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Public Statements

FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LoBIONDO. Mr. Chairman, I would like to start by thanking Chairman Mica. I'd like to also thank Mr. Petri and Mr. Costello.

This is a very simple amendment. It allows the FAA to assist in establishing a NextGen Research and Development Center of Excellence. The center would leverage the FAA's existing Centers of Excellence Program, a program that relies on university partnerships to address ongoing FAA research and development challenges.

The NextGen Research and Development Center of Excellence would provide educational, technical, and analytical assistance to the FAA and other agencies involved in the development of NextGen. In essence, it would be a force multiplier.

NextGen is a complete revamping of our National Airspace System from the current radar-based system to a state-of-the-art satellite, or GPS-based, technology. Once fully implemented, NextGen will provide a host of benefits for the more precise tracking of aircraft, fuel savings, and noise reduction. As a result, the entire aviation community would be benefited, as would the Nation.

I believe the Centers of Excellence model could be extremely beneficial to the FAA's NextGen efforts. Centers of Excellence allow the FAA to partner with universities and industry on important aviation research issues. Since 1990, 8 Centers of Excellence have been formed with more than 60 university partners and over 200 industry and government affiliates.

These Centers have fueled innovative research in a variety of areas such as noise and emissions mitigation, airworthiness, and the use of advanced materials.

I believe the FAA would benefit by applying the Centers of Excellence model to the challenges of NextGen. My amendment would give the FAA the authority to move in this direction.

I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.


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