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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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    Policy Papers Guidelines

    Purpose

    AIAA public policy statements and papers are prepared to convey educational and informational material and may express views on and ideas for action by the government (the U.S. Congress and executive branch departments/agencies, and state legislatures) addressing issues of interest or concern to AIAA members. They are a mechanism by which AIAA members contribute to crafting or implementing government solutions to problems. Any AIAA member may initiate AIAA public policy statements including representatives from AIAA Sections, Technical and/or Program Committees, and the Public Policy Committee.

    Paper Types

    AIAA has established three categories of public policy statements:

        1. AIAA Information Paper: A paper that provides information only – with no formal recommendation for a course of action. This paper is the least formal of the Public Policy Committee papers.

        2. AIAA Member/Group Position Paper: A statement which provides an objective and balanced analysis of an issue and which states the position of the sponsoring AIAA individual, committee or group, on that issue. Unlike the Information Paper, the Position Paper may include formal recommendations of Government action on the issue. It is important to note that this paper represents the views of the authoring group / committee, but not necessarily the views of AIAA.

        3. AIAA Position Paper: A paper which provides an objective and balanced study with a clear AIAA position on the best course of action by government to address issues of interest or concern to AIAA members. This is the most stringent of the Public Policy Papers, and therefore has the strictest guidelines for approval. Each type of paper carries with it differing levels of approvals needed in order to publish the position paper. The intention of these authorizations is not to complicate the process, but rather to ensure that policy papers are of the highest quality, which our industry has come to expect from AIAA. Any properly constituted individual or committee of AIAA contemplating statements to the public or government (other than normal informative press releases reporting fact or occurrences) should carefully choose in advance which type of statement is desired.

    Getting Started

    Please alert AIAA Government Relations staff representative, Steve Howell, prior to the crafting of your policy paper by contacting AIAA Public Policy Paper Staff Liaison Steve Howell via e-mail at steveh@aiaa.org or telephone at 703.264.7525. He will be able to provide you with the necessary tools in order to begin the process, as well as help to ferry your paper through the process.

    Criteria

    The following criteria will be used to assess whether the AIAA should pursue the preparation of a specific policy paper. The paper shall:

        1. Be technically and factually accurate.

        2. Be on a policy issue of current or emerging importance, and should address technical or professional issues germane to the aerospace field.

        3. Be written in a manner appropriate to effectively communicate your message with the intended audience; that is legislators, Administration decision-makers, and their staffs, as well as media professionals.

        4. Identify the specific audience and the desired outcome of publishing the paper.

        5. Read easily, have a clear message, be consistent and be grammatically correct.

        6. When a previous position exists, be consistent with previous AIAA positions, or in the event in which the paper diverts from previous AIAA position statements, the paper shall address the need for a policy change (eg. New revelations, new developments or new/emerging technologies).

        7. Have a justified position, not relying on opinions, and it should contain sufficient supporting material to exist as a stand-alone document. Additionally, when submitted, the authoring member / group shall provide the reviewers with the intended audience and desired outcome of the policy paper.

    Statement Attribution

    Position statements must include a statement attribution, which contains the following three elements:
        1. Full organizational identification of the author group;
        2. Reference to the author group's special expertise to address the issue; and
        3. The following sentence, in its entirety: "This statement reflects the expert views of (author group name) and is not necessarily a position of AIAA at large."

    Types Of Positions

    AIAA policy papers may be issued in response to government action, or to recommend a course of action by the government. Examples of each follow.
        1. In response to government actions: Responses to government actions on issues (bills, regulations, executive policies, orders and proposals, etc.). This type of position statement should include:
            a. A statement of position such as:
                i. "AIAA/group supports/applauds/ agrees /etc."; or
                ii. "AIAA/group opposes/disagrees/etc"; or
            b. Support/reason for the position

        2. Providing a recommended course of action: Recommendations initiated by AIAA groups to encourage action by government to address issues (e.g., bills, regulations, executive branch policies, etc.) This type of paper should include:

            a. Specific recommendations for government action (for example, to introduce legislation to _________, establish a policy to __________).
            b. Support/reason for the recommendation(s).

