Language in FAA Bill Would Have Set up Advisory Panel to Consider Transferring Research to Other Federal Agencies, Academia, or Non-Profits
WASHINGTON, D.C.—An amendment supported by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) preserving civil aeronautics research and development at NASA passed the Senate this morning as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill.
Existing language (“Section 605”) of the FAA reauthorization bill would have established an Advisory Committee on the Future of Aeronautics to, among other purposes, consider transferring the responsibility for civil aeronautics research and development—a key mission of NASA Glenn—from NASA to other existing departments or agencies of the federal government, to an academic consortia, or to a non-profit. Brown’s amendment, which passed 96-1, stripped this language from the FAA bill and ensured that civil aeronautics research and development would remain a central mission at NASA.
“Aeronautics research is at the heart and soul of NASA’s mission, and any attempt to strip those responsibilities from that agency cannot and should not stand,” Brown said. “NASA centers—including NASA Glenn—are stewards and operators of the nation’s civil aeronautics research and development test infrastructure.”
“This is a question of maintaining our space, aeronautics, and economic competitiveness. One of our nation’s top manufacturing exports is aerospace, which includes civilian aircraft components. And aerospace is key for the United States to maintain its cutting-edge leadership in aerospace technology development,” Brown continued. “This harmful provision would have jeopardized our dominance in aerospace and shift the very programs that have strengthened our nation’s global leadership away from the expertise and experience at NASA. That’s why, along with Senator Bill Nelson, I pushed to have this harmful language stripped from the FAA bill to ensure that civil aeronautics research and development stays right where it belongs—at NASA.”