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Changes in Aerospace Regulations

AADA AerospaceRegulationsProgress only comes through adaptation and evolution regardless of what industry or society we’re a part of. As the aerospace industry continues expanding and connecting around the globe, standards that were sufficient for the industry before have to be reevaluated and updated. Recently, aerospace regulations were modified to the new AS9100:2016 Standard and companies are expected to have updated to this new standard by September of this year. Below are some highlights of these changes.  

These changes are determined by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) by a review process which happens every 5 years. The American Aerospace Quality Group have meetings, primarily in LA and Atlanta to receive feedback from stakeholders in the industry. This information is then reviewed, in tandem with other global aerospace quality groups, for the primary issues affecting the industry as a whole, and determining what adjustments can be made to the current standard. The newest revisions enacted to AS9100 focus on encouraging companies to look at their business from a process -based perspective, instead of an elemental one. 

Risk management became one of the key revisions within AS9100 – Promoting top management to ensure there’s a risk based approach to how they run their company and how they take new projects on. There has been further emphasis on accountability from top management to make sure that they understand the different KPI (Key Process Indicators) for their processes.  This standard shifted focus to assign accountability at the top level and to determine what types of effective actions are being taken when goals are not being met. 

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Addressing the Skilled Labor Deficit in Arkansas

AADA SkilledLaborDeficitArkansas is firmly in the top 20 US States with the lowest unemployment rate at just 3.7%. That’s a good thing. It’s good for the economy, for communities, and families. But when you’re an aviation or defense company wanting to hire skilled labor, employees can be hard to find. This has been an issue on the mind of the aviation industry in Arkansas for some time now. 

There are a number of resources in place that are aimed directly at training people with the specific skills needed in the aerospace industry – and they’re right here in Arkansas. 

The Arkansas Dept. of Career Education and Workforce Development( is one of these resources.  The board is composed of CEO’s from a variety of industries including AADA’s President Gina Radke as Vice Chair, who was interviewed for this article. The value of the programing and resources offered is high, and include:

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The Success is in The Details

AADA AfterGlow AircraftWhat started out as a side project in has quickly grown into an adapting, thriving business enterprise. Afterglow Aircraft Solutions (AAS) provides today’s ever-changing aviation market with an extensive list of services such as both interior and small paint refurbishment, paint revitalization, interior deep cleaning, leather refinishing, and more! Founded by Jonathan Rose in 2010, who represents the third generation of family owned and operated Rose Aircraft Services Inc. and having undergone extensive training in aircraft detailing. Rose saw a market opportunity for detail work in Northwest Arkansas. Rose gained AAS’ vision as a standalone operation that could morph to efficiently fill all sorts of needs and gaps in the aviation market.

They adapted from Afterglow Aircraft Detailing to Afterglow Aircraft Solutions when they incorporated new services that expanded beyond cleaning and polishing aircraft. Services like paint repair, small-scale spot in, blend repair, and utilizing their mobility to fix and repair on site. AAS’ works to provide quality service, something that wasn’t a rushed patch job.  Having discovered the smaller area needs they could work on and save customers money, without sacrificing quality, AAS became the best shop for unique go-to fixes and customized solutions. AAS’ focused on tailoring their services options to their client’s individual needs and budget. 

And recognizing that some client’s needs are bigger, AAS works with business partners, to offer full-scale refurbishment, maintenance, and avionics at their facilities. Partnerships with companies like Rose Aircraft or Air Resource Group have supported Afterglow’s success and helped them grow into the thriving company they are today!

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Get Ready for the Summit

AADA 2018 SummitThis year’s Arkansas Aerospace and Defense Summit will mark the 10thannual Summit .  While the Alliance continues to grow in membership each year, the Summit has remained a relaxed and approachable environment for relationship building. Though smaller than other national conventions, our summit is a great opportunity to make lasting impressions with national and international businesses and strengthen relationships with local partners.

Ten years strong and hosting around 200 attendees, the AADA Summit benefits as a smaller trade show providing smaller businesses ample opportunities to make connections and meet new companies and contacts. As AADA’s President Gina Radke said, “atthe Summit you get access to information and leaders within the industry, not just from Arkansas but from around the world. It's an excellent opportunity for networking and to explore new opportunities for training, grants, workforce and B2B connections.” The user-friendly floor allows for people to network in a low-pressure environment without sacrificing the ability to meet leading companies in the aerospace industry. This year alone,Dassault Falcon, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Aero Jet, and Triumph Group representatives are expected to be attending. At larger conventions, they don’t generally have B2B meetings, and when they do there’s such a large crowd many companies get lost in the shuffle.  

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Why Arkansas for Aerospace?

AADA WhyArkansas AerospaceAerospace consistently ranks as one of Arkansas’ top exports, accounting for more than $1.8 billion. Commercial airports generate about $2 billion to the state’s economy each year, and general aviation creates an economic impact on Arkansas of almost $500 million annually. There are currently about 180 aviation and aerospace-related companies in the state.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is the “jobs” Governor. He has promoted Aerospace and Defense throughout the country and around the globe. More and more industries, including aerospace and defense sectors are looking to Arkansas for supplier network growth and relocation. The governor has pursued a pro-business, pro-growth agenda through regulatory and tax reform. 

What makes Arkansas a good candidate for Aerospace? First, our location is ideal.  We are well positioned to supply aerospace and defense corridor stretching from Texas to Iowa. We also have a quality workforce and a governor committed to improving training and education opportunities for Arkansans.   

A very strong aerospace and defense base already exists in Arkansas, as well, and is positioned for growth.  Dassault Falcon Jet anchors a large business jet cluster in Central Arkansas, and projects are showing growth prospects for 2018. The Camden area is home to many defense contractors that are also well positioned to grow with the recent investment in our military infrastructure at the national level. 

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