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The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

is the world's largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession.

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Aeronautics Policy

Aeronautics

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) represents the aerospace endeavor and the technical professionals who supports it. AIAA's advocacy programs have four overall goals:

 

  • To foster AIAA as the voice of, and advocate for, the aerospace profession;
  • To contribute to society by acting as a catalyst for information flow and creative exchange;
  • To create high value for our members; and
  • To strengthen the profession by stimulating workforce development and retention.

 

AIAA meets these goals by its advocacy on behalf of issues that impact the nation’s aeronautics research programs and the professionals employed by those programs and by the associated industries.

Policy Priorities

Strategy for Recovery of Business and General Aviation – General Aviation (GA) continues to struggle in recovering from the combined effects of the current economic climate and the political criticism driven by the perception of corporate excess. The timely recovery of GA is important to the U.S. because it is an integral and vital part of the airspace system operated for the public benefit, because it is a high-technology industry, and because it is a critical component of the overall U.S. economy.

Position Papers

January 2008
Infrastructure Recommendations for Implementation of Executive Order 13419
The Aeronautics Science & Technology Subcommittee (ASTS) of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) is currently working to implement the provisions of Executive Order 13419, and of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2005 (PL109-155), that require the federal government to establish a new National Aeronautics Research and Development Plan. Included in the plan is a coordinated approach to managing U.S. Government aeronautics research, development, and test and evaluation infrastructure identified as critical national assets required to maintain and to advance world-class U.S. experimental and computational R&D capabilities. 

January 2007
Civil Aeronautics Research and Technology
In December 2006, the President signed an Executive Order establishing the National Aeronautics Research and Development Policy. This policy defines the principles upon which federal government aeronautics R&D will be based and the policy goal, objectives, and general guidelines that will drive federal government aeronautics R&D activities through 2020. Congress and the Administration must now decide how to move forward and implement the strategy put forth. Due in part to past government research, U.S. civil aeronautics is a major contributor to the national economy and the balance of trade. However, competition from abroad is increasing. The European Union has a clearly stated vision for aeronautics superiority and it is making the necessary investments to secure that vision. The United States has only recently released an aeronautics vision and defined research strategy. NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate has taken significant cuts to its budget, and other federal organizations that have historically supported and conducted aeronautics research, such as the DoD and FAA, have also been forced to reduce their technology development activities. As a result, critical programs have been significantly scaled back or eliminated altogether, and the United States is rapidly losing its role as a global leader in aeronautics research.

Information Papers

March 2012
Developing a Robust Next Gneration Air Transportation System

The current National Airspace System was developed more than 60 years ago.  The present system was not designed to incoprorate many of today's new and emerging technologies, aircraft platforms, and system-use capabilities  into its spectrum.  Delays and denials of access impact the nation's economy and secuirty.  Developing a robust next generation air transportation system is vital to retaining our economic and technological leadersip in the global marketplace.

 

March 2012
Strengthening the National Commitment to Aerospace Research and Development

The U.S. government must continue to invest in the nation’s future by supporting aerospace research and development (R&D). R&D is the lifeblood of a healthy nation. Technological advances that we enjoy today took years to achieve and required major investment in R&D. Historically, the aerospace and defense (A&D) sector has relied heavily on the U.S. government to fund basic research and to mature resulting technology to a level where industry could commercialize it. With current intense fiscal pressure, R&D is at very great risk. This comes at a time when U.S. competitiveness and aerospace technological leadership is also at risk.

 

March 2012
Sharing Stewardship of the Federal Aeronautics RDT&E Infrastructure

The federal aeronautics RDT&E infrastructure (as addressed in the January 2011 update to the National Aeronautics RDT&E Infrastructure Plan and supporting the national aeronautics goals and objectives that are outlined in the February 2010 update to the National Aeronautics Research and Development Plan) is aging, operation and support costs are increasing, and Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) and Improvement and Modernization (I&M) investments have remained level or are declining. In addition, test programs are incentivized to utilize less effective and less capable facilities in the interest of reducing test costs, resulting in more capable ground and flight test facilities being underutilized, and thereby falling into a state of ever-decreasing readiness and repair.

 

March 2012
Ultra-Lightweight Materials for Aerospace

A national research and development program focused on providing the aerospace and automotive industries superior materials to enhance payload and energy efficiency is needed to meet national efficiency and environmental policy priorities. Investments in this area overseas present us with the potential for loss of our competitive position in aircraft and vehicle manufacture.

 

February 2011
An Actionable Strategy for Business and General Aviation
Business aviation has recently been subjected to political criticism because of a perception of corporate excess. The resulting negative image of General Aviation (GA) aircraft companies, the industry, and aircraft owners has contributed to a reduction in aircraft utilization, customer deferrals or cancellations on new orders, and an even gloomier outlook for the future. Manufacturers, suppliers, operators, and those who support the infrastructure have experienced significant negative impacts to deliveries and workforce leading to local, national, and international economic effects.

 

February 2009
An Actionable Strategy for Aeronautics Research is Required to Maintain American Leadership
This nation’s achievements in aviation have been decades in the making and have been driven by significant investments in research and development. While we are thankful for the recent National Aeronautics R&D Policy and Plan, we remain concerned that the goals and strategy outlined in the plan lack a timeline, assignment of agency responsibility, and most importantly, funding to achieve the required results.

