- Advocacy & Policy
- Research Center
AIA President and CEO, Marion C. Blakey testified before the House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics April 26 in her capacity as chair of the NASA Advisory Council’s Aeronautics Committee on the NASA.
Addressing the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate budget for fiscal year 2013, Blakey focused on three areas of research carried out by ARMD: environmental research, unmanned aerial systems integration and the Next Generation Air Transportation System.
ARMD’s environmental research focuses on “green aviation” initiatives. Reducing emissions and developing alternatives to fossil fuels are among the many projects to which NASA is making substantial contributions.
“We believe NASA’s technical expertise in this area can help the Environmental Protection Agency in its standards setting and regulatory policy initiatives as they relate to aviation,” Blakey said. “We have recommended that Dr. Shin and his office take a proactive approach in providing technical assistance to EPA.”
Blakey also believes NASA can play an important role in the development of standards, testing and ultimately the approval of UAS systems as they are integrated into the national airspace under requirements of the recently-enacted FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. “We will have more to say on this subject in the future,” Blakey said, “but we wholeheartedly support NASA’s activities in UAS and believe ARMD is uniquely suited to assist in this arena.”
Finally, there is major potential for NASA-developed technologies to make a critical contribution to successful implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System program. “We expect significant savings in aircraft fuel burn, flight time and reduced noise, all of which will help make the business case for operators to equip with NextGen technologies,” Blakey said. “The Committee is working with NASA to calculate in detail the estimated fuel savings associated with these technologies, to support the business case and raise the level of near-term NextGen benefits.”
In summary, Blakey concluded that NASA’s aeronautics research plan is balanced and focused on the most critical areas, and that NASA is transitioning their research to industry at an appropriate pace. “NASA continues to push the frontiers of our fundamental knowledge,” Blakey said. “This is an important contribution that must be maintained if we are to maintain our global leadership in aeronautics and aerospace.”
AIA Source: dan.stohr[at]aia-aerospace.org