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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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    Energy & Environment

    Energy & Environment

    The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) represents the aerospace endeavor and the technical professionals which supports it. The AIAA Strategic Plan provides four core charges for its advocacy programs:


    • 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 to 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 those programs and the associated industries employ.

    Policy Priorities

    Harnessing Aerospace Experience and Capabilities for Achieving Modern Earth and Climate Information Systems and Services- National attention and debate on addressing climate and environmental change and associated impacts has reached the point of requiring concrete solutions that build upon ongoing research to provide information and services akin to weather forecasting. Use of aerospace experience, technologies, and systems will help to establish a viable framework for investment targeted at integrating critical space, air, ocean, and land-based monitoring systems for more precise understanding of climate and environmental change rather than relying on our current outdated patchwork of monitoring networks.

    Enabling Development of Alternative Fuels and Energy Efficient Aviation Systems- To enable future growth in the aerospace industry, the U.S. must develop sustainable alternative fuels and technologies that improve energy efficiency so that the environmental impact of aviation systems is mitigated. This will require improving the compatibility of aviation systems and the environment is to develop technologies that substantially increase energy efficiency. While a number of government agencies are engaged in research and development in these critical areas, enhanced coordination to tie together existing technology development roadmaps would be very beneficial to the aviation enterprise.

    Position Statements

    February 2011
    A National Strategy is Required to Address Obstacles to Sustainable Alternative Aviation Fuels
    Over the past several years, multiple sources of alternative feedstocks have been considered. There is general agreement that this nation’s fuel situation will not be resolved by only one feedstock. With no clear national mandate, coordination across agencies and with the private sector is less than optimal. A comprehensive approach with good science, the right metrics and multiple cost-effective measures is needed.


    January 2010
    Essential Capabilities for Operational Climate Change Monitoring
    Data gathered by advancing space and air-based assets add critical new elements to what we currently know about Global Climate Change (GCC). The 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) directly attributes scientific confidence regarding climate change to the reduced data uncertainty enabled by space-based monitoring assets. Sustained, operational climate monitoring and mitigation compliance verification must rely on a combination of extensions of existing capabilities and new, more advanced aerospace-derived technical means. This monitoring system will be critical to furthering our understanding about the changing planet, to providing improved environmental intelligence for guiding adaptation, and to delivering international agreement compliance verification capabilities.


    February 2009
    Aviation’s Role in Minimizing Environmental Impacts
    With air travel projected to increase over the next decade, there is growing recognition of the impact of aviation on the environment. Current US policy includes goals to reduce fuel consumption and lessen aviation’s impact on the environment. Aeronautics technology can reduce aviation noise, reduce greenhouse gases and lessen dependence on foreign oil.

    Legislative & Regulatory Action

    27 January 2011
    S.223, the “FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act of 2011”
    Sec. 603 directs the Secretary of Transportation to establish a research grant program that includes participation of Centers of Excellence for Alternative Jet-Fuel Research in Civil Aircraft to develop technologies that produce jet fuel from natural gas, biomass, and other renewable sources. Sec. 604 directs the Secretary to establish a research program that includes participation of Centers of Excellence for Coal-to-Jet Fuel Research to develop technologies that produce jet fuel from clean coal.


    8 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
    Directs the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to establish a program to reduce or remove lead from the emissions of piston engine aircraft.


    21 September 2009
    Climate Change Data Calibration: “Finding Order out of Chaos”
    AIAA held a discussion panel on the need for scientific data calibration in measuring Climate Change and the impacts the data will have on current and future policy on 21 September, in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC. Panelists included Chris Scolese, NASA Associate Administrator; Eric Webster, Vice President, Government and Industry Partnerships, ITT Corp.; Jon Malay, Director, Civil Space and Environment Programs, Lockheed Martin Corp.; Dr. Philip Ardanuy, Chief Scientist, Raytheon Information Solutions; Ron Birk, Director, Mission Integration Civil Systems Division, Northrop Grumman; Michael H. Freilich, Director, Earth Science Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA; Nancy Colleton, Executive Director, Alliance for Earth Observation; and Dr. Molly Macauley, Resources for the Future.