Full Committee Markup -- H.Res. 487
Opening Statement By Chairman Bart Gordon
Good morning. Today the Committee is meeting to mark up two good pieces of legislation that have bipartisan support.
The first bill that we will consider today is H.R. 2698, the Federal Aviation Research and Development Reauthorization Act of 2007.
H. R. 2698 was introduced by Chairman Udall, and I was pleased to be an original cosponsor of the legislation.
The Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee met last Thursday to consider H.R. 2698 and favorably reported the bill by voice vote without amendment.
I want to thank and congratulate Members of the Subcommittee for their hard work and bipartisan cooperation on this bill.
There are two central features to the legislation before us today.
The first is a set of provisions intended to strengthen both the authority and the accountability of the Next Generation Air Transportation System’s Joint Planning and Development Office—JPDO—because its success or failure is going to determine in large measure whether or not the nation will have a safe and efficient air traffic management system in the future.
The second feature is a four-year authorization of FAA’s research and development activities, including the establishment of important new research initiatives on the impact of space weather on aviation, the impact of aviation on the climate, research on runway materials and engineered materials restraining systems, among others.
I believe each of those new initiatives will better position the FAA to respond to emerging research challenges.
As I have noted, the focus of today’s markup is FAA’s R&D program and the Next Generation Air Transportation System initiative.
However, it is clear that FAA cannot ensure the successful development of the nation’s future air transportation system on its own.
As the establishment of the interagency JPDO by Congress four years ago indicates, it is going to take the combined efforts of multiple federal agencies, working in partnership with industry and the academic community, to make the NextGen initiative a success.
NASA, in particular, has an important R&D role to play, and we will need to ensure that NASA is given the necessary resources to play that role, and—in turn—that NASA steps up to its responsibilities for conducting needed R&D.
That is something that the Committee will devote more attention to as we start work on reauthorizing NASA later in this Congress.
For now, however, our focus is on the FAA, and I think that H.R. 2698 is a good bill that will help ensure that America’s aviation system remains safe and preeminent in the world.
I urge my colleagues to support it.
Today, we will also take up H.Res. 487, Recognizing the contribution of modeling and simulation technology to the security and prosperity of the United States, and recognizing modeling and simulation as a National Critical Technology.
Recognizing the contribution of modeling and simulation technology to the security and prosperity of the United States, and recognizing modeling and simulation as a National Critical Technology
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