From: The Honorable Stephen Knight
Current signers: Steve Knight (CA), Marcy Kaptur (OH), Steve Stivers (OH), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Derek Kilmer (WA), Jim Renacci (OH), Tim Ryan (OH)
Closing: Thursday, 3/9
Please join us in encouraging President Trump to support a NASA budget that can sustain the agency’s core missions, particularly those in aeronautics.
As you know, President Trump has announced his intention to move the U.S. forward on our Journey to Mars, rebuild our infrastructure, and restore the strength of our military. Last week, we learned that the administration also plans to make significant cuts
to a large number of federal agencies, possibly including NASA. It is important that we show our support for the agency and communicate that NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate plays important roles in all three of the aforementioned goals.
NASA has created a Strategic Implementation Plan based around roadmaps in aviation technology that are essential to the future of commerce. The next few years are critical to following through on these efforts, including:
1) Proving the technology that will be used in tomorrow’s civil aviation and military fleets. Several foreign governments are working on quieter, faster, and more efficient aircraft that can leapfrog the aircraft designs U.S. manufacturers now build, which
could potentially displace U.S.-built commercial and general aviation aircraft and cause severe damage to our aerospace manufacturing base.
2) Developing the systems to integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into our airspace. The first country that does this will give its domestic businesses first-mover advantage in countless economic opportunities.
Other countries – notably China, Russia, France, and Japan – are investing heavily in these same technologies. Should another country develop these capabilities before the U.S., air fleet operators would have strong incentives to purchase aircraft from that
first mover, and other governments may even pass regulations that forbid the import of U.S.-made aircraft. This would be devastating to the U.S. aerospace industry, which adds $146 billion to our export economy. This is not simply a commercial industry. It
is the same manufacturing base that produces military aircraft that are fundamental to our military power projection.
As technology brings rapid changes to the global economy, it’s important that the U.S. be at the leading edge. Forgoing investment would put our private sector in a position of playing catchup, which would not only mean lost jobs, but lost control of industries
and our own economic destiny. If you have any questions, please contact Adam Brooks in Representative Steve Knight’s office at
Adam.Brooks@mail.house.gov or T.J. Lowdermilk in Representative Marcy Kaptur’s office at
Steve Knight Marcy Kaptur
Member of Congress Member of Congress
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Trump,
As you refine agency programs to implement your agenda, we write to respectfully urge support for a NASA account critical to our shared goals of revitalizing America’s infrastructure and manufacturing for the 21st century.
Just as our roads and bridges are vital to the movement of people and products, our investment in NASA underpins our modern aviation infrastructure and economic system. Civil aviation contributes approximately $1.6 trillion to the national economy
and supports about 11 million jobs. The most efficient and quickest way to move is by air. In 2014 alone, air carriers transported 871.8 million passengers and 64.1 billion revenue ton-miles of cargo.
That is why it is absolutely necessary we work to strengthen NASA by funding its budget with sufficient capital to pursue each of its core technology roadmaps. This includes the carefully formed steps of the NASA Aeronautics Strategic Implementation
Plan. We ask that you support $790 million funding level for NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) in your Fiscal Year 2018 budget request. This would enhance the directorate’s capacity to pursue its strategy in a timely fashion.
NASA’s Aeronautics directorate is working on a new series of X-planes through computational, ground test, and wind tunnel work. This is the next generation of supersonic, quieter and more efficient, and hybrid-electric aircraft that near-future regulatory
and competitive environments will demand. It is time to put these technologies together on test aircraft and fly them. Foreign governments are hard at work to advance these technologies, and could soon surpass our capabilities. The first nation to develop
the next generation of aircraft systems will obtain first mover advantage for their domestic industries as supply leaders for tomorrow’s commercial and general aviation fleets. In many cases this head start will launch new industries and create millions of
high-paying manufacturing jobs.
NASA is, has always been, and should always be a multi-mission agency with the resources to push the boundaries of our understanding of flight and space science, and to give us new technology that strengthens our aerospace manufacturing base. Along
with NASA’s Journey to Mars, the cultivation of a dynamic commercial space industry, and the construction of telescopes to search for the origins of our universe, the first ‘A’ in NASA – Aeronautics – underpins all of our exploration of air and space. It is
shortsighted to withhold investments in the technologies that will generate great returns for America.
Currently, NASA ARMD is designing the nation’s future air traffic management systems, to integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into national airspace. NASA’s aeronautical engineers and scientists have unique expertise that will allow the Federal
Aviation Administration to make rules for safer, higher capacity, and faster air operations to boost national productivity and efficiency. Their work plays a critical role in shaping a 21st century transportation system.
The manufacturing of aircraft is a pillar of our economy. The aerospace industry employs 1.7 million highly skilled, well paid Americans, and generates $146 billion to the export economy. It is also at the heart of the world’s most powerful air force.
The scientific and technological know-how of this workforce cannot be replicated or substituted by those of any other sector of the economy. But, our technological lead in aeronautics science and technology has never been more challenged.
Over the next 17 years, the number of air passengers will double from 3.2 billion passengers to 7 billion worldwide. The market for new aircraft sales, parts, and services is projected to grow to $8 to 10 trillion. Eying this opportunity, global
leaders – China, Russia, France, and Japan – are investing billions of dollars into aeronautics research and development (R&D) to compete with U.S. companies.
The stakes have never been higher. We are not poised to defend our position as the world’s leading air power. Our own aeronautics R&D has dropped considerably over the last several decades, from $907 million and 6.6% of NASA’s top-line budget in 1998
to $640 million and 3.3% of the overall budget today. Our aeronautics centers are underfunded and test infrastructure is old and in need of maintenance, thwarting scientific development, stalling innovative programs, and frustrating talent.
If we are to secure our commercial and strategic edge, we must commit to continuity and budget stability for aeronautics R&D. Funding NASA ARMD at $790 million in Fiscal Year 2018, with a proportionate increase in NASA’s overall funding level will
allow progress in key investments to reinforce our leadership in a militarily and economically critical industry. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Cc: Vice President Mike Pence
The Honorable Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget