RESTON, Va. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) applauds the passage of the $1.3 trillion FY2018 omnibus package, which includes $654.6 billion for the Department of Defense inclusive of an $800 million net increase for Air Force space programs; $20.7 billion for NASA, an increase of almost $1.1 billion over FY2017; $18 billion for the FAA and a six-month extension of the agency’s authorization; $7.8 billion for National Science Foundation (NSF), growing the agency’s research account by about 5 percent; and $5.9 billion for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an increase of $234 million over FY2017.
“Nearly six months into the current fiscal year, this important appropriations package finally gives our departments and agencies the necessary funding to continue their vital work in our national interests,” says AIAA President Jim Maser. “While this breakthrough is welcome, we must acknowledge the fact that Congress has not funded the federal government by the start of the new fiscal year in over 20 years. This unpredictable fiscal environment creates short-term perspectives, increasing the risk of delayed aerospace initiatives and the constant threat of important programs being terminated or scaled back to suboptimal levels. A return to a regular and timely appropriations process is essential.
"We also urge lawmakers to come to a consensus and pass a long-term FAA authorization bill. Adequate funding and sound policy direction will go a long way in successfully implementing NextGen, integrating unmanned aerial vehicles into the National Airspace System, advancing commercial space transportation operations, and streamlining the certification process of new aircraft, among other things.”
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is nearly 30,000 engineers and scientists, and 95 corporate members, from 85 countries who are dedicated to advancing the global aerospace profession. The world’s largest aerospace technical society, the Institute convenes five yearly forums; publishes books, technical journals, and Aerospace America; hosts a collection of 160,000 technical papers; develops and maintains standards; honors and celebrates achievement; and advocates on policy issues, officials say.
AIAA serves aerospace professionals around the world—who are shaping the future of aerospace—by providing the tools, insights, and collaborative exchanges to advance the state of the art in engineering and science for aviation, space, and defense.