Science Committee Favorably Receives Aerospace Commission Report

Press Release From: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Posted: Monday, November 18, 2002

Announces Plan to Hold Hearing Early Next Year

WASHINGTON, DC - With today's release of the Final Report of the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry, House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) applauded Commission Members for writing a comprehensive assessment of the challenges facing domestic aerospace manufacturers, and announced plans to hold a hearing early in the upcoming 108th Congress on the Commission's report and findings. 

The Commission was created by Public Law 106-398 (The Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001) and had one year to complete its work and make a final report.  Chaired by former Science Committee Chairman Bob Walker, the Aerospace Commission visited a number of aerospace facilities here and abroad, held a series of public hearings, and received agency and industry briefings. 

"Over the past year the Aerospace Commission has done tremendous research examining our domestic aerospace companies, the government's role in purchasing and regulating their products, and quantifying the benefits that aerospace companies generate for our economy and our national security," said Chairman Boehlert.

"More importantly, their report underscores the serious challenges now facing the aerospace sector.  Consolidations, reduced research and development investments by industry and government, record losses posted by commercial air carriers, heightened competition from foreign suppliers; these and other factors have eroded the aerospace industry's ability to sustain its record of achievements," Boehlert continued.

"The report makes a strong case that government must increase its investment in aerospace research, and just as importantly, it must increase investment in math and science education to ensure a continuing pipeline of motivated, talented men and women to enter this critically important industry.  I think our NSF bill, which the Congress passed last week, should help in that regard.  I look forward to chairing a hearing early in the 108th Congress to examine the report," concluded Boehlert.

Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chairman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) stated, "The Aerospace Commission is to be applauded for their work.  They correctly point out that this industry is the source of much of our country's high quality of living by making it convenient and inexpensive to travel, by providing businesses with an efficient and fast delivery network for goods and services, and by providing our men and women in uniform with the technologies and platforms they need to defend our borders.  Our military successes over the last decade prove the value of having a healthy and vibrant aerospace industry, and we must not let this advantage slip away, " said Rohrabacher. 

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