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AADA Article AADAFlightPathAs the years continue to roll by, let’s take a moment to look back on some of the biggest ways the Arkansas Aerospace and Defense Alliance is shown diligently working for its members:

On the legislative front, two impressive reforms have been initiated thanks to the AADA’s involvement:

  1. The implementation of a flyaway-state tax exemption for aircraft in Arkansas: where if an aircraft with a gross takeoff weight of greater than (or equal to) 9500lbs, the purchaser is not an Arkansas resident, and the plane will not hangar in Arkansas, that purchase is tax exempt. This became an Important incentive for people to conduct aircraft sales transactions in AR. Since maintenance and other aircraft updates are likely to occur in the state of the transaction, this would lead to continued job growth in AR, instead of encouraging buyers to perform transactions in neighboring states.
  2. Changes to some laws, altering the tax exemption on repair parts and labor. While ultimately just a slight word adjustment (“an aircraft takeoff of weight of 12,500lbs OR above”), many new classes have become included; expanding existing numbers of aircraft that can have work performed without having tax collected on parts and labor for those aircraft. Customers now choosing MRO shops in AR, as this has made us more competitive with our neighboring states, where these exemptions already existed.

Next on the list of achievements, is the upcoming Internal Auditing class in September.

Thanks to the power of the 38 members, we are able to bring together a training seminar (held over two days) for multiple companies and provide a much more affordable training cost compared to current Internal Auditor courses. Causey said, “[this is] exactly the type of work the trade association is made to complete...and what the alliance hopes to accomplish more of in the future! To do these educational trainings…[and] provide a monetary value for our members.”

The next achievement of note Causey focuses on is: working to put AR on the map in the international aerospace business community by getting back into some of the largest world trade shows for aerospace and defense. Causey mentioned how the Alliance worked tirelessly in 2014 with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to create a presence at the Farnborough international trade show; helping support the booth financially, as well as sending some of the Alliance members there to maintain it. He said, “if we’re not on the world stage of aerospace, we’re not going to be able to attract the type of business connections we desire for our Aerospace and Defense companies here in AR.” The importance cannot be understated when recognizing that aerospace is the largest export for AR; getting on the stage and participating is what opens doors for our members and their companies, by creating relationships through attendance at these events. Currently, the Alliance, or its members, have attended Farnborough and Paris every year since 2014.

Creating a presence for AR is important here at home too; for our last recognition of the AADA, we turn to the the upcoming National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Business Association Conference and Exhibition (BACE) in Orlando in 2018. Causey has said the AADA is currently committed to attending the prominent national business aviation show, and maintains that [with 100% certainty] there will be an AADA presence. It’s just as important to make our name known on the national trade shows as well.

As membership continues to expand, and Arkansas’ name grows larger on the map of aerospace and aviation, the future is brimming with opportunities! The AADA, and all of its members will continue looking for more achievements, yet to come.