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Letter to the Honorable Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, and U.S. Representatives Lynn Jenkins and Mike Pompeo sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to support two Kansas universities, Wichita State University and Kansas State University, in their role as members of the Center of Excellence for General Aviation Research (CGAR).

CGAR is a cost-sharing partnership made up of a coalition of universities that perform critical general aviation research to keep the nation and state competitive in the aviation industry. Secretary LaHood must establish a new Center of Excellence for general aviation safety matters.

Wichita State University and Kansas State University are part of the existing CGAR that has operated successfully for 10 years.

The following is the text of the letter calling on Secretary LaHood to avoid wasting millions in taxpayer dollars in establishing a new CGAR when the previous CGAR is already working hard on the research:

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.

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