The growth in this industry, since the infancy of powered flight, has been the result of a strong partnership between the government, industry, and universities. Government investment in aeronautics has been focused on science, technology, infrastructure and military aviation. This investment, worked in close partnership with industry, provided the conditions for industry success in aeronautics.
Today, however, the aeronautics industry is facing a number of difficult, new challenges. First, the end of the Cold War has permitted a reduction in defense expenditures, including significant cut backs in the development of new aircraft and engines. Second, the weak financial state of the global airline industry has seriously affected orders, backlogs, and deliveries of new civil aircraft. Third, foreign governments have strongly supported the development of their own aeronautics industries through major investments in infrastructure, technology and development programs, challenging U.S. competitiveness in this industry.
Although the combination of these factors has had a significant impact on the aeronautics industry, the United States is still the leader in aeronautics technology and manufacturing. We must maintain leadership in this global industry if we are to retain the national security and economic benefits that derive from aeronautics. Nationally, we have the infrastructure -government, industry, and universities - to maintain leadership. We must now renew our focus on partnership to meet national challenges and accomplish national goals. However, we must also reexamine our traditional partnership in the context of the current and future challenges. Clearly, we must develop an integrated view of aviation system performance and affordability.
Together, we must take action -- action that will ensure that the United States maintains a strong and competitive aeronautics manufacturing industry. This document provides a framework for a government, industry, and university partnership in aeronautics research and technology (R&T) development. Working together, the Administration, industry, and universities have identified three key goals that define this partnership and which will help the U.S. aeronautics industry maintain its global competitiveness:
Over the next several months, NSTC, in partnership with industry and academia, will perform a national assessment to guide the direction and character of the Federal investment in U.S. civil aviation technology for the future. The assessment will include development of top-level technical goals, roadmaps to achieve the goals, partnership mechanisms, and analyses of benefits, priorities, opportunity costs, roles and responsibilities, and interrelationships with other national initiatives.
This document, together with the detailed national assessment, will provide the blueprint for our public-private partnership for the future, as well as communicate with the American people and the Congress our proposed investment portfolio. The NSTC welcomes comments and participation in the planning process as we move to ensure the technology base and infrastructure for a vital aviation industry and transportation system.