Aerospace industry leaders to focus on growth during Spokane summit

Hundreds of leaders from Washington’s aerospace sector will be in Spokane this week for the Governor’s Aerospace Summit.

The Aerospace Futures Alliance is hosting the 10th annual event, which opens Wednesday.

Peter Zieve, CEO of ElectroImpact in Mukilteo, will join executives from Mitsubishi Aircraft America and Kaiser Aluminum for a panel discussion about growth in the state’s aerospcae industry. ElectroImpact expanded its campus and is still hiring to keep up with demand. Mitsubishi Aircraft is opening a flight test center in Moses Lake for its new regional jet, which is scheduled to take its first flight in Japan this month. And Kaiser Aluminum opened a new casting complex just outside Spokane earlier this year.

Growth is the general theme of the summit this year.

That doesn’t mean there are no challenges companies have to navigate.

One session will cover changes in the manufacturing standards, specifically changes to AS9100.

Alaska Airlines’ top money-counter, Brandon Pedersen, will talk about how the Seattle-based airline is thriving in the rapidly changing air travel industry. Pedersen is Alaska’s chief financial officer and vice president of finance.

Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines are in an old-fashioned fare war for dominance at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. It’s long been Alaska’s home turf, but Delta wants to use it as the primary base for its Asia-bound flights.

This year’s conference is the last one for Linda Lanham, who officially retires as head of AFA on Oct. 8, the last day of the summit.

Her successor, Kelly Maloney is already running the day-to-day operations of the industry advocacy group.

“I want to keep the industry’s momentum” in Washington, she said.

The AFA can help primarily through lobbying in Olympia and other advocacy work.

It is also considering services it can add to provide more value for its members.

“Right now, it’s really conceptual,” she said. “They would be benefits that will enable companies to be able to better focus on their core business.”

Maloney also serves on the Federal Way city council and previously was head of marketing for Orion Industries, which has an aerospace division.

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454;; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

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