note, as this industry represents a significant portion of our region’s commercial end users.
I invite anyone who works in the aviation/aerospace manufacturing industry, my commercial real estate colleagues, or anyone who has an interest in this field, to join us for this historic summit. Click here for more information about AAIMS 2012.
Serving as president of Hillwood Properties, Mike Berry leads development efforts the 17,000-acre AllianceTexas development north of Fort Worth.