The future of NextGen

Feb. 15, 2011

The House and Senate have each declared passage of a new FAA Authorization bill a top legislative priority, very welcome news after more than three years of short-term extensions. Air transportation is a proven economic engine; passage of this bill is an investment in our nation’s economic recovery.

The U.S. air transportation system has been the world’s gold standard for more than half a century. But to remain so, we need to bring our system into the 21st Century. Air service demand will return to pre-recession levels, but along with the return of that…

NASA Budget Falls Short of Stated Goals

Feb. 14, 2011

We are disappointed with the proposed fiscal year 2012 budget for NASA of $18.7 billion, which represents a cut of $750 million from the authorized level and a major drop of more than $6.2 billion from the fiscal year 2011 request over the next four years.

In his State of the Union address, the president challenged this nation to embrace our “Sputnik” moment and win the future. Yet the administration’s request for NASA fails to recognize the return on investment – both now and in the future – that our nation’s space program provides…

Defense FY2012 Budget Request Supportive of Nation’s Industrial Base

Feb. 14, 2011

We are encouraged that the 2012 fiscal year Defense Department budget request for procurement and research and development reflects a slight increase from last year’s request. At 34 percent of the total budget, it comes close to reaching the 35 percent marker that we think is needed to ensure a healthy industrial base for the aerospace and defense industry.

However, with the personnel and operations accounts increasing at four times the rate of growth of the investment accounts, we are concerned about the long-term robustness of procurement and research. This year, for the first…

NextGen Cleared for Takeoff in FY12 President’s Budget

Feb. 14, 2011

We are pleased to see the administration’s continued commitment to improving efficiency and safety and reducing the environmental impact of the National Aerospace System through the fiscal year 2012 President’s Budget Request.

In particular, the budget request proposes to fund the NextGen initiative at $1.24 billion, $200 million of which will come directly from the administration’s Infrastructure Initiative. Including NextGen avionics equipment in the administration’s $30 billion National Infrastructure Bank proposal could accelerate the benefits of NextGen. This will help address one of the larger challenges facing the full implementation of NextGen—establishing a sound…

World’s Largest Rocket Contest for Students Launches into Qualifying Rounds

Feb. 11, 2011

More than 600 teams from 48 states and the District of Columbia are preparing their hand-designed model rockets to qualify for the ninth annual Team America Rocketry Challenge May 14. This year’s roster includes teams from many schools that are venerable veterans as well as 161 teams that are joining the competition for the first time.

The contest is sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Association of Rocketry, in collaboration with the Defense Department; NASA; the American Association of Physics Teachers; Estes, a rocket motor manufacturer, and more than 30…