 

February 2009
The Impact of Export Controls on the Domestic Aerospace Industry
Export Control policies originally designed to protect sensitive technologies and capabilities from adversarial regimes are a significant detriment to the security and advanced technology industrial base in the United States. Recent studies highlight the degree that the current export control regime suffers from divided authority and undue delays in adjudication, and aids those in competition with the domestic aerospace industry. New policies are needed that not only protect our most sensitive technologies for national security but also recognize that a robust U.S. aerospace industry must have the ability to compete in order for our economy and this keystone industrial sector to continue to contribute to national security objectives. We support the call for the President to task the Office of Science and Technology Policy to initiate, without delay, a review of current export control policies and procedures with a view to issuing recommendations that would incorporate a unified export control authority tasked to adjudicate and respond within a specified time period with justification for its decisions based on a net analysis of threat vs. economic impact.

 

September 2007
Critical Need for Continuing Operation of U.S. National Wind Tunnel Facilities
Wind tunnels are used to characterize the aerodynamics, stability and control, and propulsion parameters of vehicles ranging from automobiles to commercial airliners, missiles, and spacecraft for DoD, NASA and private industry. Without adequate, capable wind tunnels, the United States will not be able to effectively field new aerospace or advanced defense systems influenced by aerodynamics.

 

August 2006
Critical Need for Investing in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
As a means to better understand our fragile environment, as well as to potentially reduce societal anxiety, property damage, and loss of life from natural disasters, unmanned aircraft systems offer a complementary, valued-added means to improve our environmental and economic security at a time when the U.S. is most vulnerable.

Legislative & Regulatory Action

20 September 2012
The Impact of International Technology Transfer on American Research and Development
House Committee on Science and Technology- Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight- 20 September 2012-  The Oversight Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the impacts of International technology transfers on US federal and commercial R&D programs and policies.  The hearing can be viewed from the hearing webpage beginning at 1400 hrs EDT on 20 September.

 

12 September 2012
A Review of and Update on the Management of FAA’s NextGen Program -House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure-Subcommittee on Aviation Hearing.
The Subcommittee on Aviation will held a hearing to review an update on the management of the Federal Aviation Administration's NextGen Program.  A replay of the hearing can be viewed from the hearing webpage.

 

September 2012
GAO Report 12-981, Measuring Progress and Addressing Potential Privacy Concerns Would Facilitate Integration into the National Airspace System
The GAO has released a new report of their findings regarding the integration of unmanned aerial systems in the National Aerospace System.  The report updates the status of integration advancements since the previous study in 2008, and provides a list of limiting factors to integration and recommendations for moving UAVs into operations.

 

26 April 2012
An Overview of the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate Budget for the Fiscal Year 2013
House Committee on Science and Technology-Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Hearing.
The Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics will held a hearing to examine the President's proposed budget for NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate for FY2013.  AIAA member Dr. Wes Harris provided expert testimony at this hearing.  A replay of the hearing can be viewed from the hearing webpage.

 

25 April 2012
A Review of Aviation Safety in the United States - U.S. House Committee on Transportation - Subcommittee on Aviation Hearing.
The Subcommittee on Aviation held a hearing to examine the programs and processes that provide safety surity to the nation's air transportation system.  A replay of the hearing can be viewed from the hearing webpage.

 

18 February 2011
H.R. 549, To direct the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to establish and carry out a program to safely and feasibly address piston engine aircraft emissions, and for other purposes.
H.R. 549 would direct the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to establish a program to reduce or remove lead from the emissions of piston engine aircraft.

 

14 February 2011
S. 340, the Airport and Airway Trust Fund Reauthorization Act of 2011
S.340 would provide continued revenue authority to authorize national airport and air transportation system construction, improvements and modernization programs.

 

17 January 2011
S. 223, the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act of 2011
S.223 would modernize the air traffic control system, improve the safety, reliability, and availability of transportation by air in the United States, provide for modernization of the air traffic control system, and reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration.

Events

18 March 2011
Transformation of the Nation’s Air Traffic Management Capabilities and the Next Generation Air Transportation System
This panel discussion, held in the Capitol Visitors Center on Capitol Hill, examined capability needs, efficiency improvements, and timelines for implementing a new national air transportation system. The panel was moderated by Bruce Holmes, President & CEO of Holmes Consulting, LLC, and included Charles Huettner, Executive Director of the Aerospace States Association, Dr. Jaiwon Shin, Associate Administrator for NASA Aeronautics R&D, and Paul Fontaine, Acting Director of Research & Technology Development for the FAA and co-chair of the NextGen and Operations Planning Office.


July 2008
Terminal Chaos: Why U.S. Air Travel is Broken and How to Fix It
This discussion, held in the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC, focused on the complexities of modern air traffic management and control including the systemic issues that cause increasing delays in the nation’s air transportation system. The speakers, Dr. George L. Donohue, Professor of Systems Engineering and Operations Research, and Director of the Center for Air Transportation systems Research at George Mason University, and Dr. Russell D. Shaver III, a visiting research fellow in the Center for Air Transportation Systems Research at George Mason University and former Senior Research Analyst at the RAND Corporation, provided an analysis of the current system including where short term fixes are available, and a plan for implementing processes and technology to address long term system concerns and meet growing air transportation demands. The panelists are the authors of a book by the same name which provides a detailed examination of the current system and of their comprehensive recommendations to improve this system. Terminal Chaos: Why U.S. Air Travel is Broken and How to Fix It can be purchased through AIAA.