    Audience

    AIAA policy papers may be primarily directed to non-technical people in state (state legislatures, Governors) or in the federal (Congress, the President and Agency heads) government. For that reason, it is important to remember the audience, and remember that technical issues should be explained thoroughly, yet in a way easily understood by a lay-person.

    Format Guidelines

    Specific Purpose: The purpose of the paper will determine certain aspects of style. For example, on statements going to Congress, the cover sheet and the opening paragraph will differ depending upon whether it is oral testimony, written testimony, or an unsolicited statement. Regulatory comments are usually issued in the form of a letter. AIAA Government Relations staff will assist in preparing suitable openings and closings in accordance with established protocol.

    Length: The specific length of the paper varies and is determined by the type of paper being drafted. While there is no definitive length, below are some recommended paper lengths. Again, keep in mind most times the audience is non-technical, and often times the more brief the document, the better.
            a. An Information Paper should be clear, concise and brief – making the information easily digestible by theintended audience. It is recommended that these papers not be more then one-page in length.
            b. Member and AIAA Position Papers’ length may vary, depending on whether the position paper is in response to a government action, or includes specific recommendations for government action.
                i. Response to Government Action: Preferred length of this type of document is 1-3 pages, and may include a clearly identified executive summary. Must include a cover sheet.
                ii. Recommendations calling for Government Action: Preferred length for this document varies, however should fall between 3-7 pages. This paper must include a clearly identified executive summary, as well as clearly labeled sections identifying the purpose, background and recommendations. Must include a cover sheet.

    Paper length may be longer or shorter than the recommended lengths, however authors should be prepared to remove unnecessary language from submitted drafts. Please refer to the Appendix for examples of a cover sheet, as well as an example of paper structure. Papers exceeding four pages should also include an executive summary that includes the purpose for writing the paper, the facts in brief, and the conclusions/recommendations in brief.

    Editing Support

    AIAA groups developing public policy statements are encouraged to work closely with the AIAA Government Relations staff from the early stages. Staff typically performs the final edit on statements to ensure that the style is effective for the government audience. Technical content is not altered. The edited final draft is furnished to the author for approval before the paper is finalized. It is very helpful if author groups are able to furnish their statements electronically for processing using MS Word software.

    Note: Although individual groups may issue statements by following the guidelines, often more than one group will develop or sign-off on a statement when there is shared interest in the issue. It is the policy of the AIAA Public Policy Committee that all groups within AIAA having an interest in the topics addressed in a statement have the opportunity to review it prior to release. To avoid or address conflicts with previously issued statements, Government Relations staff will conduct a file search before a statement can be released.

    Approval Process

            1. Submission: Papers are to be submitted electronically to the AIAA Government Affairs Policy Paper Liaison. This submission must include the draft paper (in an electronic format, which allows for editing) as well as a letter certifying the chair(s) of the appropriate technical committee(s) and/or appropriate subcommittee(s) of the Public Policy Committee (PPC) with jurisdiction approves the paper. Without this certification, the paper cannot move forward in the process.        

            2. Initial Staff Review: Once a paper has been certified by the appropriate technical committee(s) and/or applicable subcommittee(s) of the PPC, AIAA Government Relations staff will do an initial review of the paper. This review will be an initial brief review of topic relevance and proper grammar. Staff recommendations will be sent to the originating author for edits if necessary. Upon addressing recommendations, the paper will be submitted to the next step.

    At this point in the review process, the type of paper determines the approval track. If submitting an information paper, please go to step 3.1.  If submitting a member / group position paper, please go to step  3.2.  If submitting an AIAA position paper, please skip below to step 3.3.

            3.1 Information Paper: The draft information paper is submitted to the Vice President of Public Policy, as well as the chair of the appropriate PPC subcommittee – for subcommittee review. The VP and subcommittee will then make the following decision:

                    a. Concur: The information paper was approved by the PPC Vice President and the appropriate subcommittee, and can now be published.
                    b. Concur with recommendations: The PPC Vice President and appropriate subcommittee approve the information paper provided the recommendations they provide are made. Once PPC recommendations are addressed, the paper’s author must resubmit to AIAA Government Affairs staff – and staff will certify that the proper edits have been made. At this point, the information paper can now be published.
                    c. Non-concurrence: The information paper was rejected by the PPC, and will not be published. 

            3.2 Group Position Paper: The draft group position paper is submitted to the Vice Presidents of the Public Policy and Technical Activities who in turn will form an ad hoc review committee consisting of those Vice President’s as well as the chair of the appropriate subcommittee(s) of the PPC and Technical Activities Committee (TAC) for review.

                    a. Concur: The information paper was approved by the VPs of Public Policy and Technical Activities as well as the appropriate subcommittee(s), and can now be published.
                    b. Concur with recommendations: The VPs of Public Policy and Technical Activities as well as appropriate subcommittee(s) approve the information paper provided the recommendations they provide are made. Once PPC recommendations are addressed, the paper’s author must resubmit to AIAA Government Affairs staff – and staff will certify that the proper edits have been made. At this point, the information paper can now be published.
                    c. Non-concurrence: The information paper was rejected by one or both of the VPs of Public Policy and Technical Activities with consideration of input from applicable subcommittees, and will not be published.

    Reasons for non-concurrence will be returned to the author and/or group
            3.3 Position Paper: The draft position paper is submitted to the Vice Presidents of Public Policy and Technical Activities, as well as the chair(s) of the appropriate subcommittee(s) in the PPC and TAC for review.

                    a. Subcommittee Concurrence: The appropriate PPC and TAC subcommittees will review the position paper, concur, concur with edits or non-concur with the position paper. With the subcommittees’ concurrence, the position paper will be allowed to go onto to full committee review in the PPC and TAC. If the subcommittees do not concur with the paper, the paper will not be submitted to the entire PPC and TAC for approval. Reasons for non-concurrence will be returned to the author and/or group

                    b. Committee Concurrence: The VPs of Public Policy and Technical Activities will coordinate with their respective committees to have a vote of approval for the position paper. The PPC will review the paper for relevance and timeliness in current national policy realities, for pragmatic application of recommendations, and for diplomatic tact of the overall content of the paper. The TAC will review the paper for technical accuracy both in the background provided, and in the assumptions provided in any recommendations in the paper. The PPC and TAC can concur, concur with edits or non-concur. If the committees do not concur with the paper, the paper will not be submitted to the Board of Directors for approval. The PPC and/or TAC will provide a statement on returned papers providing the reasoning for rejection. If the committees concur with edits, both the author, or authoring group, and the other standing committee must approve of the edits to move forward.

                    c. Executive Committee (TAC-PPC, including VP-TAC, VP-PPC and designees) in cases where minor edits to technical content are recommended, a review will be conducted for edits to content and context and the ad hoc executive committee will make a decision on a timeline agreed to by the two VPs not to exceed 30 days.

                    d. Board of Directors Concurrence: In the final step, the AIAA Board of Directors will review the position paper, and choose to either concur or not concur. Non-concurrence will not allow the paper to be published. With the Board’s approval, the paper can be published. The process by which papers will be approved may be somewhat time consuming, and therefore patience is necessary throughout the process. Below is the timetable for completion of each step of the process (Timelines are given in calendar days).

    Information Paper:
        1. Submission – No timeframe on how long it takes for an individual or group to complete a draft policy paper.
        2. Initial Staff Review – 10 days from submission
        3. Information Paper Response – 10 days from completion of the VP and staff review.

    Group Position Paper
        1. Submission – No timeframe on how long it takes for an individual or group to complete a draft policy paper. Paper must have the explicit approval of the group that it is to represent.
        2. Initial Staff Review – 10 days from submission
        3. Group Position Paper Response (PPC and TAC via Executive Committees) – 45 days (concurrently) from completion of staff review. No response would be considered implicit approval.

    Position Paper:
        1. Submission – No timeframe on how long it takes for an individual or group to complete a draft policy paper.
        2. Initial Staff Review – 10 days from submission
        3. Position Paper Response (PPC and TAC) – 45 days (concurrently) from completion of staff review. No response would be considered implicit approval.
            a. Executive Committee- (TAC-PPC, including VP-TAC, VP-PPC and designees) a timeline agreed to by the two VPs not to exceed 30 days.
        4. Position Paper Response (Board of Directors) – 45 days from notification from PPC and TAC approval.