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Up and Coming with the AADA

AADA Article UpAndComingThe AADA has been working hard to provide valuable opportunities to members, including training opportunities, member events, and even ways for member companies to attend trade shows at discounted cost through grants and strategic partnerships.  There’s a lot to look forward to during the last two quarters of 2017 and going into 2018.  Here are some highlights from this year and events members will want to be aware of and participate in.

AADA Membership is now at an all time high at more than 35 companies and has grown every quarter since the organizations inception in 2006. There are also a number of new applicants still under review for membership.  Several companies have also been added from the Northwest Arkansas region, and the Alliance is looking at opportunities to organize an event in the area.

AS9100 Auditor Training is being offered for member companies on September 7th and 8th. The first training of its kind for the AADA, there will be a special one-time two-day training for internal auditors. The course provides a more affordable alternative to traveling out-of- state for training that is essential to augmenting and sustaining existing programs. The program focuses on providing low cost, local training to companies who utilize the ISO/ AS9100 Quality Management system. The training will not only provide insight to the upcoming changes to AS9100 Rev D, but train internal auditors for each company.  The 3rd Quarter Board Meeting will also be held on September 7th at the UA Pulaski Tech Business and Industry Center.

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Cost Savvy Training Opportunity!

AADA Article CostSavingTrainingFall is rapidly approaching! And so is YOUR chance for the Arkansas Aerospace and Defense Alliance’s inaugural training course!

Fast Facts:

What: ISO/ AS9100 (+mandatory Rev. D) Internal Auditor Training

When: Sept. 7 & 8

Where: UAPTC Airport Location (3303 E. Roosevelt, Little Rock, AR)

Cost: $300/person (includes training/certification, materials, and lunch both days)

Why: Significantly cheaper than out-of-state training, fully trained for mandatory Rev. D changes, perfect opportunity for new auditors to train, and current ones to meet the new standard.

Who: Anyone interested in learning internal auditing practices; current auditors seeking further education.

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Hopeful Foundation to Expanding Education

AADA Article BobEastPerhaps still unknown to many current residents, the aviation/aerospace industry is rapidly becoming Arkansas’ largest, and most valuable, export. With nearly 180 major companies serving the industry, Arkansas’ competitive airspace environment is backed by its numerous runway-accessible sites and its highly skilled labor force. 

But the rapidly expanding aerospace industry was not always as coordinated and connected as it is today, thus creating the need for the Arkansas Aerospace and Defense Alliance (AADA). When so many businesses rely on airspace for their goods/services, it seemed an expert idea to form a coalition that could strive to connect members to each other, provide benefits and solutions where none previously existed, and coordinate educational efforts.

Bob East, founder of East Harding and current managing partner of Advanced Cabling Systems, said, “When looking into the industry at the Little Rock airport, through research we found a lot of companies and groups wanted to talk and educate people on the aerospace industry, but there was no coordination.” After taking the need for education to then Gov. Beebe, the charge for an alliance was commissioned. In part, it was a necessity; when Gov. Beebe was traveling and talked to prospective businesses, he could directly speak of the AADA: an alliance that supports the aerospace industry and deals with issues affecting their business.

“Getting companies (manufactures and users) to realize and become advocates for aerospace growth as users, and seeing the power we have together, and to educate young people that there’s a great career in engineering and manufacturing here in AR, keeps people from leaving the state,” said East, when discussing the work force in Arkansas.

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Tax Reform in Arkansas Could Benefit Aerospace and Defense Companies

AADA Article TaxReformArkansas aerospace and defense companies could see a more friendly business climate in the coming years. Thanks to the passage of Acts 78 and 79 during the last General Assembly,  a bipartisan Tax Reform Committee was formed to consider changes to the Arkansas tax code. Governor Asa Hutchinson set the parameters for the tax reform committee in January of this year, and the overall scope of the committee’s work is to review and make recommendations regarding Arkansas’ tax policies with the goal of reforming and simplifying the state tax code by the 2019 regular session.

In addition to considering further reductions to income tax rates, the committee will also examine exemptions currently in place and make recommendations on which to keep and which to remove.

In the Arkansas Aerospace Industry, hopes are high that this will be a continuation of tax reform measures that will allow Arkansas to be competitive regionally and nationally, and better positioned to attract new business to Arkansas. Carl Finch of AirResource Group notes that his company has seen firsthand the positive effects of being able to compete on a level playing field.  “Tax measures passed over the last several legislative sessions will likely allow us (AirResource Group) to double the size of our company over the next 12 to 18 months,” Said Finch.

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Sky’s the Limit for Service and Success

AADA Article TAC AirWhat began in 1986 as a local business , has rapidly expanded into an aerospace industry leader. Starting out of Texarkana, AR, and originally called Road Runner Aviation, the single-location fixed base operation (FBO) was rebranded as TAC Air in 1991. Its mission was to consider what other companies were providing, then turn around and do those things like none other.

TAC Air currently employs over 400 associates at 14 FBO locations throughout the nation, and with a unyielding pledge to provide first-rate customer service, and fair and competitive pricing. Minding their efforts to continuously improve their services, TAC Air is set to continue its steady growth through the aerospace industry. They conduct everything from ground handling and aircraft refueling, to hangar development for all divisions of aviation.

What are their keys to success? What is the driving force behind their exemplary service? Kip Simanek, general manager for TAC Air in Little Rock, says it’s more than keeping a focus on service, “it’s creating a culture of service.” He spoke on how TAC Air recognizes their role as caretakers of their customers, as well as their employees. When a company has well-trained and well-taken-care of employees that understand the clients their company services, the employees in turn can deliver the quality service TAC Air promises.

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