Propelling the frontier of innovation and collaboration in the commonwealth

Who We are

KAIC is an initiative of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC), a 501(c)3 nonprofit, seeking to advance and promote Kentucky’s aerospace industry by providing leadership and creating collaborative partnerships that will ensure the industry has the resources it needs to succeed.

We offer a multitude of business services to Kentucky companies, such as assistance with obtaining quality certifications (AS9100, ISO9001), cyber physical security assessments (NIST standardization), ITAR compliance, collaboration for various contract proposals, and staffing/talent acquisition. We work alongside stakeholders at the state level to represent your interests, and work with students, veterans, and other individuals to help fill the workforce needs of our aerospace and defense companies. Our partners at KSTC include the KYPTAC and KSTC advisory services, who are dedicated to assisting your company with any needs you may have above and beyond the services that we offer. Learn more about the assistance we offer by checking out our membership levels. 

"my goal is for kentucky to be the Center for engineering and manufacturing excellence in america..."

Kentucky governor matt bevin

Primary goals

1. Promote, advocate, and advance the knowledge of Kentucky’s aerospace industry through the establishment of a strong brand.

2. Facilitate connections and partnerships with existing and future organizations within the aerospace industry to create a robust and collaborative network.

3. Create a robust aerospace and defense supply chain through consulting services that will enhance business capability and development.

4. Maintain an environment that is conducive to the creation a sustainable industry through education, workforce development, and industry led R&D

Our staff

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stewart ditto - executive director

Stewart Ditto is the executive director of the Kentucky Aerospace Industry Consortium. In this role, Stewart has developed relationships with key aerospace and defense manufacturers around the world. He has helped Kentucky unite, promote and grow its aerospace and defense manufacturing assets, which boasted $11.7 billion in exports in 2017. Additionally, he brings in a wide array of experience from his time as a pilot and officer in the United States Marine Corps flying the MV-22 Osprey. Following his time in the Marines, Stewart led four statewide economic projects dealing with military impact, UAVs (drones), cyber security, and aerospace and defense.Following those projects, Stewart was requested by state legislators to lead the recently formed Kentucky Aerospace Industry Consortium. Stewart has been involved in aviation and aerospace for the last 10 years and has been an integral part of its development and promotion in Kentucky both nationally and internationally. His leadership within the industry has been key in ensuring that Kentucky has a clear pathway for growth in this important economic area. Stewart is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in business finance.

Contact Stewart Ditto at -

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Will Fortune - director of business development

Will Fortune is a seventh generation Lexingtonian who brings a diverse management and well-traveled military background in support of KAIC’s mission to advance and expand Kentucky’s aerospace and defense industry. Prior to joining KAIC, he served as commander, U.S Special Air Operations for North and West Africa from Germany. Will also recently worked as interim CEO for the National Air and Space Education Institute in Louisville and director of project management for the office of the mayor of Lexington. Will earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Davidson College and a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College. He is a member of the U.S. Defense Acquisition Professional Corps and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

Contact Will fortune at -


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GRiffin melzer - Director of network and brand development

Griffin Melzer joined the KAIC team in February of 2018 as its network and brand development associate, bringing his enthusiasm, passion and commitment for the aerospace and defense industries. His focus has been to promote KAIC’s mission by enhancing the marketing presence and expanding networking efforts that underscore the goals of the consortium. Griffin graduated from Salisbury University in Maryland in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. After completing an internship in logistics in his home state of Florida, Griffin relocated to Lexington, Kentucky and began pursuing networking avenues to gain entry into the growing aerospace sector in Kentucky. This same approach to building meaningful partnerships is part of the strategic approach he uses in his role as an ambassador of KAIC. For over a year now,Griffin and the KAIC team have traveled all over the globe to build strategic partnerships on behalf of the Kentucky industry. He looks forward to continuing his support of the KAIC mission of uniting, promoting and growing the aerospace industry in Kentucky.

Contact Griffin Melzer at -

 Ensuring Kentucky aerospace and defense is represented on all levels of the industry

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