Honorable Ray LaHood
Secretary of Transportation
Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20590
Dear Mr. Secretary:
As you make a final decision regarding the new Federal Aviation Center of Excellence for General Aviation Research (CGAR), we wanted to express our strong support for the current coalition of universities comprising this important center of excellence.
As you know, the goal of CGAR is to enhance research efforts designed to advance general aviation technology to meet the needs of the U.S. general aviation industry in the short and long term. Over the past 10 years, this current group of universities comprising the center of excellence has succeeded in accomplishing this goal, and have played a significant role in making aviation our country's number one export; helping to further President Obama's 2010 initiative to double our nation's exports by 2015.
With a geographically diverse coalition of schools across the country led by the University of North Dakota; Wichita State University and Kansas State University have teamed up with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the University of Alaska, Middle Tennessee State University, Rutgers University, Lewis University, Drexel University, and Arizona State University to provide critical research and development necessary to keep our nation's general aviation industry competitive with foreign countries. With the expertise and technological facilities already in place within the current center, it would seem fiscally irresponsible to spend millions of dollars bringing a new center up to the level that already exists today.
Again thank you for your time and consideration regarding this important selection process. We look forward to your response and to working with you in the future on strengthening our nation's aviation sector.