NIA Calls For Renewing American Leadership In Aviation
The National Institute of Aerospace
(NIA), along with the Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee
of the US Senate Appropriations Committee, is out with a new report
to Congress called, "Responding to the Call: Aviation Plan for
American Leadership." Recognizing that the US is losing its
dominance in aviation technical and market leadership, Congress
tasked NIA to conduct an industry- and academia-wide study to
determine a five-year plan and budget for US aeronautics research.
More than 250 of the nation's top aviation experts contributed to
the study that provides an integrated approach to regain world
leadership in the aviation industry.
The industry/university study team focused on six key national
needs: US economic competitiveness, freedom of air travel, flight
safety, securing and defending the nation, protecting the
environment, and educating the future workforce. The plan builds on
NASA's FY 2005 aeronautics budget and recommends an annual increase
to return it to 1998 levels.
"Industry and academia have made an
extraordinary effort to provide Congress a comprehensive strategic
plan for the future of aeronautics," said Dr. Robert Lindberg, NIA
President and Executive Director. "Aviation is a critical component
in the US balance of trade, and our capabilities have been eroding.
The investments recommended by the study will restore the ability
of the US to compete successfully in the world market."
The full report, well over 1,000 pages, provides
detailed investment plans, budgets, and needs assessments for seven
aeronautics sectors. The sectors addressed are airspace systems,
aviation safety and security, subsonic aircraft, supersonic
aircraft, hypersonic technologies, rotorcraft, and workforce and
education. The milestones within each sector establish how the
budget augmentations will affect our national needs. The full
report details how an increase in each sector will benefit our
aeronautics research as a whole and provides details of the team's
proposed NASA five-year budget plan.
Congress appropriated $5,000,000 within NASA's 2004 budget for
NIA to lead a non-partisan industry-university team to conduct this
study. NIA received authorization to proceed with the study in
August 2004, and tapped over 20 industry and university partners to
complete the plan documented in the report released today.