White Papers

A paper that offers information or proposals on a particular issue. From time to time AIAA, sister societies, and other constituent groups will collaboratively author such papers of relevance to our common audiences and reflect our common interests. These papers may include formal recommendations of government action on the issue. Following are AIAA's public policy white papers in chronological order:

 Aeronautics R&D Policy Platform Paper

21 October 2020: The Institute’s Public Policy Committee has developed an aeronautics R&D policy platform paper that highlights the importance of the aviation industry to our nation’s economic engine and our interconnectedness to the world. More specifically, the paper calls for continued long-term federal investments to allow for the stabilization and potential future growth of the industry during these unprecedented times. This includes robust government support of basic research that is often the source of technological breakthroughs fueling America's engine of innovation. We have also identified several key advancements in aeronautics and civil aviation that must be addressed to safeguard ongoing U.S. leadership.

 Space Policy Platform Paper

10 September 2020: The Institute’s Public Policy Committee has developed a space policy platform paper in advance of the 2020 election. The paper highlights the importance of our space activities and the need for continued investments in space-related federal programs. More specifically, it calls for a continuity of policies and programs to maintain “constancy of purpose” and prevent excessive cost and delay, as well as a whole-of-government approach to build on successful past policies and programs. AIAA has identified several themes that must be addressed to ensure ongoing global leadership, maintain space superiority over our adversaries, and expand the benefits of this highly technological sector for our society.

 Addressing COVID-19 Challenges to U.S. Aerospace and Defense

3 June 2020: AIAA’s Public Policy Committee crafted this white paper in an effort to identify the most harmful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that will require both immediate and longer-term measures to enable the A&D industry to return to full operations. This paper is the first step of an AIAA outreach campaign to highlight how a healthy A&D industry will play a critical role in safely leading the nation back to a healthy and prosperous future.

 National A&D Workforce Summit: Proceedings Report

5 January 2017: AIAA teamed with the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) to organize and host the 2016 National Aerospace and Defense Workforce Summit: Collaborating to Inspire and Build the Aerospace Workforce of Tomorrow. The forum, which took place 7–8 September 2016, in Washington, DC, convened nearly 150 leaders from academia, government, industry, and non-government organizations.

Both organizations published a proceedings report of the summit, intended to shape our own strategies on STEM education and workforce development. The report includes information presented during the summit, data regarding the latest trends and challenges in STEM workforce development, recommendations for the new administration and 115th Congress, and suggestions for stakeholder collaboration to address the aerospace and defense industry’s most urgent workforce-related issues.

 FY17 NASA Aeronautics Funding

17 March 2016: AIAA joined the Aerospace Industries Association to release a joint white paper to help justify and support NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) priorities. The President has requested $790 million for ARMD in Fiscal Year 2017, $150 million (or 23 percent) above its Fiscal Year 2016 appropriation. This increase supports a 10-year, $10.6 billion plan that includes the accelerated development of several experimental “X-planes” to demonstrate and validate the ability to fly at supersonic speed over land and new environmentally friendly technologies that dramatically reduce fuel consumption, emissions, and noise.

 Ensuring U.S. Leadership in Space

4 March 2016: A coalition of space organizations released a joint white paper titled “Ensuring US Leadership in Space” at a National Press Club Newsmaker news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The work highlights and addresses the challenges facing continued U.S. exploration and use of space, and the need for the next administration and Congress to make space policy a priority. The paper offers sensible policy solutions to the four most common challenges that continued space exploration and use efforts face – unpredictable budgeting, foreign competition, the hostile space environment, and workforce trends.

 A Framework for Aviation Cybersecurity

13 August 2013: AIAA officially released its decision paper “A Framework for Aviation Cybersecurity” during the 2013 AIAA AVIATION Forum, held in Los Angeles. The paper outlines the existing and evolving cyber threat to the world’s $2.2 trillion commercial aviation enterprise, and notes the lack of international agreement on cybersecurity as it relates to aviation. AIAA President-Elect Jim Albaugh said, “It is my hope that the world’s aviation community implements the framework proposed in this paper, to better safeguard and ensure the future of aviation. Only a vigilant, unified, and coordinated approach will allow us to craft the best possible defenses against the sophisticated and ever-evolving range of threats we face.”