Pushing the boundaries of innovation and collaboration in the commonwealth

Who We are

KAIC is an initiative of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, 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


stewart ditto - executive director

Stewart is the Executive Director of the kentucky aerospace industry consortium and brings a wide array of experience from his time as a leader in the United States Marine Corps, the private sector, and state government. Stewart received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Texas A&M before spending time as a Marine Corps Naval Aviator (MV-22 Osprey) and Operations Officer. In the years since he has worked as an international trade specialist and as the President of AIRLEX Intelligent Solutions, a small business that specialized in consulting on the integration of Aviation and Aerospace systems into existing government and commercial industries. Stewart has spent the past two years as a contractor project manager for the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs in the Kentucky Governor's Office conducting four thorough statewide economic impact projects to include the defense, aviation, and aerospace economic impact study, analyzing the defense-related supply chain before forming KAIC. He also works alongside the broader kstc advisory services to help Kentucky businesses grow. 


Will Fortune - director of business development

A seventh generation Lexingtonian, Will brings a diverse management and well-traveled military background in support of KAIC’s mission to advance and expand Kentucky’s aerospace industry. Prior to joining KAIC he served as Commander, US Special Air Operations for North and West Africa (from Germany). Will has also recently worked as Interim CEO for the National Air and Space Education Institute (Louisville), Director of Project Management, Office of the Mayor (Lexington) and Vice President of Operations and Business Development for Brainbox Intelligent Marketing (Lexington). Will earned his B.A. degree in History from Davidson College (Davidson, NC) and his M.A. degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from The Naval War College (Newport, RI). He is a member of the US Defense Acquisition Professional Corps and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.



GRiffin melzer - network and brand development

Griffin Melzer joined the kentucky aerospace industry consortium in February 2018 as the Network and Brand Development associate, bringing with him his enthusiasm for the aerospace industry and talent for engaging younger generations in Kentucky aerospace initiatives. Griffin graduated from Salisbury University in 2017 with his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Prior to joining KAIC, Griffin worked in consulting and logistics for different businesses looking to attract youth involvement. In August of 2017, Griffin moved to Lexington, Kentucky to pursue his lifelong passion in all avenues of aerospace, and to ensure that Kentucky is a leader in the aerospace industry for generations to come. 

advisory board