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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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Position Papers

Position Papers

AIAA Position Papers provide objective and balanced studies with a clear AIAA position on the best course of action by government to address issues of interest or concern to AIAA members.

Any AIAA member may initiate AIAA Policy Papers including representatives from AIAA Sections, Technical and/or Program Committees, and the Public Policy Committee.

Click here to review the guidelines for submitting a policy paper. Please contact Steve Sidorek at, or 703.264.7541 for more information.

Following are AIAA's Public Policy position papers in chronological order:


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.

Robust Implementation of Lunar Settlements with Commercial and International Enterprise [Moon Base 2015]


The Versatile Affordable Advanced Turbine Engines (VAATE) Initiative 
The aircraft gas turbine engine has played a preeminent role in establishing and maintaining the air dominance that U.S. military forces have enjoyed for many years. Future warfighter requirements continue to drive us to more capable, durable, and cost-effective aircraft systems.  Although these systems can be achieved only through even greater advancement in jet propulsion capability, U.S. DOD investment in turbine engine research has been drastically reduced over the last few years. Unless this trend is reversed, we will be unable to meet the requirements of the military’s new transformational environment.


Protecting Earth from Asteroids and Comets
It is clear that the world community is only in the very early stages of developing deflectiontechnologies. Much work must be done before a deflection mission can be fielded with any confidence that it would actually be successful in reducing the likelihood of impact.  The success of a deflection mission will depend on public funding and support and, as a result, increasing public awareness of the NEO threat is important. Providing credible information on past impacts, on observed and predicted close approaches, and on mitigation activities will increase public awareness that impacts do happen and that the possibility of future impacts is not being ignored.

Recommended Government Actions to Address Critical U.S. Space Logistics Needs



Assuring Effective International Space Station Utilization
While the cost of completing ISS development and of operating the ISS must be limited to an acceptable level, an effort must also be made to get an adequate return on that investment by assuring its effective utilization for scientific research.


Seeking the Proper Balance Between Simulation and Flight Test
This paper examines the past and present roles of modeling and simulation (M&S) in lieu of, or in support of, the developmental engineering flight testing of aircraft and airborne systems. However, it should be noted that much of the commentary also applies to space systems. It posits that both M&S and flight testing are essential for efficient and effective development of such systems. It demonstrates, however, that the proper balance of the two must be based on sound engineering and programmatic analysis of their respective capabilities, benefits and disadvantages. At this time such a rigorous evaluation is rare, contributing to demonstrated  or potential testing mishaps, poor development methodology, cost and schedule impacts, and deficient systems.

Export Control Policy and the U.S. Satellite Industry


Responding to the Potential Threat of a Near-Earth-Object Impact

Space Nuclear Power: Key to Outer Solar System Exploration