WASHINGTON- During its third public meeting, the Commission on the Future of
the United States Aerospace Industry voted to issue its third interim report
to address issues of immediate importance to the industry. The Commission
voted to include several near-term recommendations regarding industrial
base, space and workforce issues.

Chairman Robert S. Walker stated, “Our third interim report will address
stepping stones toward a final report that will positively impact the
long-term outlook of the industry. This is not, however, our final word on
the enormous challenges facing the aerospace industry now and in the future.
Our final report will focus on the vision and actions necessary to ensure a
vibrant future for U.S. aerospace.”

The Commission received testimony from industry and government
representatives, as well as educators and students. Commissioner John
Douglass led the discussion on industrial base issues with input on
investment policy from Commissioners Bob Stevens and Heidi Wood. Space
discussions were spearheaded by Commissioners Buzz Aldrin and Neil deGrasse
Tyson, while Commissioners Tom Buffenbarger and Tillie Fowler led the
workforce discussions. At the meeting’s conclusion, the Commission decided
tef=”lease an interim report based on the following proposed draft

Industrial Base Recommendations

The Commission recommends the following actions be taken to address several
areas of concern during Congressional deliberations in the current budget
cycle and the Administration’s preparation for the FY2004 budget:

  • The Secretary of Defense should task the Defense Science
    Board with the following tasks:
  •    * Review the industrial base, workforce and
    industry consolidation policy challenges
       * Review the long-term viability of the
    nation’s fighter aircraft and solid rocket booster development design

  • The Administration and Congress should encourage NASA and
    DoD to coordinate R&D efforts in areas of common need and provide the
    appropriate funding support to do so.
  • Congress should hold hearings to address the national
    challenges in Air Traffic Control (ATC) capacity cited in the Commission’s
    2nd Interim Report and NASA and FAA R&D funding.
  • The President should ensure that a new FAA Administrator be
    recruited without delay to replace the currently retiring Administrator and
    assign him/her a mandate to achieve substantial long-term ATC capacity
  • Based on the need to adequately fund and manage investment
    in modernization and transformation, the DoD and Congress should establish
    and maintain a fully funded top line for DoD investment in the Future Year
    Defense Plan (FYDP).
  • Space Recommendations

  • NASA and DoD (USAF) should complete a short-term
    study to investigate the feasibility and evaluate the merits of establishing
    a federal spaceport at Kennedy Space Center.
  • Congress should approve an enhanced leasing authority
    bill that allows NASA and DoD to lease real property at fair market value
    and retain lease proceeds to cover the total costs incurred in supporting
    the development and operation of the facilities.
  • Congress should grant NASA utility privatization
    authority. This legislation should grant the individual organizations the
    widest and most flexible interpretation and authority.
  • Workforce Recommendations

  • The Administration and Congress should
    reaffirm the goal of stabilizing and growing the U.S. aerospace workforce.
  • The Administration should create an
    interagency Workforce Taskforce from the Departments of Labor, Commerce,
    Education and other government agencies, as required, to respond to
    long-term industry workforce and training needs
  • The Administration should develop the
    Aerospace Industry Promotion (AIP), program for schools and community
    colleges to attract public attention to the importance and opportunities
    within the aerospace industry.
  • Congress should propose tax credits for
    employers who invest in the skills and training of the workforce for
    employees enrolled in registered apprenticeship programs and other
    occupational training that meet the needs identified by industry.
  • The Administration and Congress should make
    long-term investments to keep the American aerospace workforce “pipeline”
  • The Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry is a
    congressionally mandated commission, as established in Section 1092 of the
    Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001,
    Public Law 106-398. The Commission was formed to study the future of the
    United States aerospace industry in the global economy, particularly in
    relationship to United States national security; and to assess the future
    importance of the domestic aerospace industry for the economic and national
    security of the United States. The next public meeting of the Commission
    will be held August 22, 2002 in the Department of Commerce Auditorium. The
    Commission’s final report will be released in November 2002.