Aeronautics Innovation Act intended to revitalize aeronautics, restore excellence in aviation

June 17, 2016
WASHINGTON, 17 June 2016. Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) has introduced a bill to give “aeronautics research and development (R&D) the policy continuity and budget stability necessary to achieve national goals.”

WASHINGTON, 17 June 2016. Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) has introduced a bill to give “aeronautics research and development (R&D) the policy continuity and budget stability necessary to achieve national goals.”

“Aeronautics is the first ‘A’ in NASA. It sustains our military dominance and fuels the next great leaps in the civil air transportation system on which all Americans rely,” recognizes Rep. Knight. The bill is intended to “present a bold vision to revitalize America’s commitment to the study, design, and manufacturing of advanced aircraft.”

H.R. 5466, the Aeronautics Innovation Act, lays out a roadmap for American aerospace with the goal of developing aeronautics programs that can face the challenges of the 21st century. A handful of government projects and initiatives currently support aeronautics research and development, but a lack of coordination and funding inhibits their potential. Knight anticipates that the Aeronautics Innovation Act would address this problem by establishing long-term goals, promoting interagency cooperation, and directing Congress to commit to funding the necessary programs.

In the bill, Rep. Knight acknowledges an impending era of new and extensive challenges to U.S. air dominance, and outlines a plan for creating new national aeronautics programs that can secure commercial and military aviation leadership. The plan includes the establishment of five full-scale experimental plane and systems programs (often called the X- program), elevating efforts to coordinate and strengthen hypersonics programs across the Federal Government, and establishing an investment fund to upgrade and create new facilities to ensure NASA has the capability to pursue a path to flight for each of the Act’s proposed demonstration projects.

“The Aeronautics Innovation Act is a roadmap to restoring American aeronautics to its full potential, which is crucial for our national defense and economic growth,” Knight says. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress, with the relevant agencies, and with our partners in the private sector to make this vision a reality.”

Rep. Knight introduced the Aeronautics Innovation Act after he discussed its importance at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aviation Forum in Washington. The bill now awaits assignment to committee.

AIA insights:

“This is an issue Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) strongly supports,” Daniel N. Stohr, director of communications at AIA in Arlington, Virginia. “In fact, AIA President and CEO Dave Melcher spoke at a NASA Aeronautics news conference on February 29 on this precise topic:

“We look forward to working with Congressman Knight in support of vital aeronautics research and development projects to ensure continued American success in this field as the security environment grows ever more complex and competitive,” Stohr adds.

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