AIA believes that the President’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget request does not provide the funding we need to ensure safe air transportation, make America more secure, promote space exploration, and ensure a vibrant and innovative industrial base. If this budget is adopted, we will fail to address the serious mismatch between our resources and the new threats and challenges our nation faces today.

With respect to national security, we must respond to the rise of ISIS terrorism, Russian aggression on NATO’s doorstep, provocative moves by Iran and North Korea and an increasingly powerful China. Similarly, we must address the challenges of a very busy national airspace system that will become even more crowded as more and more Unmanned Aircraft Systems enter our skies. Critical investments are needed to avoid continued U.S. reliance on Russian transportation to the International Space Station and a potential gap in essential satellite weather forecasting capabilities.

The Administration has proposed a budget for Fiscal Year 2017 that AIA believes is insufficient to adequately address national priorities in the following areas:

· The Department of Defense funding request aims to preserve the readiness and size of our forces, but substantially cuts aircraft, ship and ground combat systems, threatening our ability to quickly and decisively respond to the growing number and variety of security threats around the world. Such cuts will increase risk to our troops, make future military operations more costly, and make future modernization efforts more expensive.

· NASA is slated for at least a $300 million cut from last years’ budget – even when the overall discretionary budget cap is increasing modestly. Substantial cuts are being proposed to NASA’s effort to resume human exploration beyond Earth orbit and to its incredibly successful planetary exploration program.

· The proposed Federal Aviation Administration budget does not provide adequate funding for Research and Development activities to further enable the integration of all classes of Unmanned Aircraft Systems into the National Airspace System. Furthermore, it fails to fully implementat all systems that are a part of the Next Generation Air Transportation System.

Federal budgets are decisions by elected officials to ensure that adequate resources are applied to our nation’s pressing priorities. This budget request does not meet that requirement. As the voice of the American aerospace and defense industry, we call on Congress and the Administration to work together to produce a robust, balanced and stable budget that promotes economic growth, supports our national security and allows for a healthy, efficient and innovative industrial base.